Roots run deep at Deans Beauty Salon and Barber Shop. Its the type of location where “brand-new” customers have actually been going there for a lots years. Where “household” isnt just blood loved ones, however numerous generations of good friends and next-door neighbors– and their friends and next-door neighbors.
” Were devoted to the soil,” owner Kim Brown stated recently, keeping in mind how folks called or visited her home when the beauty salon was closed throughout the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some dropped off cleaning items and paper goods, stating they d gotten a couple of extras “for the shop.” Others sent out money. “They were like, Oh, this isnt for my hair. This is just for you if you need anything,” Brown stated.
Thats how things are at Deans, Portlands longest-running, continuously Black-owned business. Browns grandparents, Benjamin and Mary Rose Dean, opened the store in 1956 on Northeast Hancock Street. It was simply a couple of doors below their family house, which the couple bought for $900. Mary Rose had her stylist license from the Madam C.J. Walker School of Beauty and had actually been doing hair from the home but required more area.
The Deans pertained to Portland from Alabama in the 1940s during the early years of the Great Migration, when millions of Black southerners moved north to get away partition under Jim Crow. By the time the couple started the hair salon, their location in the Eliot neighborhood was at the heart of Portlands Black community.
In a nod to the shops significance to Portlands African American community, the state recently supported Browns nomination to consist of the beauty parlor in the National Park Services National Register of Historic Places.
” They developed the store, and the rest was history,” Brown said. “It was never something to get abundant on. It was always something that was ours, and that the household could continue.”
Browns mother, Gloria Tims, took over in 1979. The store passed to Brown when Tims retired. One day, she anticipates her children to run a company from the storefront.
Kim Brown is the 3rd generation of her household to run and own Deans Salon and Barber Shop. “Its a really individual job,” she said. “There are some families that have actually been can be found in the store as long as Ive lived.”
The area around the store has changed over the years as new advancements came in and longtime locals moved further out, but past stays present at Deans.
The shop still has its initial layout: barber store to the left, salon to the right. Portraits of Browns grandparents line the walls. Customers school pictures, household pictures and candids smile from above the stylists work stations. Newspaper clippings
emphasize athletic and business achievements across the decades. And a screen cabinet in the front room holds photos of Deans family and friends with checking out dignitaries, including portraits with 3 presidents: George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama, Joe Biden.
The salon just recently raised its prices somewhat to help absorb rising expenses from inflation. “At the end of the day, everything has went up,” Brown stated.
In February, the salon switched its out-of-date fluorescent tube lights for energy-efficient LED variations, a change that will shave an approximated $200 a year off its energy costs. Brown qualified for the complimentary upgrade through Energy Trusts no-cost lighting deal for small companies.
” My motivator is to make certain that the shop remains in its best possible condition when I turn it over to my children,” she stated. “If thats photovoltaic panels eventually, since thats going to be the wave of the future, or if its new lighting, or if its removing a wall and putting another shampoo bowl in, whatever it is, I will do it to assist in that. And if I can get some help to do it, then Im all for it.”
Deans didnt need to close during the lighting task since the contractor worked around the stylists schedules. They set up the lighting system on the barber shop side when there were consumers in the hair salon, and vice versa. That sort of flexibility may look like a little thing, but Brown said it was a considerable benefit since Deans has actually staggered appointments to keep occupancy low throughout the pandemic.
Asked if she would suggest the reward program to other little businesses, Brown didnt be reluctant. “Absolutely,” she stated.
To see how Energy Trust can assist your organization run better with energy-saving pointers and resources, check out energytrust.org/for-business.
Roots run deep at Deans Beauty Salon and Barber Shop. Browns grandparents, Benjamin and Mary Rose Dean, opened the shop in 1956 on Northeast Hancock Street.” They constructed the store, and the rest was history,” Brown stated. When Tims retired, the shop passed to Brown. Kim Brown is the third generation of her household to own and operate Deans Salon and Barber Shop.