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Today's Cuts
1325 Archer at Pacific
San Luis Obispo, CA

Hosted by Ernest & Allen, Inc.

Today's Cuts was featured recently in The Tribune!

Work Spaces: Raphael Lawrenzo Operates Today's Cuts

Raphael Lawrenzo has created an island oasis atmosphere inside his hair-cutting business. Today's Cuts is located at Archer and Pacific streets in San Luis Obispo.

"A snippet of paradise"

Hair cutter Raphael Lawrenzo has transformed his San Luis Obispo salon into a South Seas paradise, brimming with tropical plants, soft Caribbean music and trickling water fountains. The effect is reminiscent of the old television show "Fantasy Island."

"I call it my 'Hair Island,'" Lawrenzo says.

Since he was a young boy, Lawrenzo has studied television and movie characters, analyzing whether or not their hair styles matched their characters. He wielded his shears at several prominent salons in Northridge, Glendale and Woodland Hills before moving to the Central Coast in 1986 to raise his growing family.

What you see: Today's Cuts' tiny one-room salon feels like it has been plucked from a friendly jungle and plopped down on the back streets of San Luis Obispo. Giant potted plants, like palms and dracaenas fill the corners, while a vining philodendron runs wild across the ceiling. Rattan chairs and floral cush­ions mix with ornate French provincial furniture, decorated with its delicate gold leaf, flo­rets and Cupids. An old surfboard forms a shelf along one wall, topped with more plants, shells and wooden parrots. A large, 200-pound gold framed mirror covers a side window, reflecting more plants and adding to the tropical atmosphere.

How does the space reflect his personality? Lawrenzo came up with the tropical theme to create a re­laxing oasis for himself and his clients. He also dresses the part, with Hawaiian print shirts, white slacks and a gold chain around his neck.

What was the Inspiration for the design? Anything that feels tropical, whether from Hawaii or the South Pacific, is OK with Lawrenzo. The French Provincial touches also fit, he says, since they are commonplace on islands once ruled by France.

What he likes: The peaceful atmosphere. He's also proud of two of his creations - a shell encrusted telephone and new fountain he recently built with abalone shells.

What would he change? Not much. Someday he might add a shampoo bowl so he can do hair coloring, Lawrenzo says. "I'm really good at high­lighting, but I'd rather fill my time cutting hair."

The Tribune, Tuesday August 27, 2002.