Master cutter Jake Phelps saw a unique opportunity to provide something different, so he approached artist and creative director Jerrod Smith of The Society, a community art space founded in 2011, to see how they could combine talents.
Smith had spent two years developing the brand for The Society but was intrigued by the idea and thought about whether the concept could work. A visit to Smith’s grandfather produced the solution, inspiring him to call the space Weldon Jack after his grandfather, Jack Weldon Smith, combined with the phrase, “Well done, Jack.”
It’s more than a barber shop. Weldon Jack will provide great cuts using Phelps’ rich technique of scissor-over-comb cuts with three chairs managed by Phelps. Meanwhile, Smith will curate and manage the retail side of the business consisting of 75 percent men’s items and 25 percent women’s.
Smith has designated retail under five categories: art, motorcycle, grooming products, home goods and apparel.
The property itself was a special find for Smith, who came across the corner gas station at 3621 N. Western Ave., which was not only fit location-wise but with the shop’s theme.
“We signed the lease quickly and have been putting the space together ever since,” Smith said.
When Smith founded The Society at 1609 Blackwelder Ave. #4, he enabled artists to come out of their homes and garages and private studios to a gathering space for ideas and support. The space also become a functional place to hang art and find supplies.
Smith grew up in the panhandle and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine art in 2007 from the University of Central Oklahoma and actively built his portfolio and began making a career of it. In 2010, on a whim, Smith flew to New York City to audition for Bravo TV’s Work of Art, The Next Great Artist, produced by Sara Jessica Parker and hosted by world-famous art auctioneer Simon de Pury.
whim resulted in Smith landing on the show and becoming a semi-finalist
with the opportunity to show his work at the Brooklyn Museum to Simon
and other prominent figures.
by creativity and business sense, Phelps and Smith are looking forward
to being an example for others with Weldon Jack. The co-owners are
excited about showcasing the idea of thinking differently and doing
something innovative that inspires others. Smith considers Oklahoma City
the ideal place to make that happen.
“That’s where we’re
at as a city, anyway,” he said. “People who want to do something to
leave a mark are either bootstrapping it or finding funding, and our
community supports it. Oklahoma City is a cool city to be doing it —
because of the cost of living and this natural energy that’s happened
Find Weldon Jack on social media, @weldonjack on Instagram and @weldonjackok on Twitter, and learn more at thesocietyokc.com.