My name is Bobby Bartilucci. I was born on January 27th, 1977 in New York City. In 1980, we moved from Astoria, Queens to Farmingdale Long Island where my younger brother, Jeff, and I grew up most of our lives. My mother is from Cuba, and my father is Italian, and we were raised Catholic. Both my parents were morally upright, loving, generous, and always put my brother’s and my needs before their own.
In early 1990s, around the time of the Gulf War is when “The Fade” became popular. I got my first pair of Wahl clippers and cut the hair of my brother, my cousins, and other kids from the neighborhood in the backyard. I had no clue how to fade, so we all walked around with haircuts that resembled a mushroom or a muffin-top. I always loved going to the barbershop and the complete haircut experience.
I graduated from Farmingdale High School in 1995. I was headed to John Jay University, but had no idea of what I wanted to do. By this time, I was using alcohol, marijuana, and experimenting with other drugs. I was caught up in the New York City club scene and partying almost every night. The truth was, I was lost and on the road to destruction. My family moved to Spring Hill, Florida, in 2001. I tried to make it on my own, but it only got worse. I moved to Spring Hill in 2002 thinking I could start fresh, but I couldn’t seem to get it right.
In December 2009, I hit rock bottom. I remember one night looking up into the sky and asking, “What’s the meaning of life and is there even a God?” About a week later, I found myself at Orient Road Jail in Tampa. On January 10th, 2010 before lockdown a man sitting next to me by the TV said, “I want to tell you that God is putting on my heart to tell you He loves you and he wants a relationship with you. I went back to my cell, and I prayed for my family, everyone in the pod, and for the officers. As I was praying, the officer came to my cell, opened the door and said, “Bartilucci, do you want to move upstairs?” I said, “Sure.” The officer moved me to a single man cell. I got on my knees and prayed again.
However, I could not get any words out. I just started crying. I cried as I’ve never cried before. At that moment, God changed my heart, and I felt a love and peace like never before. God gave me a vision for a barbershop and I wrote it on paper.
On June 4th, 2013, I came home and signed up for barber school at A.I.B in St. Petersburg, Florida 2 weeks later. I finished barber school in April 2014 and passed my state exam in May 2014. In less than 5 years, God blessed me with His Image Barbershop.
I base the name of the shop on Genesis 1:27, which says God created man in his own image. Whether or not you believe the word of God, God made you in His image. I feel that we owe it back to Him to be great at whatever we do and to be a reflection of His Excellence.
We may not be perfect, and we may fail at times. However, if we truly believe that we are made in His Image than we should strive to be like Him and do everything for His Glory.
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