Brad Jones is hoping to offer something a cut above. The 30-year-old Oneonta resident launched Good Fellas Barbershop at 105 Oneida St., Suite A, in early August.
Jones, originally of Philadelphia, said he moved to upstate New York in 2007 before finding his way to the military and barbering, though the latter was always an area of interest.
“I finished high school here and joined the Army, then came back and went to barber school,” he said. “I was in the reserves and would go up on the weekends and do two weeks in the summer, then I started up my own shop out in Edmeston, but there just wasn’t the influx of people I wanted to see, so I had a guy reach out to me — Randy Miritello — and he brought me on at the Crystal Palace (barbershop) and I was there for six years. Then, I saw an opportunity to start my own place, so I took it.
“But I grew up in my mom’s salon down in Philadelphia,” Jones continued. “She had a big salon, (with) 20 chairs; she was happening. I was 5, and I remember, she said, ‘Can you throw some dye in my hair?’ and I did, so I guess I started when I was 5 and I guess it’s in my blood.”
Jones said the camaraderie keeps him cutting.
“It’s the friendship part of it,” he said. “It’s more than a haircut to me; you build a bond with someone over talking and cutting their hair and they trust me with their self-confidence. I’ve met a lot of good people and cool people through (barbering), and I like to think I give a good haircut, too.”
That mentality, Jones said, has yielded a diverse and loyal clientele, including men, women and children. Most Good Fellas customers, he said, are local to the Oneonta area.
“I’m not picky; if you have hair, I’ll cut it,” he said. “I do it all — straight razor shaves; skin fades; long hair, short hair; beards. I call it a checkup from the neck up … and I’ll do anybody. Anybody is welcome to sit in my chair.
“I built up a good book over the years down there (at Crystal Palace), so all my clients followed me over here,” Jones continued. “And I’m seeing some new traffic, too, which is cool and encouraging. As of right now, I’m booked out until Dec. 2, so the whole month of November, I’m cooked.”
Jones said at the time of writing that he was “going off appointments and not doing any walk-ins,” because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Jones said he hopes to offer reciprocal support to his adopted community.
“I make my living off people, so I essentially feel obligated — and I want — to give back, even if it’s just free haircuts,” he said, noting that, on Veterans Day, he offered free cuts to vets. “And I’m teaming up with … the Benson Agency for Christmas and doing a toy drive. This is going to be the drop-spot for the toys, (being distributed through) the Family Services Agency. I never was able to do that … but now that I’m on my own, I can be creative on how I want to give back to the community.”
Jones said, in time, he hopes to expand.
“I’m content with how it’s going now, but progression is key,” he said. “I’ve been looking for another barber since I opened, and even before that, but I haven’t found the right fit. I’m kind of picky in that aspect, because you have to learn how to adjust to every customer that sits in your chair and your conversation has to be valid.”
Good Fellas is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and closed weekends. For more information, find “Good Fella’s” on Facebook or call 607-221-8592.