BY JACLYN ROSE –
Nancy Williams and her husband Martin moved to Mena from Bakersfield, California in 1999. Already a licensed nail technician (nail tech), Williams’ family moved to Arkansas to slow their lives down and have the ability to get ahead. “We worked crazy, long hours in California and we were never able to save money or take a vacation. My husband’s mom was from this area and she kept talking about how laid back it was in Polk County. I woke up one morning and realized we were never going to get anywhere and I was ready to move, so we did, 30 days later. My husband’s mom lured us here and I’m not sorry she did,” explained Nancy. The couple moved to Arkansas with their three children, Ashleigh, Brittany, and Christian, and today, have added two grandchildren, Briahna and Blake. “I had a very wise client once tell me that God makes our precious children into teenagers so we can part with them and then grandchildren are our repayment for not killing our children,” said Nancy with a laugh.
Not terribly long after Nancy moved to Arkansas she began working locally as a nail tech, a career she began in 1991. And before long, she had built a solid clientele. After working in many different salons throughout the city of Mena, she recently opened her own shop, Serendipity Salon, at 1504 Highway 71 South, Unit A (in the Papa’s Mexican Café parking lot. “I never intended to be a shop owner, but here we are,” said Nancy with a smile. “I have the most awesome clients who have followed me through every shop change, and there have been a gazillion. I truly have the best clients in town, most have been with me ten years or better.” “Nancy is a Rembrandt when it comes to nail,” added one of her longtime customers. She offers manicures, acrylic nails, shellac, pedicures, and lots of nail art.
Working with Nancy at Serendipity Salon is her daughter, Ashleigh Williams. A stylist who specializes in women’s cuts and colors. Ashleigh graduated from Mena High School in 2007 and knew that a regular college education was not for her. Instead, she wanted to enter a career field that would allow her creativity and artistic nature to shine. She graduated from Mena Cosmetology School and has been working for the past seven years in Mena, while spending time in continuing education classes. “I love my clients. My core group is very loyal and has been with me from the very beginning. I have also been lucky enough to have some incredible and valuable mentors like Jessica Robbins and most recently, Jeri Dee Hale,” explained Ashleigh.
Additionally, Serendipity Salon has Jeri Dee Hale working as a full-time stylist. Jeri Dee graduated from the Paul Mitchell Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota and has worked as a stylist for 12 years and started serving clients in Mena in 2004. Jeri Dee has owned her own salons in both Dallas, Texas and Cove, Arkansas and spent some time working in Northwest Arkansas at an Aveda Salon, time that was very valuable to her career. “Working at Aveda brought back my love for hair. They have a fabulous education system and I fell in love with the creative process all over again,” explained Jeri Dee. Jeri Dee has completed many continuing education classes on color and corrective color and prides herself on being very versatile, from subtle looks to extreme and trendy looks and she specializes in men and women’s cuts and colors, as well as perms and waxing. “After deciding to close business in Cove, I wanted to be in a smaller shop and I have known Nancy and her reputation for being awesome for a long time and wanted to align myself with someone with that reputation. It was a God thing, and our plans laid out perfectly,” explained Jeri Dee. “Jeri Dee brings with her a great clientele, great people. We are so excited to have her with us, she is so incredibly talented, it was a lucky day when she chose us,” added Nancy. Melissa Rapp also joins the girls on Friday’s and offers customers pedicures.
Serendipity, which means ‘a happy accident’, is an accurate description of the ladies working together in the salon. “I have been blessed with a job where I have met so many of the wonderful people in this town and get to consider them my friends. I am very blessed,” said Nancy. “So much of going to the salon is therapy for us and our clients. It’s one-on-one time for at least an hour where we get to visit about life. I love the relationships I get to make with my clients, they are like an extension of my family,” added Jeri Dee.
Serendipity Salon is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 8 pm. Appointments can be made by calling 479.394.1244.