Lee Martinez traveled the country practicing cosmetology before arriving in Oregon eight months ago. Martinez comes from a large hispanic family of hairstylists. He left Ft. Lauderdale, Fla to be closer to his daughter, and since arriving says he has noticed how much nicer everyone is in Oregon compared to Florida.
“The people in Florida are colder,” Martinez said about the subtropical state.
He has volunteered to feed the homeless with the Salvation Army and is currently taking classes to better himself at Lane, but he is just getting started. Thanks to Lane’s Small Business Development Center, he plans to open his own all organic hair and skin spa called “Bella Batwa.”
“You just show up with a plan and they [SBDC] tell you what you need to do,” Martinez said. His spa will be avant-garde and feature his own organic line of skin and hair products. Time is his greatest challenge, commented Martinez; all he needs to do is remain focused. He knows he is going to be successful.
Martinez was in the Junior Honor Society in high school and studied civil engineering at the University of New Mexico. However, after three years he dropped out of college because he didn’t enjoy it. Martinez has since had a full career in hairstyling and has been featured in many cosmetology magazines including: “Passion,” “Dermascope,” and “Modern Salon.”
He has styled hair in salons across the nation from “Aida Grey” in Encino, Calif to the New York-based “Hair in Motion” in Florida.“There is a lot of freedom to ruin your life or better it,” Martinez said about being a hairstylist.
It was a life of fame and fortune he said, but knew it wasn’t for him. He says he enjoys being able to go about unnoticed. For this reason, Martinez is grateful to be attending Lane. “People don’t see me from across the cafeteria and yell ‘hi’,” Martinez said.
He is currently taking a photography class in order to be able promote his business and enjoys practicing yoga. Everything he is doing is being done to better himself and help him in pursuing his dream of opening his own spa. “If I can see it, it can be done,” Martinez said. He intends to take school more seriously this time around and hopes to be an inspiration to others demonstrating that it is never too late to go to college for an education.