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He’s hoping to help revive this Bellingham neighborhood one haircut at a time

Jared Jones-Valentine, left, shares a laugh with his customer Irving Roussell during a haircut at Barber Shack on Tuesday, Aug. 8, in Bellingham. Barber Shack recently moved from its former location on Maplewood Avenue to its new location on Cedarwood Avenue.
Jared Jones-Valentine, left, shares a laugh with his customer Irving Roussell during a haircut at Barber Shack on Tuesday, Aug. 8, in Bellingham. Barber Shack recently moved from its former location on Maplewood Avenue to its new location on Cedarwood Avenue. eabell@bhamherald.com

Jared Jones-Valentine is hoping to be a part of a Birchwood neighborhood revival, helping as many neighbors at all income levels while providing a good haircut and shave.

Jones-Valentine recently moved the Barber Shack into 2500 Cedarwood Ave., formerly home to a book store. The shop has five chairs, offering many of the traditional hair cuts along with other services, such as a straight razor neck shave. The Barber Shack was formerly in a much smaller space on Maplewood Avenue for about two years. Also moving into the building in mid-August is Hair Hut, owned by Debbie Manos. Her salon will be in the back portion of the building.

Prior to becoming a barber, Jones-Valentine worked for years as a case manager for a Seattle housing agency. He’s taken that empathy of helping people into the barber shop, attracting customers with its $10 Tuesday specials. A regular hair cut price the rest of the week remains a good price – $14 and $11 for seniors, those who served in the military and children.

“As a case manager, I knew how hard it was to get a haircut,” Jones-Valentine said.

The goal for Barber Shack is to be welcoming for families. It is also becoming a place that is known for working with autistic customers, he said.

Along with having a bigger space, Jones-Valentine wanted to remain in the Birchwood neighborhood and have better visibility. He also is optimistic about the immediate area: Across the street, the former Morrie’s Drive-In building is being remodeled for a new eatery called To & Go Burgers and Wings. One big challenge for the neighborhood is the former Albertsons grocery store that remains empty.

“I hear about it weekly from customers,” Jones-Valentine said, adding that many of his customers walked to Albertsons to shop.

Along with keeping the doors open, the mission for Jones-Valentine is to inspire and connect with everyone he meets. It’s part of a mission that customers have responded to in a variety of ways: One customer put down an extra $200 to “pay it forward,” while others have donated their free haircut from their frequent use card to others.

“It has really resonated with our customers,” he said.

Barber Shack is having a grand re-opening 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with music, refreshments, door prizes and a raffle. Regular hours for the shop are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Details about the business can be found on its Facebook page. For details on the Hair Hut, call 360-671-1976.

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