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.
That 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.
Guided 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 here.”
Find Weldon Jack on social media, @weldonjack on Instagram and @weldonjackok on Twitter, and learn more at thesocietyokc.com.