By Ginger DeShaney
The 32-year-old owner of Louie Styles is kicking it old school in his new barbershop at 100 Dorchester St. in South Boston. Louie Ramos officially opened his doors about two months ago and he and his fellow barbers are already attracting regular customers. He attributes this early success to his strong work ethic, his old-school mentality, and his focus on the customers.
“We offer high-quality cuts. We take our time,” Louie said. “We don’t want our customers to feel rushed.” Services range from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. The shop takes walk-ins and scheduled appointments.
“We build bonds; we have conversations,” he said. “The customers talk to us. We have conversations and make connections.”
To get the word out about his shop, the Southie native, who grew up on D Street, distributed flyers and postcards all around the neighborhood. Louie called it old-school footwork.
“I’m very hands-on,” Louie said about his shop. “I work as hard as the guys.”
The guys are Gino Faiola and Louis Aponte. Gino recently came back to Massachusetts and was looking for a shop when one of his connections let him know Louie was opening one. Louis worked with Louie about 10 years ago and reconnected with him through a mutual friend.
“Family … that’s what it’s all about,” Louie said. “[Louis and Gino] are partners more than employees.”
The trio already has formed a strong bond. “We don’t like [employee] turnaround here,” Louie said. And that bond extends to the customers. Louis said he’s met so many friends through his work as a barber. Louie wants Louie Styles to stand out from other shops. And while they do low fades, men’s regulars, precision cuts, and more, they specialize in beards. “If you know beards, you know you need to get the angles right,” he said.
Louie has worked in barbershops for the last 15 years and had plateaued working for others. “It was time to do my own thing.” But it wasn’t easy.
“No one wanted to give me a chance,” he said, noting he looked at several locations. But through a connection, he was able to secure 100 Dorchester St. “He opened the door for me.”
While Covid-19 delayed the opening of Louie Styles, it did give Louie and his carpenter dad, Louie Sr., time to build up the shop. They added custom molding, erected columns, redid the floors and lighting, and built a bathroom and an employee room, totally transforming the former nail salon.
“This location is the heart of Southie,” Louie said.