Header image: House of Neco Founder/Partner Neco Beasley; Partner Hafeezah “Fifi” Jamison, Rohli Booker, Raquel Cheatem, and Receptionist Barbara Crouch
After some time away, fourth Neco salon opened Dec. 2018
Written by William Bryant Rozier
Since its year one…2007…House of Neco Salon & Boutique has opened four locations. It’s fourth and current rests at 2810 Maplecrest Road, in the Georgetown area of the city. The first two, off Creighton St. and Calhoun St., were closed when the third one opened out Southwest by Burlington Coat Factory. The gap between salons three and four was filled with a move away and the return.
Owner/Co-founder Neco Beasley spent those gap years (around three years) in Atlanta, Georgia and brought protégé Hafeezah (Fifi) Jamison with her but retained their loyal (is an understatement) Fort Wayne clients, who flew their favorite master stylists back here to do their hair, bringing back with them new techniques discovered and networked from Atlanta. Far as output goes, what they normally did in a month, the two were doing in a week; the non-stop average was 14 clients per day.
“We started to get new clients every time I came to Fort Wayne,” Beasley said. A decision was on the table: open another salon in Atlanta or Fort Wayne. “[Right here] is what my love is, where people love me, all of my connections,” she said on the decision to open House of Neco Salon & Boutique #4 back home. “And number one person that’s been by my side is Fifi.” She said it was a no brainer to ask Jamison to be her part owner.
Fifi is now a co-owner (along with her husband, Shamane, and, of course, Beasley) of the first House of Neco ever that is franchise ready. The salon did some rebranding and Beasley put together a package for investors who want to buy into the Neco brand, focused first and foremost on customer service, not to forget distinctive hair styling and a new brand/color scheme.
Another franchise is already in the works, Jamison told me; in two years, there will be a House of Neco in Atlanta, an Indianapolis one is coming and, maybe, another spot in Fort Wayne.
Also at the salon, next to Beasley and Jamison, there’s Raquel Cheatem who specializes in natural styles and precision cutting with a razor. Rohli Booker is a make-up artist and skin care specialist; the inclusion of that kind of dual threat was something that Jamison picked up in Atlanta. “That’s really hot now,” she said. “When ladies get their hair done, they want lashes, they want eyebrows and skin treatment…a one-stop shop.” She’s also a licensed cosmetologist and a hair loss specialist, another training she learned in Atlanta, so the salon is able to service people with alopecia and cancer survivors from hair loss. “And we’re able to bill their insurance,” she said, “so it’s not an out of pocket cost to them.” The partners have designated a special room in the back, nicknamed “The Penthouse,” for Jamison’s hair loss work.
Jamison’s from East Chicago, Indiana but has lived here for 19 years, 17 years of those have been associated with House of Neco. She started as assistant then worked on up to receptionist and salon manager; along the way, she went to beauty school, became licensed then went behind the chair…at Neco’s…for seven years. “It’s a true blessing to go from pouring shampoo to partner. I’ve been able to follow vision that grew.”
Franchising? That’s happening. Next up…a school. Prophet Cedric Walker approached Beasley to bring in a salon for his Posterity Heights campus. She level-jumped his request. “Let’s go beauty school,” she recalled telling the Prophet. That’s why he called her. The school is coming probably about a year and half more now.
Beasley has been thinking of a master plan. Her next few years are mapped out. No worries. “There’s no worries because I put God, first. Now only thing I want to make sure I do is hire the right people.”