On a Wednesday afternoon, Jay Blendz is busy giving a buzz cut and an edge up inside his barbershop.

With a clipper in one hand and a comb in the other, he’s making sure everything is just right.

“People are eager to come back and just sit in a chair now,” Blendz said.

Originally from Brooklyn, he has called Amsterdam home for the last decade. In 2017, Blendz opened this barbershop in the city. The place is decked out the way he had always imagined.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better spot to have opened up,” Blendz said. “The love and support that I’ve been getting since I opened is unimaginable.” Even through a pandemic, customers kept coming, allowing him to keep utilizing his clippers and razors.

What You Need To Know

  • Owner Jay Blendz opened a barbershop in Amsterdam in 2017

  • He's establishing a $2,000 scholarship fund that will be given to four Amsterdam graduating seniors

  • Blendz is hoping this will at least help students get a foot in the door to pursue a higher education

But his attention to detail goes beyond the barber chair. Over the last year, Blendz noticed many others in the city haven’t been so fortunate.

“They lost their jobs. They lost their homes,” Blendz said. “Everybody is pretty much trying to get back on their feet.”

That includes some of his clients who are high school seniors. Because of the damage done by the pandemic, Blendz says some students are no longer thinking about attending college. To change that, he is launching Books N’ Blendz.

“[I] just try to do as much as I can with the little means that I do have,” Blendz said.

It’s a $2,000 scholarship fund that will be given to four Amsterdam graduating seniors. The money can be used toward tuitions, books or room and board.

What Blendz hopes is this will help students get a foot in the door and pursue that higher education.

“We have to give back. There’s strength in numbers,” Blendz said. “When you got a united community sticking together, it’s hard to break that community down.”

He knows the importance of community support. It’s that support that has allowed him to pursue his passion over the last four years, and now Blendz is returning the favor.