Local cosmetologist and business owner Kathy George began a month-long celebration last week, recognizing the 40th anniversary of her local salon, The Head Shoppe Plus, by using a series of Dec. 8 drawings to give away more than 40 door prizes.
“Beginning Wednesday, we’re going start registration for 40 door prizes ranging from small to large,” she said last week just before opening the registration. “People can register as often as they like but there’ll only be one prize per person. You don’t have to be a customer to register and you don’t have to be present to win.”
“I wanted to do this as a fun way of giving back, to say thank you to my customers and to this community.”
The celebration will culminate on Dec. 8 with a day-long event. Refreshments will be served throughout the day and, at the close of business, the winning names of 40 gifts will be drawn.
The Head Shoppe opened on Nov. 7, 1977 on Highway 52 By-Pass in Pilot Mountain. George had grown up in the Asbury community and graduated from North Stokes High School.
In 1970, she moved to Greensboro to stay with family members. While there, she attended beauty school and became a licensed cosmetologist. She went on to teach at the school and eventually managed a salon in downtown Greensboro.
After returning to Pilot Mountain to visit friends, in 1976 she made the decision to move back to the town. With the encouragement of friends, she decided to open her own salon here.
“From the beginning it was always good,” she noted, “It still is. I could still work six days a week if I wanted to. Forty years is a long time to be in business in one place but Pilot Mountain has been so good to me.”
Over the years, the business has seen small changes but has continued on. Some additional services have been added and, in 1988, the business was moved a short distance to its current location at 701 West Main Street. In 1996, Tammy Gilley joined the business and continues to work there today.
“So many people have come through those doors, touched my life and made it better,” George said. “I’ve met some very interesting people and, over the years, I’ve made and I’ve lost some very good friends.”
George takes a reflective pause before talking about the secret to her long success.
“It’s always been to remember this is a service business,” she said. “It’s never been about me but it’s about the person in the chair. You make them feel better and they’ll brighten your day. I’m doing what I love and most end up being my friends.”
According to George, an injury recently reminded her of how much she still enjoys her work.
“About two years ago, I injured my ankle badly. I soon realized I wasn’t ready to retire and I came back to work in a wheel chair. It gave me a great appreciation for being able to work and for having people who wanted me here.”
The injury did cause George to cut her work schedule back to its current three days each week. But it also reminded her of what she has.
“I’ve been here for 40 years,” she smiled. “It’s been a good run and it’s not over.”