Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The Selma Times-Journal
Scissors, hairspray, curlers and combs have been her constant companions for the last 20 years.
Children love her brightly decorated play area with the abundance of toys and adults enjoy the cool cleanliness of her tidy shop, while she trims their hair and listens to their problems as well as gossip.
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Her name is Tracy Thames and she is the sole owner of the local salon Cuts and Curls, a salon that has been serving the Selma community for some time and is now celebrating its 20 year anniversary.
“I love what I do,” said Thames, who has lived in Selma her entire life and is a resident of Valley Grande. “My parents suggested when I first started out that I should do this. I always ran with girls who had lots and lots of hair and I would fix theirs. So I went to beauty school and loved it.”
Thames graduated from Selma High School and then attended Wallace Community College, where she obtained her Cosmotology degree in 1984.
She was then required to work under another beautician for at least one year and at the end of that time, she rented her own place.
“I had been buying equipment for my own place for years and storing it in my parents’ garage,” Thames said. “So when I was ready to rent I already had all of the general supplies on hand.”
Thames said it was scary starting out on her own but also exciting.
“I opened on a Wednesday and I had maybe 15 or 20 customers,” Thames said. “I kept thinking, oh, my God, I can’t do this. It was scary but I love it
From the outside of Thames store, a person would not be able to tell that such comforts and organization lie just behind the glass door. A well arranged sitting area greets customers as they first enter the shop called Cuts and Curls, located on Selma Avenue right across from the Public Library. A cool air-conditioned reprieve from the muggy summer day, the small space also has a room located off to the left of it that is designated as the Children’s play area. Thames decorated the room herself in bright colors. A giant painting of a giraffe takes up one wall, a passel of toys call home a wicker basket in the corner and a tiny inviting couch is located in the center of the room.
“This room keeps the kids at ease,” Thames said. “They always want to go in and play first when they come to get their hair done.”
The rest of the shop is filled with various hair items and clever decorations. Two bulletin boards located at different ends of the shop provide photographs of the children of many of Thames’ regular customers. Thames decorated the shop hoping to give it the feel of a comfortable living room.
Thames’ shop was not always located in the space that it now occupies but used to be located on Hinton Alley in Selma for thirteen years. Cuts and Curls has now been at its present location for two years and Thames said it is the best location yet for her shop.
“My business has increased sense I’ve been located here,” Thames said. “This building is just wonderful.”
Since moving to the building, Thames has been keeping all of her customers on her computer systems. She tries to remember every customer’s birthday and sends birthday cards to their houses. Many of her customers are regulars and have been having their hair cut by her for the whole 20 years she has been in business. Thames said she probably has 75 or 80 customers who have been coming to her place for years. Thames offers haircuts and waxes only at her shop.
Sis Yarbrough of Selma is a regular customer of Thames’ and has been getting her hair done at Cuts and Curls for six years.
“I love Tracy,” said Yarbrough, who stopped by the shop to make an appointment. “Tracy is a wonderful beautician as well as a friend. We have share time when I come in. It’s all kind of like counseling.”
Though Thames works alone, she has a small posse made up of her family that helps with the running of the business.
“If it wasn’t for my husband, George, I don’t know how I would function sometimes,” Thames said. “He comes by a lot and helps with the cleaning and errand running. He also handles a lot of the sales part of the job when I’m too busy to. It’s just kind of a family business.”
Thames’ three teenage children stop by the shop to help with the cleaning on Saturdays.
Cuts and Curls is open Tuesday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. until and half a day on Saturdays. To make an appointment at the shop call Tracy Thames at 872-7165.