CHILLICOTHE — When Jemar Harris opened Undisputed “Knock’n Out The Competition” Barbershop he wanted to create a unique ministry that allowed him to give back to the community.
That was in 2017 and many would say that Harris has accomplished his mission. Now, the faith-based barber has a new vision and believes God gave him the opportunity to see it through. Soon, he plans to take the business on the road by converting a bus into a mobile barbershop.
“It’ll have the Undisputed touch,” Harris said. “We’re going to be simplistic about it and welcoming. This isn’t something that I’ve done — we know that God is going to bless this entire thing and only he can get the glory.”
For at least the past six years, Harris has aspired to open a barbershop on wheels but he never acted on it. He first learned about mobile styling in the South and wanted to bring it up here.
Operating a second barbershop out of a bus allows Harris to present Undisputed as a business and as a ministry to other parts of the county. It’ll also expand the customer base beyond personal clients to individuals with special needs and those living in nursing homes and halfway houses.
For children with autism or either sensory sensitivities, having their hair cut can be a stressful and even painful experience. As a result, some parents prefer to have it done at home. And for older adults with mobility issues, it can be hard to make it into the shop.
That’s why Harris wants to meet people where they’re at and he’s excited for the chance to step into the streets and give back in a new way.
“Going to the barbershop is an experience,” he said. “I want to bring that experience to them: to teach them properly, to build relationships.”
After a bit of work, Harris envisions that when customers step onto the bus they’ll see two barber chairs and a bathroom with a sink and hear soft music playing in the background. It’ll be minimalistic to give God all the glory.
Harris hopes taking Undisputed to the road will allow him to continue to his original vision of giving back to the community.
He opened Undisputed — which was named for God’s undisputed hand in life — after ministering through Zion Baptist Church’s barbershop Anointed Cuts. Prior to that, he had been working to get back into cutting hair after losing himself to an addiction to drugs, money and women but refound faith in God allowed him to change. Since then his goal has been to help children and those living with substance use disorder.
But it won’t be Harris cutting hair on the road. Instead, his son, J’Quan Harris, a recent graduate of Ohio State College of Barber Styling, will be running the mobile shop. Depending on appointments, other barbers may also be onboard.
They’re hoping the mobile barbershop will be up and running by September.
“We’re not here to judge. This is something God called us to do,” Harris said. “Just call us and we’ll be of service.”
Undisputed is located at 131 W. Main St. in Chillicothe. For more information call 740-703-4413.
In other business news
Gustavo’s International Cuisine has placed signage at 85 N. Paint St. Green Tree formerly occupied the space and although the new restaurant hasn’t announced an opening date, they have released their breakfast menu. Follow their Facebook page to stay up to date.
Making A Difference (M.A.D.) Sustainable Living is now open inside Objective Reality Games in the Zane Plaza shopping center. The store sells eco-friendly items and strives to raise awareness on environmental issues and reduce the impact on the Earth.
Golden Corral, located at 1660 N. Bridge St., has reopened under new ownership and new management. The restaurant previously closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, which moved into the former Bangkok Palace at 870 N. Bridge St. is now open. To view their menu, visit https://garciasmexicangrill.com/. No word yet on when Rocas Mexican Grill will open in the former Max and Erma’s site.
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