Maddy Ottinger recently joined her grandfather Rex Ottinger in cutting hair at Rex’s Barber Shop in Roanoke.
Maddy graduated from Huntington North High School, where she also studied in a vocation program to receive her cosmetology license.
After graduation, she immediately began working for Rex at the barber shop.
“I worked here in the mornings. He was basically mentoring me through it,” Maddy said.
She worked there for about a year before moving to San Diego, CA. She recently returned to her hometown of Ranoke to start her family and “put down some roots.” Maddy says she’s excited to be part of the downtown Roanoke businesses.
Though Maddy is new to the shop, Rex began the business in Roanoke in 1963. He went to various locations in Roanoke before buying his current location and renovating it in 1976.
His years in business have included some familiar faces, including cutting hair for Gov. Eric Holcomb, Vice President Mike Pence, Congressman Jim Banks and Sen. Dan Coats.
Rex says that “old fashion barber shops are kind of scarce,” so people like to visit his shop.
“I have no phone, no computer, no TV, so we’re not interrupted,” Rex said.
Altogether, Rex has been cutting hair for 62 years. With that experience, he is able to do just about anything.
“We can do all kinds of haircuts,” Rex said. “We can do everything from regular haircuts to flat tops to buzz cuts to long hair to precision scissor cuts.”
Maddy is also able to add her expertise to the business.
“I did have several years experience in a salon as well in Fort Wayne, so I feel really lucky to have the mixture of being able to experience some good old fashion barbering skills that he’s taught me and guided me through and also being in a walk-in salon where I just had to do whatever came my way because
I worked for the company,” Maddy said. “So pretty much everything in between, one of us has done it.”
Rex says that now, with Maddy, he is able to “offer a better service” because they work different schedules to give customers better availability.
They are also both in the business to help clients feel confident with how they look.
“The perfect haircut—to us—is no good at all if it’s not what the customer wants. So we try hard to find out what the customer wants and then we’ll do our best,” Rex said.
Both Rex and Maddy are by appointment only unless otherwise posted on their window at the shop.
To make an appointment with Rex, individuals are asked to stop in during his hours of Wednesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon.
For an appointment with Maddy, individuals may call or text 388-5042. She also posts open appointments on her Facebook page Maddy at Rex’s Barber Shop for anyone interested. Her hours for haircuts are Thursday and Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The barber shop is located at 137 N. Main St., Roanoke.