Mom set up her beauty shop in 1974. The aroma of perm solution infused with coffee and laughter permeated my childhood. Mom’s beauty shop, located in walkout basement of our home, was the setting for my formidable mentoring.
Her clients, who she calls “my ladies”, arrive each Thursday and Friday for a cut, color, perm, or weekly rinse. Most of her clients (which also include a few men and boys) are neighbors and people within their small community.
As long as I can remember, Mom has been turning out the locals in style. As a child, I would sneak into the beauty shop with an excuse to ask for a Popsicle or a question. I loved the warm camaraderie shared between the women in the shop and I was eager to be apart of it.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but Mom’s clients, a kaleidoscope of older women in the community, served as mentors to my young heart. Their education and background varied; a retired secretary for Senator Poff, nurses, a vice-president for a local bank, many stay-at-home-moms, a caterer and political activist, a pianist, and small business owners.
These women demonstrated true friendship (not false internet friendship) by helping one another in times of need. These women showed me how to use what God has placed in our hands, by baking a meal or a cake and sharing it with someone recovering from surgery or illness. Whether they dressed for work in a suit, medical scrubs, or jeans, these women taught me the value of working hard, taking initiative, and showing up for my job prepared. Some of my first jobs were dog sitting and mowing the lawns of their homes.
Forty plus years later, Mom continues to beautify the community residents. Now clients also include her five grandchildren, who stop by for a haircut and junk food. They too are benefactors of Mom’s beauty shop mentoring.
© 2018 April Dawn White