The first authentic barbershop experience comes to the Upper Nisqually Valley to offer old-school craftsmanship in a fresh new way.
More than a shave and a haircut, Jacob’s Barbershop offers a new experience on the Road to Paradise. Meet Jacob Walker, owner, and operator of Jacob’s Barbershop in Ashford, Washington.
Mount Rainier is known for being a vacation destination. People come from around the world to explore the trails, scenic drives, and spend time in nature. What made you want to open your barbershop in the shadow of Mount Rainier?
I wanted to live in Ashford full time. My dad was living out here already and I wanted to get out of the “city”. Ashford was a great place to come in order to “get out of dodge”. It was really my Dad’s idea. My sister was a barber (out of state) My dad always thought it would be a cool fit for a small town like Ashford to have a place you could get a trim. Even as a barber you can “make more money” in town (aka Tacoma) but I’ve always thought it would be better to starve and be happier than driving into town just to make money.
What is a typical day in the life of a barber like?
The words I would describe are simple and peaceful. The work is not rocket science, and yet most people can appreciate a good clean even cut. Some days are busy; you cut all day and before you know it you’re turning off the open sign. Other days it’s slow and you wonder why you do what you do.
What do you love most about serving both locals and visitors on vacation?
I have to say locals are my favorite. I consider myself a traditional barber or certainly try to incorporate an old school style to what I do. I like the old Andy Griffith show feel to a town and if I can be a little part in making the community tighter, closer, happier, or even just a throwback vibe to the “good old days” I like that vibe.
I also do get a kick out of talking with out of towners, people who stop in once for a cut and I’ll never see them again. The stories you hear are interesting. Everyone can watch things about people, places, and experience’s online or TV. Not being a world traveler myself I like talking with people first hand, hearing stories, asking questions, having a connection, not just watching things on a screen. I’ve cut local “legends” like Lou Whittaker who has traveled the world. Out of towners who are lawyers, police officers from other states, military guys who fought on the ground in Iraq to third generation submariners who spent 20 years working on carriers or submarines. People from the Netherlands, England, Germany, and the list go on.
What do you wish more people knew about what you do?
Humm… not sure how to answer that one. I guess maybe when people know a little bit more about the “tradition” of barbering it makes me happy. It’s cool when you give an old timer a neck shave and he says he hasn’t had one of those in 40 years. I hear that pretty often.
Seems like everyone is in such a hurry these days, always staring at a screen. Do you think it’s important to slow down and unplug?
100% agree with this. I have a screen in my shop but it displays classic art I could never afford to hang on the wall. (https://www.meural.com/) I choose to live, work, and give back to the community I’m in. We can’t escape the time we live in, everyone has cell phones, most people are on some sort of social media, and most people are watching some sort of television. But those times you can pause the whirlwind around you and relax just a bit are important. If I can be one of those times someone “unplugs” for a little bit to get a haircut or a shave, I see that as a good thing.
One client of mine comes in with his son to get a haircut. (son is maybe 8) His son is higher energy interrupting his dad to ask questions. Eventually, his dad tells him to be quiet and read a magazine, “it’s like spa time for men” he describes his time in the barber chair to his son. “like mom has spa time, this is daddy’s spa time”
Do you have a favorite area in the Nisqually Valley that you think is a “must-see?”
High Rock Lookout. It’s like the perfect little mini adventure. You travel on some old logging road that could be semi-smooth to totally rutted out. The small hike is steep so you feel the burn in your legs but not too long that most people can’t do it. On a clear day, you see three mountains, and you get to visit an old fire lookout. Sometimes I’ll head out early, hike up to High Rock for the sunrise and still be back to open my shop at 10:00 am.
Next time you’re on the Road to Paradise stop in and say hello to Jacob. Maybe get a trim or a shave and look (and feel) extra sharp on the mountain.
Website | www.jacobsbarbershop.com
Address | 34007 SR 706 E Ashford, WA 98304
Phone | (360) 567-9100
Hours | TUESDAY – SATURDAY 10:00 AM -7:00 PM and WEDNESDAY 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM