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Fernando’s Legacy Barber Shop is the result of three generations of Upscale Quality Barbers that have dedicated over 70 years combined to serving and bringing the Ultimate in Gentlemen’s Quality Grooming and Services to the modern man. Fernando’s Legacy stems from the Exceptional detailed craft, care, artistry and pride that Fernando Sr. developed in the 1950’s as a Master Barber in Habana Cuba. After migrating to the U.S. in 1968 and opening his first Barber Shop in Tampa, Florida in 1973 Fernando Sr. started and built a strong and loyal client base. In 1983 Fernando Jr. attended Barber school and joined his father in the business And in 2018 Fernando the third also decided to join his Grandfather and father to form what is known today as Fernando’s Legacy, The Ultimate in Gentlemen’s Quality Grooming. Please click on Read More to learn about each ones extraordinary story.

Fernando Santamaria: A Story of a Self-Made Barber Legacy
Written by: Sheryl Craig
The barber shop has always been a community gathering hotspot where grandfathers take their grandsons, parents bring in their kids for the rite of passage first haircuts, and young adults visit the shop to celebrate life cycle events, including milestone graduations and weddings. 
When Fernando Luis Santamaria (Jr.)  begins to tell his personal history, it starts like this, “my Father is Fernando Santamaria, and my son is Fernando Rene Santamaria. Though our names are not exactly the same, everyone refers to us as Sr., Jr., and the Third.” Today, the three Santamaria men are all well-respected licensed Master Barbers under their namesake barber shop, Fernando’s Legacy Barber Shop.
Born in Cuba with his sister and brother, Jr. and his family immigrated to the United States in 1968 after years of communism suffocated and squeezed out the Cuban people, including his father’s popular and successful barbering business. However, there is always a silver lining. Jr’s takeaway is that hard work, passion, and a family legacy can rise above even under the worst situations.
It wasn’t an easy road to finding their American Dream. The family started in Grand Rapids, where both mom and dad worked various jobs to house and feed the family. Coaxed by family and friends to begin barbering again, Sr. repurposed the basement to give his friends a glass of bourbon, a cigar, fellowship, and good old-fashioned quality haircuts and shaves.
When the dream of opening his own barber shop began to poke his entrepreneurial spirit, Sr. and the family moved to Miami in 1973. There he attended Tampa Barber College, and by the late 70s, Sr. was already expanding his loyal client base and his services by turning the shop he bought a few years earlier into more locations. It is known today as Fernando’s Barber Shop, where his whole family assisted and worked by Sr.’s side (and having fun!).
Growing up under his father’s iconic wings (and clippers) in a neighborhood barber shop in Havana, Cuba, Jr. always found comfort and familiarity at the barber shop. Jr. began his career in 1983 after quitting high school. His father sharply told him he would have to find work lest becoming a bum. And Jr. did just that. So, after he graduated from Roffler Barber and Hair Design, Jr. pursued his legacy craft by working for his dad, winning competitions, and networking at industry shows and educational events.
Jr.’s expertise in precision detailed hair cutting and shaving took him into education at Roffler Barber and Hair Design College, John Paul Mitchell Systems, American Crew, Woody’s Men’s Grooming, The Art of Shaving, and Summit Salon Academy. When Jr.’s mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Sr. needed to slow down his hours to help his wife. This was when Jr. stepped into his father’s massive shoes.
Jr.’s career skyrocketed when he brought their long-time loyal clients to today’s operation of a three-chair barber loft and a one-chair beauty loft in Tampa’s newest and most upscale Salon Lofts Midtown Tampa. Here is where Jr. and his son, Fernando III, and Master Barber Isaiah blend, provide quality gentlemen’s grooming services and products that his father offered a lifetime ago in Cuba. The Santamaria team also owns a separate loft specializing in women’s beauty services with the talented Master Stylist Jessica Hatter. 
The Santamarias ensure all of their clients are always welcomed with a warm smile, a family atmosphere, choice of Bourbon, a beer, water, or soda, reflecting the days of the 50s in Cuba when the men met up to have a shave and haircut, a whiskey, smoke, and discuss politics amongst friends. 
“What inspires me the most is the wonderful memories and experiences I lived throughout the years watching my Dad. He always created a community environment at the barber shop, even just to hang out when you weren’t getting a haircut or shave,” says Jr. “Still, I remember the lively conversations and laughs.”
Jr. remains in awe of his father and recognizes him as a self-made role model. “My Dad created quite a legacy not only by me but by all of the wonderful friends and clients that have followed him and his legacy throughout the years.”