Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Lori and Tonya are two busy ladies. They face the challenges of work, raising children, dealing with family and all the other little things life has a tendency to throw at us. They both have biological children, as well as adopted children, but both will tell you the “adopted” part is just circumstance. In their hearts, there is no label for each child and no separation of emotion. As two Caucasian mamas mothering three African American daughters, they don’t see skin color but they do acknowledge one significant challenge, HAIR!
Lori, whose daughter, Malaysia came to her when she was 5 years old, said she always struggled with what do with her daughter’s hair because she just didn’t understand the biology of it. Over the years she met well-intentioned African American friends and even perfect strangers who offered to help but the end result was always tight braids, brittle hair that was impossible to comb through and chemical solutions that were often painful to the child’s scalp with modest results that never lasted very long, until she met Miss Jean.
When Lori brought Malaysia to the Favor salon, Jean didn’t just do the child’s hair and send them on their way, she spent time explaining the scientific difference, gave Lori a bit of a history lesson and then shared products and knowledge she could put to use at home. What used to be a daily crying struggle to fix her daughter’s hair has now become a joy. At the age of 9, Malaysia was beginning to experience taunts from other children about her hair but now, she’s proud to show it off and even run her fingers through it.
Lori, who wrote a letter to Jean on Christmas Eve expressing her gratitude said, “All I’ve ever wanted is for Malaysia to be a capable teen and young woman, able to take care of her own grooming successfully. Now I feel like she can.”
Tonya had a similar struggle, multiplied by two. Daughters Anna and Eva, 2 and 3 respectively, are fun-loving, good-natured sisters who would rather play than worry about their hair. Like Lori, Tonya also had African American women offer to help in the past but their advice was often conflicting and she knew she didn’t want to use a chemical straightener. Her only options seemed to be braids or poofs of hair on top of their heads gathered in rubber bands. Recently, the family was prepared to leave the house on an outing when Tonya’s husband asked, “Shouldn’t you fix the girls’ hair?” She had. Later, at a church function, she was given Miss Jean’s name and made an appointment immediately.
Like Malaysia, the first visit took several hours as Miss Jean applied a moisturizing product and worked it through each of the girls’ hair, taking time to explain what she was doing and more importantly, why. Tonya said she always knew Anna and Eva’s hair could be better, she just didn’t know how. Now the girls, who have wavy long hair, love to shake it and watch the way it bounces in a mirror. Tonya said it makes her grateful every time she sees the girls look at themselves and smile. About Miss Jean and colleague, LaVonnda McCabe, Tonya says, “They are both so sincere. You can tell their heart’s desire is to help and educate.”
The philosophy of Jean’s Green founder, Jean Williams, has always been about doing the right thing. Doing right by the earth by eliminating harmful lye from her products, doing right by her neighbors and ultimately, doing right by God. She doesn’t believe in coincidence, she believes in divine intervention and every person who passes through her door was meant to be there. She’s grateful for every customer, of course, but when she sees she has the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life, then she feels truly blessed, and she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.