Annexed: The Case of theBigBarber405
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
It's an unassuming walk down NW 28th Street in Oklahoma City. Located in the Paseo District, Annex Barbershop is situated right in the heart of the bohemian arts and entertainment center. Annex is located in what clearly use to be an office building or even residential home. It sits back off the street and almost sneaks up on you. It's a homey looking building and as I traipsed up the brick stairs I wasn't disappointed in what goes on inside.
Sharing space with several other businesses Annex utilizes space downstairs for their Tattoo business before moving up to the 2nd floor. Upstairs they have several rooms where their barbers cut out of. The businesses currently employs 4 full time Barbers. You can book appointments easily online from your phone by clicking this link:
For my appointment I booked in with the legendary Jake Morisse, AKA theBigBarber405.
Firstly, Jake Morisse is BIG. I'm a bit over 6' 1'' and Jake towers over me. However, what struck me instantly about Jake was, even at his size, he was incredibly approachable. His demeanor had soft authority about it that made me feel comfortable and like I was entering the realm of a master. A quiet focus. Almost analyzing my hair before I sat down. Inquisitive. This guy knows what he's doing.
You should know this about theBigBarber405. Jake Morisse is a bit of a unicorn. Becoming a Barber requires 1500 hours of training in a licensed Barber College or accredited school. Good Barbers can be hard to come by. Good Barbers. Even then you must be able to pass your board exam to officially be licensed.
Jake Morisse went a different route. He recognized that practice was what was going to make him the Barber HE wanted to be. When he considered how he could get the most practice he immediately knew an apprenticeship would make him the Barber he wanted to be. Unlike the 1500 hours required for licensing through a traditional school, Oklahoma required 3000 hours of apprenticeship to be able to qualify to take the board exam. 3000! I'm no math whiz but that's twice as much as the 1500 hours required by most schools. Jake was committed.
Studying under the tutelage of Josh the Barber at BlueJay's Barber Shop in Enid, Jake fine tuned his chops. Day in, and Day out, Jake slung blade under the watchful eye of a Master Barber. He learned. Learned by DOING. Learned by WORKING. Jake thinks he's perhaps the last Barber to be licensed in this way and mentioned being the only one who sat for his board exam and passed. He mentions those Barbers went to traditional schools. He also talked about how hard he had to work outside of his apprenticeship. Paying the bills by working at a local bar and pulling super long days was simply what he had to do. He's a work horse.
It's important to note that Jake isn't boastful or arrogant in any way. Far to the contrary. Any time spent in his chair and you'll be captivated by his humility and his genuine care for the work. In that regard Jake is not braggadocios, he's committed. So many times during my haircut Jake talked about "craft". The craft of his profession is what's most important. Being true to the traditional and timeless methods of craftsmanship Barbering has always stood for. Jake gets most upset about counterfeit. He's poured his life's work into being a skilled artisan and finds its disingenuous when others front a skill set that was not earned or is not demonstrated. He's confident customers ultimately will be able to see and feel the difference. That leads Jake to always be looking to get better. He is uncompromisingly committed to the integrity of Barbering. That, my friends, is BIG time.
The haircut I received was top notch. Jake took his time. He was methodical in his work. It didn't really catch my attention until I viewed the video above. The guy is LASER FOCUSED. So much detail and subtleness in what he's doing. The proof is in the result. My fade was super tight, crazy well blended, and my hair had that marked feathered feel when you just know you got a great cut. Jake styled it well using product he also sells in his store. He also negotiated a very prominent cow lick on the crown of my head and made it almost non distinguishable. Incredible cut a VALUE for just $26. Jake could easily charge more but I believe he's found his sweet spot at this rate. Personally, I would have gladly paid more. Really should have done before and after but couldn't be happier with the results.
Annex market's themselves as "OKC's Premier Barbering & Tattoo" destination. My journey is far from over in exploring the best in Barbering but, for now, without question, Annex lived up to their billing. Where Jake gives way to theBigBarber is the very spot gents will be made dapper for decades to come. In that regard the Case of the theBigBarber405 is still unfinished. Jake still has a lot to do, a lot to accomplish, and a lot of blade to sling. Perhaps, theBigBarber405 simply has a lot of Big moments still yet to provide. Ladies & Gentlemen, his chair is waiting.
a humble ask
I'm just a guy looking to explore the best in Barbering, Coffee, Cocktails, Beer, Menswear, and Mentorship starting right here in OKC. I'm so blessed to work at EVERYMAN with 4 world class barbers. However, we're always looking to get better, build relationships, and support the craft of Barbering. You can follow me HERE. Got somebody I should check out. Let me know! Please take the time to give Jake a Follow HERE. If you don't have a solid Barbering relationship would you consider giving Jake a shot? If you would, book today. Right HERE.
Consider giving the entire Annex Team a Follow:
Drake Babb (Barber) - @drakethebarberok
Brandon Cutter (Tattoo) - @brandoncutter
Scott Huttenmaier (Tattoo) - @shuttenmaier