Spartanburg, South Carolina is home to Southside Barber Shop. While this may not seem important to most, the shop and its owner have had a life-changing impact on local resident, James Proctor. Proctor says that he has had many jobs over the years, but he didn’t feel any satisfaction from any of them until he became a barber.
Proctor had been unemployed and unable to find work when he committed armed robbery in 1998. After receiving a 15 year prison sentence for his crime, Proctor was forced to take the time to reevaluate his life and his goals. He also had to reexamine his values and learn respect and humility.
After his release from prison, Southside Barber Shop owner Daniel Jones welcomed Proctor into the shop and offered him a second chance. Jones, son of The Rev. Peter Jones, knew all about second chances having had the chance to rebuild his own life after a dishonorable discharge from the Army. He had everything going for him, a college degree and military service, but that was all lost when he was caught doing drugs in the Army. Jones’ father stood by his son and gave him the courage and hope to work toward a brighter future.
The shop was opened in 1967 and relocated once during the almost 50 years it has been in service. Though his father was an ordained pastor, Jones said that he used the barber chair as his lectern. The Reverend made it a point to employ former criminals and his son is now carrying on that legacy. He wants to give hope to those with criminal records and those who just want their futures to be better.
Proctor began cutting hair at the barber shop and says it was the best job he’d had. His hard work gave him the opportunity to buy his own home and become self-sufficient.