When you walk in the door at Earp’s Barber Shop it is easy to understand you are in place tailored to cut men’s hair.
“All I do is cut hair,” said Jim Earp, who has been trimming men’s manes in Houston for 39 years. “I’ve been in this location the last 10 of those years. We try to get you in and out and if you have to wait we try to make your stay here a comfortable as possible.”
Earp’s has over-stuffed upholstered furniture in his waiting area that makes it the perfect place to park until it is your turn in the chair. A big-screen TV is tuned to the latest news channel and more frequently has the game or sports casters talking about the latest scores. The traditional hunting, fishing, golf, travel and news magazines are located next to local newspapers.
Earp’s prides itself in being clean and neat and the only hair to be found is on the heads of customers and on the floor around Earp’s barber chair. Earp quickly sweeps up work of his scissors after each customer.
“Styles always change and I’ve seen a lot of hair styles change over the years,” said Earp. “But I also have men who get the same haircut every time.”
And some of them have been getting the same trim from Earp for almost four decades.
“You can set your clock by some of my customers,” said Earp, as he deftly trimmed a customer’s hair. “They come in the same time and the same day. Some come in once a month and some come in more often.”
Earp said he is the only barber in his shop and he works hard to get it right each snip of his scissors.
“If I get it right, they come back,” said Earp. “Most of the people I trim are not looking to make a fashion statement, they want their hair nice and neat. If I don’t get it right they don’t come back.”
And Earp has apparently been getting it right for years.
“I’ve got customers who started with me in 1974 and brought their sons to me for hair cuts,” said Earp. “Some of those same customers are now bringing their grand-sons up here to get their hair cut. They come up here together, spend some time together and enjoy themselves.”
Earp said he is routinely called to local funeral homes to cut hair and has given a number of loyal customers their last trim over the years. He said he also goes to local funeral homes on appointment to trim the heads of long-time friends and patrons.
“I’ve always enjoyed this business and it is a lot more work than most people think,” said Earp. “But its the people who come here to sit in the chair for a few minutes – that’s why I do this.”
Local Focus is a regular business feature of the Chickasaw Journal. Locally owned businesses wanting to be included in Local Focus should call the Chickasaw Journal at 456-3771.