Monroe takes over at Merle Norman

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — The Monroe name has been synonymous with Richmond County business for a long time.

On Tuesday, Kelly Monroe indicated it isn’t going away anytime soon. Monroe, 27, celebrated her ownership of Merle Norman Cosmetics and Day Spa in Rockingham with a ribbon-cutting with the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce.

Photo by Tracie Harris | Richmond County Chamber of Commerce

Photo by Tracie Harris | Richmond County Chamber of Commerce

It’s been a whirlwind tour for Monroe so far, one that has allowed her four years with Merle Norman as an employee at the Rockingham location, which has been at the Belk shopping center since 1989. Monroe left the business for more than four years at one point, but her heart never left. So she headed to California.

For two weeks, Monroe excelled in the Merle Norman boot camp, a time that focused on company products and how to a run a business. She officially took the reins of the business on Oct. 16. From Oct. 26 to Nov. 9, Monroe learned it will be largely up to her to run her independently owned and operated franchise at 1305 E. Broad Ave.

The work, and the wait, has been worth it, Monroe said.

“It’s my dream,” she said. “This is what I love.”

Merle Norman Cosmetics is a full service makeup studio, salon and gift shop. The location offers free makeovers, skin care lessons and a “try before you buy” philosophy.

The Monroe name comes from her husband’s side of the family. While Ben owns and operates Monroe’s Small Engine Repair in East Rockingham, that isn’t the first local business with the Monroe name behind it. Prior to that was Webb’s Fish Camp.

Kelly Monroe can help make someone look really good — even after a long day of fixing engines or, in County Commissioner Don Bryant’s case, landscaping the neighborhood.

“If you can improve my looks, we’ll sit down and talk about it,” quipped Bryant, who owns Bryant’s Turf and Landscape.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Kelly Monroe is presented with a Richmond County Chamber of Commerce membership plaque by  Evans Sheppard, board chairman.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Kelly Monroe is presented with a Richmond County Chamber of Commerce membership plaque by Evans Sheppard, board chairman.

Emily Tucker, chamber president, said a community thrives on small business and seeing new businesses join the chamber indicates growth in the community. Mayor Steve Morris, who owns Helm’s Jewelers in downtown Rockingham, agreed — and sympathized.

“”I know the joys and the heartaches that go along with that,” Morris said of small business ownership. “I’m sure you’ll be successful.”

Evans Sheppard, plant manager of Perdue operations on Long Drive and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said that while he works at one of the county’s largest employers, the county thrives because of businesses like Merle Norman.

Monroe, meanwhile, was focused on Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., she and Merle Norman associates Shannon Rodgers, Bo Grooms, Wanda Allen and Shannon Rodgers will host the Merle Norman Grand Opening.

 

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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