Neile's Hometown Heroes: Willie Sells is the heart of Tee's Barber Shop
There is a place in the Greenwood District that local residents know is the spot to go for a cut, shave and a few laughs. Willie Sells owns Tee's Barber Shop, a Tulsa staple that's been around for decades.
Tee's has called a few different locations on Greenwood home before finally landing here at 120 N. Greenwood Ave.
"This is the third place that I've been in my barber career and it was all on Greenwood," said Sells.
Sells says he just kept moving right along with the shop.
"Some things that I can remember, a lot of things I've forgotten and some things I want to forget," said Sells. "I've seen a lot of things by that window believe me."
He started his barber career just out of high school. He been a part of Tee's Barber Shop now for more than 30 years.
"I came here with the original owner in 85," said Sells. "I didn't intend to own it, I intended to retire."
In fact, for a while he would work a day job then work at Tee's at night while helping his wife raise their four children. Eventually, he would come back to Tee's full-time.
Over the years customers have become more like family and close friends.
People Like Jimmy DeShone: " He's been doing it ever since 1974 and that's a long time."
And Albert Sweets: "He help you any kind of way he can."
Co-worker Michael Helms describes Sells as a very humble man with a purpose.
"That's the father of the house," he said.
A man who knows that with every cut and shave there's a chance to respect the past while impacting the future.
"He looks out for the younger ones and makes sure we're doing the right thing, avoid all the potholes in the roadway. He's a good man to have in your corner," said Helms.
He's also a man who knows how to have a little fun.
"Come to Tees. We'll fix ya up."
Just about everyone will say Sells is the heart of Tee's and the reason so many people come back.
Mr. Sells started as a barber in 1963, came to The Greenwood District in 1985 and bought the shop
In 2015. So, In total, he's been a barber more than 50 years with more than 30 of those years spent at what is now Tee's Barber Shop.
At 73-years-old he's still going strong with four kids, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Tee's Barber Shop click here.