Sybil Beasley is closing her doors after 50 years. For the past 20 of those years she ran a successful hair salon on Cheery Street in downtown Helena. In an interview with the Helena World, she noted that she bought the building in 1993.
“I have been in the business since 1963.”
She started at the Pink Cloud in West Helena in October 1963. There were, “many long hours when I started, I came in when the lady was running a $5 permanent wave special and I booked those dudes and that is what built my business. I worked from can till can't then.”
Before moving to her building on Cherry Street, she had two other shops.
“One was in the U-Save Shopping Center and then I had one where Tony's BBQ is… then John and I met and then we moved to Texas for two years, so I took that two- year break from here, but I worked and I had my own shop down there for two years.” She continued, “So we came back here and met John Robbins while we were having dinner at Jay's and they kept on and said you need to put in another shop, and he told me about this building. We came down and looked at it and the rest is history.”
When asked what it was about hair dressing that she enjoyed, she replied, “The relationships – the people. They are my family and I love hair. I started doing my own when I was 11 putting perms in the ladies in the community and the country and it just seemed like something that I was going to do. I was destined. I love doing hair and I am going to miss it.”
She remembered one of the more memorable hair emergencies throughout her half-century of working in a salon.
She recalled, “A lady came in rather late. She was coloring her own hair and she had turned it green and she came in tears and she wanted to know if there was something that I could do. The first thing I did was pray, because this woman needed help. I had never seen her. And (laughing) it worked! I really did not know what I was going to do at that time. That has been several years ago, but she looked really good when she left!” Laughing with her husband, she said, “I will never forget that one and neither will my husband.”
During the interview, one of her long-time friends and customers brought her a plate of Christmas candy. “This is what it is all about- the relationships.”