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Page 8 - Best of the Best • The Brownsville States-Graphic • Thursday, July 29, 2010

Siler’s is a ‘cut above’ in Haywood County It was on a whim that Brownsville resident Bess Siler decided to attend cosmetology school at age 26. A whim that turned into nearly 30 years of service and customer appreciation as Siler’s Hair Salon was voted Best Beautician in the States-Graphic Reader’s Choice Awards. “I loved it from the very first day,” Siler said referring to attending McCollum & Ross, the premiere beauty school in Jackson. “All my instructors were wonderful, but I suppose I have to give Mr. Ross more credit, because he was determined I was going to do well.” She continued that her whole hair experience, in general, has really been nothing less than a blessing. “It’s really what I love,” she said, “and it’s been good to me. If you’re good to it, it’ll be good to you.” So good that she was able to raise four sons on her self-made salary. But Bess has also given back, selling custom wigs and hair pieces in the community to cancer patients.

The people that really need the hair, it just breaks my heart,” she said with a quiet demeanor. “It makes me nervous at first, but then when you see what the finished product does for them, it’s really great.” Bess said it’s the people, mostly her repeat customers, that keeps her in her salon day-in and day-out. “You develop a close bond with those long-time customers, sharing their life stories, but nothing too heavy.” She averages anywhere from 15 to 30 customers a day, trimming, coloring, perming, waxing, if it involves beauty, she can handle it. Bess is also known for being one of the first salon’s to have lay down tanning beds in West Tennessee. “I got them back in 1982, I read a lot about them and I wasn’t scared to take a chance,” she said. “Being in it as long as I have, you’ve got to know when to change with the times.” A good indication of ‘changing with the times is when the uni-sex movement hit back in the early ‘80s and Siler began

seeing more men come through her chair. “I’ve been cutting Wiley Eubanks’s hair probably the longest out of anyone, 27 years I think,” said Bess. “He comes in religiously every two weeks. Even when I moved to Jackson, he would still come see me up there. “They stopped going to just the barber shops as much and started coming here,” she said. “ Advising the future generation of cosmetologists, she informed, “Go to school, learn what you can, be dedicated, and keep learning when you get out.” She also advised the secret to longevity in the business, “Communication is key. You’ve got to listen to your customers and try to figure out what they’re really wanting when it comes to a style.’ Through her three decades of perfecting the coiffure she said she has no plans of hanging up her scissors anytime soon, “I don’t know when I’ll give it up. I don’t want to quit, I love what I do.”

Bess Siler

Best Politician, Jason Singleton

Thank you for voting us Best of the Best!

I would like to take this time to tell the citizens of Brownsville/Haywood County thank you for your encouragement, kindness and votes for this award of Best Politician. I couldn’t have done this without your help and motivation. I feel that my role as a law enforcement officer has been a great success following my father’s foot steps, retired Chief Dan Singleton, to become “first a listener, second a follower, and then a leader,” as he told me his Path to Leadership. I believe it takes understanding to know what the community needs instead of what they desire. After understanding, communicate with your sources of educators to provide the steps it takes to overcome the situation(s). Success is what we need in our community, not broken promises. We as humans have to build ourselves up to be leaders when our current leader seems to fall down or slip away from the goals we call success. Leadership and Crisis, I feel they play stongly in our society. As a politician or labor worker we have to face the problems (listen), work together (follower), and success wil be granted at the end of day (leadership). Thanks for your support.

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Page 8 - Best of the Best • The Brownsville States-Graphic • Thursday, July 29, 2010 Bess Siler