by Jesse Gallegos
NORTHERN NM — Cordy Tafoya is a non-traditional student. He is 40 years old. He has a successful business. Yet, in the fall of 2017, Tafoya looked at Luna to help solidify his business. Tafoya is a barbering major and is expected to finish his certificate in December.
“The cosmetology department here is well-established, and the talent that I have seen coming out of this department is really good,” said Tafoya. “It is high-level quality that comes out of this program. Many of the graduates of this program are solid in what they do.”
Tafoya owns the Stashbox on University Ave., which provides tattooing and barbering services. Tafoya is currently a licensed tattooist in the state of New Mexico and soon will be a licensed barber.
“Being that I own a hybrid shop, I am dependent on another person to be licensed to run the barber shop,” said Tafoya. “What I came back for was strictly a business decision. I would like to open up a second shop in Albuquerque within a year, which means that I don’t have to take any of my staff to Albuquerque. I have learned that barbering is kind of fun. Barbers and tattooists have historically had some reverence in society.”
Tafoya said that his best days are ahead of him.
“I really believe that I have not reached my potential,” said Tafoya. “I’m barely beginning to realize my true potential. As a tattoo artist, I am very far from where I want to be. The room for growth is enormous. Being able to come back to school, even at my age, is a testament to everyone that you are never too old to start. Grab the opportunity when it presents itself.”
Tafoya’s life isn’t all peaches and cream.
“Growing up, I didn’t always have what others had — life in general isn’t always easy,” said Tafoya. “Living in a community such as ours that has very limited resources, sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive.”
With a wife and four kids ranging from ages nine to 21, Tafoya is looking forward to put his education to good use.
“Being at Luna is by far one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had as far as being able to further myself and make the future brighter. Luna has given me the opportunity to earn my education and creating a better outlook for the future.”
Education is the key, said Tafoya.
“Being educated, I feel that my opinion is valued more,” said Tafoya. “I’m optimistic toward my future. Too many people take too much time to look at the darkness instead of the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve all got to start somewhere. People here at Luna believe in me. I never ran into a faculty or staff member that has derailed me.”