Nancy's Family Hair Care
After 50 years of being in business, Nancy French, owner of Nancy’s Family Hair Care in Webster still loves hair styling and all the flair, camaraderie, and joy that goes along with a great sense of perfecting her client’s locks, curls, and wispy “do’s.”
I first came to know Nancy when I drove my Aunt Marie Nawrocki to her weekly hair appointment at Nancy’s salon. Nancy is a very passionate personality who developed that sense of gutsiness and pride within her at the very young age of 16 due to family circumstances. Sometimes, our backgrounds bring out a formidable drive in us and Nancy definitely found that drive and kept it going as she rapidly climbed the ladder of success.
In 1962, she knew she wanted to become a hair artist. She aspired to have the freedom to invent, develop, and deliver the best and most cutting-edge hair styles one could imagine. Nancy opted to attend Elizabeth Ollis Beauty Academy and after the customary year of schooling at the Worcester-based school, met and began working for Mrs. Stella Tetreault here in Webster. After a year with Stella, an illness forced the lady to leave her occupation and she gifted Nancy with her business.
Nancy knew little of running a business but relied heavily on her husband, Bob French, who was her best friend, strongest supporter, and devoted believer in her quest for success. She added two stylists to her new business but she soon outgrew that salon. Shortly thereafter her present location at 3 Lake Street, Webster, would be realized. The building was, at that time, most likely on a short list to be bulldozed into oblivion. Stepping in to revitalize the property was Nancy’s father, Joseph Katrenak, and her husband, Bob.
The two men rebuilt the property from the ground up making it one of the nicer properties on Lake Street and a fitting across-the-street neighbor to the Corbin Library. Business increased and by 1975, Nancy eventually had 12 additional stylist/employees. Adding herself into the number, 13 did become her real Lucky Number, and business boomed. Many of the ladies in town made it their weekly stop on Fridays & Saturdays for their standing appointments. Nancy loved to experiment with new styles, colors, and products, once even pinking out her sister Sally’s hair when she was younger. She must’ve been onto something as the younger adults of today seem to enjoy pink, blue, lavender, yellow, and green in their hairstyles. Nancy is also proud to point out that one of her original customers, Doris Mrazik, still visits her for a styling (and her design is quite attractive).
Nancy states that “Happiness is coming to work, seeing people, transforming them, and making them feel great. It really makes me feel good to see them leave here happy. My shop will, hopefully, be here for a long time to come as many people know us, some are new to us, but all are welcome.”
Nancy’s family has also been a part of the hair styling business with a sister, Sally, running her own shop as Sally’s Hair Express in Dudley; a sister, Shirley, who has retired; Nancy’s daughter, Kim; and her granddaughter, Ashley, who is the first lady barber in the family. Nancy also has a son, Rob, who is a shoe fashion buyer. Additionally, Nancy and husband Bob recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Combining her 50 years in business with her 50 years of marriage, and her 50th class reunion, “it’s 50 three times over” says Nancy.
New products? No problem, as Nancy became involved with every aspect of a full-service salon: facials, pedicures, manicures, wigs, colors, waxing, and perming. Men are often customers too. She gave many new graduates their start in the area as well. They then went on to open their own salons. Currently, she runs her business with one additional stylist, Nanette Tetreault, who has been at Family Hair Care since 2005. Nanette is the former owner of Ciao Bella Beauty Salon. Clientele includes all ages, male & female, and new customers (including walk-ins) are always welcome. Nancy’s Family Hair Care, 3 Lake Street, Webster; Salon hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday 9am-3pm. Phone: (508) 943-3331 or 943-9110.