Cut ‘N’ Run started in the basement laundry room of a Willowdale project, cutting the hair of friends and family.
It started getting too busy for me to handle so I decided to raise the price to cut the traffic down, that didn’t help in fact it got busier.
Then I decided to go work at my sister’s hair salon “Jazzar” if anybody wanted a haircut they would have to travel. Realizing it was still way too much work for one man to handle, I had known another barber that was cutting hair in the basement of the same project – Jason D. So I approached him about helping me cut hair at my sister’s salon, he was so interested, he showed up the next day for work. Because we both went through the same experience of cutting in basement hallways we had a great deal in common.
We formed the “dream team”. We sat around when we weren’t busy and just came up with unique hairstyles, I would be the model, Jay would do the cutting. This would go on for the year to come.
Off to The USA
My sister was telling me about Atlanta, G.A, and her plan to move there. I was curious about the city and wanted to see it for myself, so my friend Sean and I headed south. It was even better then my sister had described. I didn’t waste anytime looking for a barbershop to work at, and found one pretty quick,actually… it found me. It was great working in another country, the weather was so nice i wanted to stay,but unfortunately i I was didn’t have a barber licence to work at “Parkers”, so after a few months the owner had to let me go.
Back in Toronto in no time working at my sisters salon, telling Jay how nice it was down south and how much of an impression i had made – they loved me down south – the barbers just couldn’t do what we did; designs and air brush fades. I made sure i took phone numbers of potential clients while I was in Atlanta, just in case i went back. Sure enough, within months me and my partner Jay headed down south.
When we got there we started calling all those numbers I had collected, just to let them know I was back in town. The response was positive. So we cut hair at our apartment or at our client’s houses. This was great! now we just needed a name ……..Cut-N-Run was born.
Our motto “we run da cut” instead of we run to cut. This was creating quite a buzz. We were living our dream…then me and Trinity Chris got into some trouble with the law. I ended up doing three years in jail from 1995 to 1998. During this time my partner Jay had to go back to Toronto. He died in 1996. When I heard the news, it hurt me so bad I felt responsible. I knew what I had to do when I got released, Jay will not be forgotten, not as long as I am alive…I was deported back to Toronto in 1998.
Back in Toronto
I started working at a friend’s barbershop in Regent Park, I was there for about a year and it wasn’t what I had envisioned. Looking to do my own thing I ran into an old friend, she used to work at my sister’s hair salon, she now had her own. Marcia encouraged me to do my own thing, so in May 1999, I decided to open my own spot.
There was a vacant unit above Marcia’s hair salon. This was where Cut N Run would call home. I found a sketch of the logo that Jason D had put together, the logo was then branded to the upper-level window of 2069 Danforth ave. I started with an extension cord, styling chair, and a mirror. Six years later, I met Brain he introduced me to Ryan who told me about his kid brother Jmac. Jmac was cutting hair in his basement, this sounded familiar, so I gave him a chance.
It’s now been three years in our new location; 2017 Danforth ave. Jmac has been a blessing, It amazes me how two men from such diverse backgrounds can work together for a common goal.
I have now fulfilled my dream. RIP Jason Defreitas.