By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Take Five 4 Human Grooming has stood the test of time as a Campus Corner establishment. In February, they will celebrate 20 years of business.
Feb. 1 will mark the day of the salon’s anniversary and the local business is celebrating by offering deals on services and products as well as free T-shirts until the big day.
Owner of Take Five, Manilla Whitehorse, said she has seen many changes over the years and watched many businesses come and go from the area.
Whitehorse joked that she’s like the mayor of Campus Corner because she has had her business there for so long and can always answer people’s questions about businesses that have come and gone on the historic corner.
“Campus feels like home to me, it’s like my second home,” Whitehorse said.
She has enjoyed being a part of Campus Corner, being a part of the University of Oklahoma and being a part of Norman over the years she said. Her partner of four years, Matt Langford, also loves the area and has seen many good changes over the years.
“We completely changed the face, or the inside, of the salon,” Langford said. “We’re 90 percent complete with renovations.”
Langford also has been at the salon for quite some time — 11 years.
Whitehorse established Take Five, originally called, Take Five Hair Company, in 1993 with a partner.
“The whole campus corner was dilapidated,” she said. “All the buildings were small business owners, like now, but now most of them have evolved and renovated and are up to date.”
Three years later, the salon was expanded to the upstairs area with an additional five chairs and added services including massage and waxing. She later bought her partner out and changed the name to Take Five 4 Human Grooming.
Whitehorse said the Campus Corner Merchants Association was established some years later and merchants located in the area came together to vote on changes for the area. The streets were changed to brick, they voted on what kind of lighting to put up and voted on other decisions pertaining to the corner.
“Half of those people (or businesses) are not down here now,” she said.
Whitehorse said they stuck around even with ongoing projects with gas lines, water lines and electrical lines that happened over a three-year span. At the time, the merchants had a choice to have the three projects done all at once or have them individually done, once a year for three years. Merchants chose the latter.
“Every three years, the roads were torn up,” she said. “And the salon stayed open during that whole time, we never closed one day.”
In December 2003, Whitehorse expanded business to a second location, also located on Buchanan Ave. She decided to expand after the salon got so busy that clients and hair stylists were being turned away.
The boutique, “Cut,” also offers the same services as Take Five including hair, nails, massage and waxing.
Whitehorse said at both salons, they focus on education and also makes sure all employees are full-time. This helps everyone stay focused on their clients and give 100 percent to the business she said.
The salon’s clientele varies, including college students, professors and business professionals.
In the future, she said she plans to continue to grow in business, grow in initiative and grow internally.
For more information call Take Five at 405-329-5809.
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