Salon owner starts new tradition in historic building
For three years, on Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day), Natallie-Rose Philips, owner of Artistry in Hair, offers free haircuts to people wishing to support the nonprofit organization Locks of Love.
“I close my salon to profitable business and we donate our time and talents, said Philips. “People who are interested in donating their hair to this worthy cause, your hair must be at least 10 inches in length. Donated hair is then turned into hairpieces, which assist financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada, under age 18, suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. The hairpieces meet a unique need for these children, because it helps them to restore their self-esteem and confidence.”
Anyone wishing to donate their hair to this organization may call Philips at 789-1231 and schedule an appointment for a basic straight-across cut.
“If a client wants to have a ‘designer cut,’ we then will need to book another appointment on another day, for that style,” she said. “If your hair is not long and you want to support this organization, you can still participate by donating packaged hair accessories (scrunchies, barrettes, hair combs, etc.) or financial support by writing a check to Locks of Love. We have a locked box that donations may be placed in anonymously.
“I had one client, in her 70s, bring me her ponytail from when she was a child. She found her locks in her hope chest and wanted to donate. Another gentleman-client grows his hair long to support this event.”
Philips, who has been styling hair for 18 years, came to Ramona about 10 years ago.
“I love the small town atmosphere of Ramona and surrounding areas,” she said. “I was born and raised in Mission Bay. Although I do miss the ocean, I just like country-style living. I enjoy the tight-family closeness of this community. There is history here and people know of each other.”
About six years ago, while Philips was working for Donna’s Hair Salon, then at 318 Sixth St., owner Donna Maxwell wanted to retire after styling hair for 40 years.
“It was my friend of 17 years and first client, Betsy Macomber, who gave me the so-called boot in the butt to purchase the salon from Donna, which I did in 2003,” said Philips. “In that process I inherited some of Donna’s clients, friends and family. In fact, Donna’s Aunt Mary Gamble used to walk over to Donna’s and have tea with her at the Sixth Street location. I eventually grew out of that location, which prompted me to look for a new spot.”
This house at 1008 D St. where Philips moved her salon has history. Built by George Telford in 1911, it’s almost 100 years old and still has the original color schemes in paint as it did then.
“As I was told, and history documents, in 1891 George Telford, moved his wife and four children from Meadville, Mo,” said Philips. “George suffered from chronic migraine headaches and his doctor thought a move to California’s desert climate would be a benefit. George’s employer in Meadville had purchased 40 acres of land in Nuevo Ramona, sight unseen, and told him, if he wanted to come to California and work the land to improve it, he could bring his family.
“George Telford, who was a carpenter and two men whom he hired to help, John Bargar and Charlie Bowman, came ahead to work the land and prepare a homesite for their families. Each established roots to Ramona and contributed to the community. George continued his trade as a carpenter and built among many other buildings, the First Congregational Church of Ramona, and contributed to the fine homes on Telford Avenue here in Ramona, and about Julian, Witch Creek and Mesa Grande.”
Philips said she used to drive by the house and, when she had the opportunity to walk in it, she knew immediately why she wanted to have her salon there.
“I wanted my clients to experience the warmth and comfort this old house provided,” she said. “A mortgage company was the previous tenant, and, when the property came up for lease, I jumped on the chance. I was the fourth person to call and it was serendipity that I was the lucky one. I have kept everything as original, with the exception of adding a few rooms in the back to accommodate a Pedi-spa (whirlpool bath for pedicures and tired feet), and privacy for massage therapy, and facial services.”
George Telford’s grandson Bruce periodically stops by to visit and reminisce by sharing his stories of the old house. As the stories go, Donna Maxwell’s sister-in-Law, Tina Smith, lived in the corner house across from the house when she was a child, and she played in the house with Telford’s granddaughter.
“Ironically, I have been doing Tina’s hair for years and she remembers playing in this house with the grandchildren of the Telford family,” said Philips. “This is what I mean about the tight-family closeness. People know people and are connected in some way, some how.
“Today, Donna’s Aunt Mary, 84, and I continue the tradition of having tea in this location. I pick her up and bring her here. It’s kind of a special family time with us at this old house. Interesting fact, Aunt Mary, as I call her, moved to Ramona when she was 16 (in 1941), still contributes to the art collection that graces our walls. Mary loves to oil paint and swaps out new pictures periodically, we would love to have people stop in and see her work.
“As history has it, people have often said to me that the sprit of George Telford still looks over this property. A friend of mine said she saw George’s silhouette seated in the Pedi-spa, and it also amazes me that for the past 10 years I have lived on Telford Lane.”
The salon is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by clients’ requests.
“I have a fabulous staff of four professions, who provide services to our clients requiring manicures, pedicures, hairstyling, cutting, color and other special hair treatments,” she said. “I am looking at hiring two additional stylists to fill the extra two stations, which makes it a total of six stations providing services for this salon. I want to provide my clients with a steady history of exceptional services in a nurturing, comforting environment.”
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