Cuts by Angel owner following in father’s footsteps, pursuing her dream

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It took her a while, but Maryann Baldonado is finally following in her father’s footsteps like she’s wanted to do since she was a child.

 

“I always wanted to be a barber,” she said. “I always wanted to do what he did, but he said ‘no,’ that it was too hard.

“He always made it look like such fun, talking and laughing with his customers,” she said.

Her father, Ruperto Baldonado, was a barber for 45 years, first in California and then for many years at Pat’s Barber Shop in Belen.

Taking his advice, Baldonado followed a different career path until 1999, when, at age 45 and divorced, she entered barber school, graduated and operated a shop out of her home while she continued working full-time.

Then she got laid off at Avonite after 23 years on the job, and decided in February to finally follow her heart and open her own barber shop and salon, Cuts by Angel (her nickname), in Rio Communities.

Has it been as much fun as her father made it seem?

“I really enjoy doing hair, but it’s more fun when you don’t have to count on it for a living,” she said with a laugh. “I really do like talking with people, the socializing part, though.”

Unfortunately, business has been slow for her so far.

“I have a few people who’ve followed me from way back when,” she said, “and I’ve picked up a few new ones, but it’s been a bit of a struggle. I’d like to stay busy all day long.”

Baldonado is a full-service barber-stylist, with offerings for men and women beginning with straight haircuts and including clipper cuts, style cuts, razor cuts, fades, permanents, color and highlighting, waxing and facials.

She also sells hair-care products — “I sell the products I use here,” she said — sells Mary Kay products, which she also uses for facials, and makes and sells jewelry.

Baldonado offers first-time customers a $5 discount and “I often have a special going.”

Cuts by Angel is at 407 Horner, at the intersection with N.M. 47 in Rio Communities. It is located in the same purple building as Artistic Nails, which is her aunt’s business.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Baldonado can be reached at 459-3499 for appointments.

While Baldonado is hoping to make a full-time go of her business, she has no intention of giving up on her dream no matter what happens.

“Even if I had another job,” she said, “I would still do this in the evening from my home. That’s how much I love it.”

 


Contact Dana Bowley