SIDNEY – While others saw an eyesore, Jacob Cornett saw a space that would allow his barbershop to flourish.
“A lot of people thought that it was the biggest eyesore, and they wanted it to just go,” Cornett said of the building at 1282 Wapakoneta Ave. in Sidney, which now houses JC’s Barber Shop. “I didn’t see that. I saw big windows, big storefront, lots of natural light, lots of space, and I was like, ‘I think I can make this work.’”
Cornett, with the help of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday afternoon for JC’s Barber Shop at its new location on Wapakoneta Avenue. The business had been located on St. Marys Avenue since it opened in April 2016.
“The business just grew a lot bigger than I had ever expected it to, and I’ve just outgrown this current location,” Cornett said during one of the final days in his old shop. “I love this place. It’s bittersweet to leave but on to bigger and better things.”
With assistance from friends and family, Cornett renovated the space on Wapakoneta Avenue into his new shop. The building was constructed almost 120 years ago and initially was a Western Ohio Railway power station.
After the power station shut down in 1932, the location hosted a series of car dealerships that sold Plymouth, DeSoto, Chevrolet and Cadillac automobiles. It then was the site of Presser’s Auto Parts from 1979 until 2011.
“Isn’t this space incredible?” Jeff Raible, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, said. “Oh, my gosh.
“I never really appreciated the wraparound windows in this building because the tenants prior to, Presser’s, they always had shelving and things like that blocking the windows so you never really got to appreciate the beauty of those windows. And when it’s dark outside and the lights are on in here, it looks so cool.”
Cornett paid homage to the building’s history by exposing the vintage wood in the ceiling and installing Edison light bulbs. He also added new barber chairs, leather couches, televisions and a pool table.
“We actually will have things to do at the new shop,” Cornett said. “We did just add a pool table to the shop. It’s a real nice pool table. I think it’s going to be a nice touch for when people are sitting around waiting.”
Over the past four years, JC’s Barber Shop has seen an influx of customers. To meet the growing demand, Mica Cupp joined the business last summer as a second barber. And in March, the shop will welcome Tyler Nation as its third barber.
“I think it’s going to be a lot busier, a lot more walk-in traffic so I think we’ll need that third guy,” Cornett said.
“I just think that it’s going to be a prime location for more business. With (Wapakoneta Avenue) being the second busiest street in Sidney, I don’t see why we wouldn’t get more walk-ins.”
Having additional barbers in the shop, who work as independent contractors, allows JC’s Barber Shop to serve more customers and also has helped Cornett improve his work-life balance. In the past four years he’s learned to better manage his stress and make time for his family, which includes his wife, Harwinder, and their son, Carter, who is 1 ½ years old.
“My whole attitude on the barbershop and this community and my maturity in this business has increased dramatically,” said Cornett, who was fresh out of Ron West Barber College when he opened his shop. “I don’t even look at it the same anymore. I’m now a husband and a father so I guess I’ve just matured a lot.”
JC’s Barber Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1282 Wapakoneta Ave. Appointments can be scheduled on the Booksy app or by calling 937-489-8067. Walk-in appointments also are available.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.