Making old koken, Theo A. Kochs & Emil J. Paidar barber chairs new again.

My Antique barber chair dream

d7k9659_lowstarts 40 years ago in a one chair barber shop at the end of a blacktop road in a place my family referred to as “Home”  St. Simons Isl. Georgia, 5 miles across the intercoastal causeway to the mainland city of  Brunswick Georgia, 80 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, and 50 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida  ,yes it was in the country.  I can remember being about 5 years old and  my grandfather Richard walking 6 or 7 of us boys along the road in the mid summers heat to Charles barber shop.  The walk was only about 1 mile but it felt like a thousand.  I can still remember grandads words as if they where yesterday.  He looked down at us like stair steps ages 5-15 and said “don’t nun of yall go in dear and act a fool or embarrass me, ya hear”!  Busta you gonna go first then Greg, Batman, Kalvin, Kromy(Kwame), and Julius. Don’t make me take you out back with my belt, understand? As we all gave a resounding “yes sir”.  We all walked into the tiny little building and sat along the wall to scared to speak or move.

For me the moment was all new I was having my first hair cut and everything was moving in slow motion.  There where Jet and Ebony magazines on all the seats and pictures of famous black people like Dr. King  and Cassius Clay on the walls, the 8 track was playing Curtis Mayfield and the smell of Bay Rum was in the air.  Charles worked from the Biggest antique barber chair that I had ever scene, Porcelain, Nickle and red leather is all that I can remember as I climbed up into what if memory serves me right was a horse shoe Koken.  The Cadillac of Antique Barber chairs. In a few simple movements my braids where in a pile on the floor and I could feel the sting of alcohol on my face and neck.  Clubman Talc would fall from the sky like snow and then it was all over or should I say it had just began.  I was officially infatuated with anything barber and in love with barber chairs.

As I traveled through life for my weekly cut and in later years a weekly shave the vision of that chair from my child hood replays in my mind.  Custom Barber Chair Restoration was rooted in that rich history and watered by the innovations of many designers that came before and I was instantly  hooked a antique barber chair JUNKIE, consumed all day and all night by emails and phone calls from other OCD suffering individuals from all over the world.

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  1. mrsidz April 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Please send a picture of you chair to

  2. JimB May 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Good day,

    You have/had some amazing chairs.

    For 25 years I have had a Theo Kochs Round Seat Double Ring in my family room.
    Got it at the local town dump (scrap metal pile).
    Had to pay dump-keeper $10 to help load it in my truck.
    It’s in good original condition, needs cleaning and polishing now though.
    Always gets comments from guests.

    • Custom Barber Chairs ATL February 5, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Sweet send us some pics!

  3. Gretchen S. October 27, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Love the vintage Barber Chairs. I currently own 8 1950’s & 60’s Koken President and Premier Barber chairs at my shop in Brownsburg, IN. Right now, we are restoring a similar one to the blue leather chair in the photo above. Great Blog!

    • Custom Barber Chairs ATL February 5, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Nice please send pics when you are done!

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