For Jake Rosenberg, stylist and owner of the newly opened Solitude Barbershop in downtown Spokane, the compliment he loves hearing most is “the vibes here are immaculate.”
His goal was to re-envision the traditional barbershop and create a space that people hadn’t seen before – a separation from everything else. Hence, the name Solitude.
Located at 9 South Howard Street in the Symons Block building, Rosenberg describes the atmosphere as modern vintage.
Inside you’ll find leather accents, subway-tiled floors, a beautiful green accent wall, LED lights that illuminate the ceiling purple, Japanese neon signs, and an abundance of plant life.
But, of course, the intangibles are everything.
“I think one of the big pulls here is genuinely everybody is welcome – any race, religion or ethnicity. Whatever your hair type, it’s taken care of here,” said Rosenberg.
“It ties back to the name,” he explained. “This is Solitude. This is a separation. You can come and get a haircut, come and be at peace, and know you’re going to get quality service.”
He said that for some people, especially men, it’s the first time they experience physical touch in our non-emotional culture.
For others, it’s the first time they have somebody sincerely ask how their day’s going, where they have a dedicated time to talk about their lives and what they’re going through.
After a year-long journey filled with dramatic highs and lows (a story that’s one for the barber’s chair!), Rosenberg opened the doors to Solitude Barbershop in January 2022. Just a few months in, and he already has a client list of 300 strong.
“We really blew up. To see the exponential growth with this place has been spectacular,” Rosenberg said.
He’s been greatly encouraged by all of the community support, especially from his neighbors downtown.
“I am overjoyed to be a part of this block,” Rosenberg shared. “I love our location. I love Howard Street. We all own businesses on the block, but none of us are strangers.”
In addition to participating in fun events downtown, such as First Friday, Rosenberg’s plan is to add two barbers, as well as a tattoo artist station in the backroom. He also has a photo studio inside.
“We like to showcase our work and our clients and really make them the star of what happens here, because without them, this is just a place where hair’s on the floor,” Rosenberg said.
Born and raised in Spokane, becoming a stylist wasn’t on Rosenberg’s radar in high school. After graduation, he enrolled in the fire science program at Spokane Community College, excited to become a fireman.
One day, while sitting in his car in the school’s parking lot, Rosenberg, who had also considered becoming a pastor at one point, sent up a little prayer to the “Big Guy.”
“I was like, ‘God, I hope that whatever I do, I’m serving you to the best of my ability and that what I do will bring forth abundance of life.’”
Immediately, the idea of becoming a hair stylist popped into his head – washing people’s hair and serving them in an intentional way.
Five minutes later, he was an official dropout of the fire program, and quickly enrolled in Glen Dow Academy, Spokane’s local beauty school.
Within his first month, he became the school’s ASB vice president, acting as an ambassador, setting up fashion shows, and aiming for the top.
Upon graduating, he worked at various barbershops over the next four years, amassing a loyal group of clients, many of whom followed him to Solitude.
Whether it’s a client who goes above and beyond to write a review, or a client who comes in having a really good day and drops some knowledge on him, those are the moments that keep Rosenberg inspired on a daily basis.
“There are these human connections that I get to make, up to 12 a day, that not a lot of people get. I get to be a people person,” Rosenberg shared.
For someone who used to get kicked out of class in high school for talking too much, he feels blessed to have found his calling.
“I was told I’d never be able to get a job if I didn’t shut my trap. Well, I’ve made a job where I don’t have to shut my trap,” Rosenberg joked.
Solitude Barbershop is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday.