Signature striped poles and sharpened razors tend to come to mind when envisioning the typical barbershop. With a passion for art, a discerning eye and a unique style of cutting hair, Owensboro native Rob Jenkins and his crew have created a one-of-a-kind, appointment-only experience at 2.0 Barber Studio.
Jenkins transitioned from art to education major during his time at Western Kentucky University. And, although he maintained a love of history and children, he said, “I didn’t think teaching was for me.”
After passing up barbering once, and several years of waiting tables, Jenkins finally embraced barbering and the creative outlet that it afforded him.
“Cutting hair was best for me because it gave me an outlet to use my art,” Jenkins said. “It was a gift, I guess you could say.”
After gaining experience and a devoted clientele at Klutch Barbers, Jenkins decided to branch out on his own. Jenkins said he had difficulty finding a shop that would allow him to schedule appointments, so he opted to open his own shop.
Although initially, Jenkins hoped to find a smaller shop where he could customize the setting for individual customers including style of music and television channel preference, a larger property became available to him. So, for a year, he worked on his own, before opening the shop to the public, rehabbing the shop along the way.
“I would cut hair during the day and do construction at night,” Jenkins said. “I was just very fortunate to run into some great people. I couldn’t have done it without my clients and help from [others].”
Jenkins said Castlen Steel owner and client Senator Matt Castlen cut, welded and mounted the sign for his shop, while Holly Stewart and Aaron Kizer assisted with interior design and arranged someone for flooring.
With barbershops seemingly “around every corner,” Jenkins said it is not just the look of the shop that sets them apart from the others, but that the majority of local barbershops are still offering walk-in service.
Jenkins said he prefers maintaining an appointment-only shop so that clients are not kept waiting and their time can be taken into consideration.
“Some people come to the shop because of appointments because it makes their life run a little bit easier,” Jenkins said. “Some guys book on their lunch break,” adding that that allows them to get everything done during their workday and go home.
Jenkins and the three other barbers that occupy the shop use the Booksy app to schedule appointments. He said this allows people to book appointments anytime, even those who work swing shift. And, with each barber having their own schedule and phone number entered into the app, it also enables the client to build a better relationship with their barber.
“My shop isn’t for everybody,” Jenkins said. “Instead of 15-20 minute haircuts, we’re doing 45-minute to hour-long haircuts. Everybody wants a little something extra — their beard trimmed or they want a design. If you put a little more love and care into something than it should reflect in the work.”
Staying true to the adage that time is money, while Jenkins said other shops may charge $12-$15, the barbers at 2.0 Barber Studio charge $20 for a haircut. And Jenkins, who is no longer accepting new clients, charges $25 for the entire hour, which he said could include a beard or eyebrow trim.
Jenkins said he also prides his shop on the diverse talents and positive characteristics of the other barbers he shares it with. He currently cuts with Kordell Stovall, who comes from a family of barbers and seems to have it in his blood. Andrew Dorris, who Jenkins said has a willingness to take risks and is eager to learn new techniques. And, Samantha “Sam” Greer, who he said has a different eye for things and always has the guys’ backs.
Jenkins said they have a fifth barber in school now and, although he his happy with his current crew, he is excited about expanding further this year.
“I bought a shop larger than I needed so I could grow into it,” Jenkins said. “I wanted it not to be so crowded and have that laid back relaxing feel. This summer I’m adding on to the back, so there will be eight total [barbers].”
2.0 Barber Studio is located at 3333 Frederica street, Suite 11. Appointments can be made through the Booksy app.