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Flewellen’s reopens

Flewellen’s Grand Reopening
Credit: Ed Gray

When Mary Flewellen founded Flewellen’s salon in the Spring of 1970 she had high hopes, but shortly after the launch her family suffered a devastating tragedy.

Widowed with five children, she was forced to make some tough decisions which included what to do with her newly-established business.

But Mrs. Flewellen discovered she was not alone. According to her daughter, Karon, the entire community rallied and supported the family during what her mom felt was her darkest hour.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

“The strength she gained from the community renewed her commitment to further invest in the community, thus adapting the mantra, ‘building community builds business,’” said Karon, who is fondly known as “Kaye.”

And Kaye has continued the legacy, which was celebrated by U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice John- son who is also a long-time friend, “client” and mentor.

According to Ms. Johnson, she is proud of the Flewellen family and the work they have done in the community over the years.

Flewellen’s Hair Salon was established on the corner of Lancaster and Overton and she used that salon to impact many people in the community by providing jobs, training, hairstyles, fashion show fundraisers, hope and inspiration.

Mary was a woman of unwavering faith, but there was no doubt that she was a businesswoman as well. In 1977, she launched Velvet Touch haircare products which she maintained for several years before selling the company.

That same strength Mary exhibited a half century ago is evident in Kaye today as most recently she also faced a challenge when earlier this year Flewellen’s Salon suffered significant damage and was shut down following a storm that ravaged the area; destroying many structures and causing several deaths.

Ed Gray and Kaye Flewellen

After extensive repairs and remodeling, on Sunday, the grand reopening took place with elected officials, family, friends and clients crowded inside, mirroring the support that her mom received. Kaye was praised for her efforts and support in the community.

Dallas City Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold represents the community where Flewellen’s Salon is located and she talked about Kaye’s efforts as a Blue Ribbon Task Force member.

“She is loving and kind,” said Councilwoman Arnold. “I am proud to have a strong Black woman to be part of my team and I applaud her for investing in our community.”

The council member also went on to talk about the Flewellen influence on other businesses across the city, and students at area schools.

From partnering with South Oak Cliff High School to bring Stella Fashion Shows to working with Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson to implement a drug intervention/prevention program, the Flewellen name was royalty around Dallas.

Mary Flewellen

“This family has made several deposits into students,”- continued Ms. King Arnold.

Since its inception, Flewellen’s has been committed to sponsoring and supporting events for the advancement of the community. The salon has significantly invested in the community by providing jobs and training for many in the beauty industry

Flewellen’s community outreach didn’t stop there.

In 2010, HIV exploded in the community. The zip code of 75216 had the 2nd highest percent of new cases in the country.

Flewellen’s Salon offered support by partnering with the Dallas Urban League, City of Dallas, UT Southwestern and Centers for Disease Control to fight against the disease; bringing awareness and helping dispel the stigma associated with the disease.

As a genuine Christian full of God’s grace and love, her generosity not only extended in the city and community but also spanned the globe to help underprivileged children in South Africa. She was a primary contributor for an orphanage there which was established and named in her honor.

Flewellen’s salon branched out to a West Dallas location in 1986, where Mrs. Flewellen continued to grow her brand and expanded her community outreach.

In 1993, the matriarch retired, passing the torch to her children. but her flagship location in Oak Cliff has withstood the test of time, serving as a beacon of hope and light. The Flewellens and the salon have received a number of awards and recognitions. Essence Magazine, in 1993, recognized Flewellen’s Hair Salon as one of the top 100 salons in the country.

Although Mary Flewellen died in June 2019, the salon continues to honor her legacy by its steadfast commitment to building and sup- porting the community.

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Mary Flewellen founded Flewellen’s Beauty Salon in the Spring of 1970. Karon “Kaye” Flewellen has continued her mom’s legacy. From partnering with South Oak Cliff High School to bringing...