Judith Inchauregui

Judith Inchauregui

Owner – Patron Man Salon

Published May 2024

‘I Can’t Imagine Myself Anywhere Else’

Judith Inchauregui, owner of the Patron Man Salon, relishes the opportunity to live her life, raise her children, and run her business right here in Goshen

There were seven weeks during the pandemic when we were not allowed to be open or have customers at Patron Man Salon, and that was a tough period of time.

It was obviously tough on business, and it was just tough for me—personally—because part of the reason I became a hair stylist is that I love being around people and talking to people.

Having to go without that interaction for almost two months was a challenge. I remember telling my sister-in-law, who has worked with me over the years, that we would have to close for an unknown period of time. The two of us just looked at each other like, ‘What do we do now?’

We just had to do our best to wait it out.

Unexpected challenges, hidden blessings

Some businesses, despite being closed to visitors during that time, could still operate somewhat normally. They could fill and deliver orders, and what have you. But when you have a men’s hair salon, if customers can’t come into your salon than you can’t really do anything. I remember that while we were closed, as a way to try to somehow keep our customers engaged, we actually put out Youtube videos showing people tips on how to cut their own hair.

When we were finally allowed to have customers come back into the salon, it was amazing. A lot of our clientele are regulars who have come back again and again over the years. To see those familiar faces start coming back to the salon, and to be able to catch up with them, was comforting and healing and it gave me a lot of hope.

But to be honest I don’t know that our Youtube videos helped that much; I saw a lot of really bad, do-it-yourself hair cuts when people started coming back. Some people’s hair had become very long because they just didn’t know what to do.

There were a lof of fix-ups to do when people started coming back.

A lot happened in those seven weeks we were in limbo. A lot of concern, a lot of emotion. On the flipside, though, I’d been pregnant with my daughter before the shutdown, and—when she was born—having all the time off allowed me to spend so much time with her.

Looking back on that difficult period of time, there really were blessings in disgiuse.

Patron Man Salon, Goshen
Judith Inchauregui

 Photos courtesy of Patron Man Salon

Patron Man Salon, Goshen

Finding a new home in Goshen

My family moved to Goshen from Mexico in 1996, and I’ve mostly been here ever since. I spent some time in Indianapolis when I was younger and I worked at a Sport Clips down there.

I already had hair cutting experience but it was when I was in Indy that I really started to prefer doing haircuts for men. It just seemed to me, the more I learned, that men were a bit more straightforward and decisive with how they wanted their hair. I could really relate to that, and I started to think about one day opening my own business around that model.

I wasn’t gone that long, about a year. I just remember so clearly how great it felt when I came back to Goshen. This is a tight community where people know each other, and know each other’s families. You just don’t have that close feeling in other places, and it was something I really missed.

Coming back to Goshen was great, and it was even better when I opened Patron Man Salon in August 2016.

We specialize in men’s hair cuts, beard cuts, and trims, and we do some perms now that those are sort of trending for men. We cut hair for women, also, and anyone can walk-in to inquire about getting a cut. We don’t do a lot of hair coloring, like some other places. We mainly focus on hair cuts, and I have actually been taking classes for women’s hair cuts so that we can expand our offerings over time.

Styles come and go…people are steady

One thing you learn as a hair stylist is that trends always change and come back around. I’ve seen the mullet come and go, and come back again, and same with the mohawk—although now most people prefer the shaved sides. These days I actually have to reference TikTok sometimes because kids will come in and say they want this haircut or that haircut that they saw on the app. The world has changed; these days my 9-year-old son tells about what’s cool and what isn’t.

As much as some things have changed, some things have stayed the same. People are pretty consistent, and—in my experience—Goshen has always been a place where people care about community, and care about each other.

For me, I’m just so glad that everything worked out, and that I’m raising my son and my daughter right here in Goshen. This is a good place to be, and a great place for them to grow up.

At this point in my life, I’m just thankful. I’m thankful to be in Goshen, and have my business, and—to tell you the truth—I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

 Patron Man Salon, at 211 E. Madison St. in downtown Goshen, is one of Elkhart County’s premier hair cutting and beard detailing salons. Founded in 2016, Patron Man Salon specializes in hair styling for men—from cutting and fading to styling the perfect cut—but also offers hair cuts and styling for women. To learn more about Patron Man Salon, and look into booking your next cut, please visit https://www.facebook.com/patronmansalon

Written by Jake Sandock