We had the good fortune of connecting with Henry Jerome Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Henry Jerome, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance seemed like an unattainable pursuit for much of my career. I’ve worked 2-4 jobs for the majority of my 15+ years in the hair & service industries. Post-quarantine, I’m learning to prioritize balance in both my personal and professional life. Having a company that allows me to have a lot of creative outlets is a big part of achieving that professionally. Personally, having a strong support network of family and friends allows me to prioritize fatherhood while operating a small business. The idea of hustling when you’re young is romanticized and pressed so hard, we forget about work life balance or it becomes this impossible mountain to climb. It’s important to remember that the hustler doesn’t hustle because they want to. It’s a survival trait. Now I’m learning to hustle smarter rather than harder.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I own a small studio in Richardson called Saint Anita with an emphasis on cuts, culture, cocktails and council. The concept was born out of a desire to have one outlet for many pursuits. That outlet comes in many forms, whether it be cutting hair, making cocktails, sharing playlists, making candles, designing shirts, or outreach and community based ideas.’
I’ve worked in the hair industry for 15 plus years and another 8 in the service industry. I’ve been a father for 7 years and have opened and closed one concept already. Creating a sustainable concept with a sustainable culture is never easy, and it’s only because of the people around me that I’ve even to be able to chase this idea. Saint Anita has given me a way to say thank you to every person that has given me a second of their time, an ounce of their energy, or a dollar out of their pocket. It’s a way to express my self as a creative and professional while giving back to not only them, but hopefully to my community as well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d start with happy hour and then end with a nightcap at The People’s Last Stand. They’ve had one of the most consistent bar programs in Dallas for the better part of a decade. Khao Noodle Shop would be the most important food destination. The amount of love and passion they put into their creations put them on the national map for a reason. You’d have to spend an entire day taking in all of the culture that Oak Cliff has to offer. After some afternoon record shopping at Josey Records, I’d do happy hour the Lockwood District and have drinks on the patio of Lockwood Distillery and grab coffee at Communion Coffee. I’d definitely try to find wherever DJ Sober is gonna be spinning for at least one night of dancing and vibing with locals from the DFW creative/music scenes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m 100% the sum of my influences and the people around me fill that role daily. My son influences every decision I make and is priority number one. My studio Saint Anita is named after my mom and her drive and care for others inspired this concept. My dad, brother, co-parent and family provide daily support and help I’d be lost without. My friends and mentors give me guidance and focus when I need it most. My creative directors at Fort Lion Studio are the most inspiring creatives currently working in Dallas. Any successes or achievements throughout this journey are directly shared with the home team.
Yesi Fortuna, SJoon Koo, Devn McCullough,