Barber shop's new owners will still stress family atmosphere

Barber shop's new owners will still stress family atmosphere

CHAMPAIGN – William Jones has been coming to the venerable Rose & Taylor Barber Shop to get his hair cut since he was a small child.

Now, he and his wife, Carla, are the new owners of the shop on Champaign's North First Street – though one of the founders, Joe Taylor, is still cutting hair there and is now semiretired.

The Joneses bought Rose & Taylor earlier this month and are doing some remodeling throughout the building that also houses The Razzberry salon and another former salon the Joneses plan to reopen under a new name.

They are hiring licensed hair stylists for the new salon. The operator of The Razzberry, Raenise Hall, and the barbers at Rose & Taylor are all remaining, William Jones said.

The remodeling is largely to freshen up and modernize the barbershop and the two salons and bring in new equipment, Jones said. He and his wife don't plan to tamper with the friendly environment that has characterized Rose & Taylor for more than three decades and drawn customers from all walks of life.

People come as much for the social aspect – talking with their longtime barbers and each other – as they do for the shop services, Jones said.

"This is a family atmosphere. It's a peaceful atmosphere," Jones said. "The barbers and beauticians have longevity. That's the thing that stands out about this barber shop and beautician shop, their longevity and their quality."

The Joneses are taking on the operation of Rose & Taylor along with their many other jobs.

William Jones is also a third-shift machine operator at Kraft Foods and works part time on the air and in programming at several local radio stations. His wife is a longtime cosmetologist who has also taught cosmetology, he said. She also teaches private piano and organ lessons at home and works for the University of Illinois as a child care resource specialist.

William Jones said he and his wife have plans for Rose & Taylor that include developing a Web site on which customers can book appointments online and offering home service to the elderly who can't come into the shop. They also want to offer haircuts to people at local homeless shelters, he said.

Tino Hines, a barber at Rose & Taylor for about three years, said the shop has a great social aspect.

"This is a historic, family-oriented barbershop. Our basis is on pleasing whole families, where you can be a one-stop shop, where you can bring your wife in, your kids in," he said.

Dorothy Harris, another barber at Rose & Taylor, said some women prefer getting their hair cut at the barber shop because it costs less than at beauty salons. She prefers cutting men's hair, she said, because men don't change their minds as much about their hairstyles.

Rose & Taylor was founded by Joe Taylor and Lum Rose in the 1970s when the two men bought an existing barber shop at 204 N. First St. They built their new building at 124 N. First St. and moved to their new building in 2000, Taylor said.

Now at age 63, Taylor said he and Rose could have stayed in their original location. But they figured back then that a new building would allow someone younger to take over the business when they were ready to retire.

Rose has already retired, and Taylor says he wants to slow down.

"It was time for somebody young to take it over, so they could move ahead with it," Taylor said.

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