Next year will mark 50 years that Racheal Everett has been a hairstylist, and about half those years have been spent at Racheal’s Style Shop in Mineola.
She’s seen hairstyles come and she’s seen them go – from the bob and bouffant to the pixie and page boy. Nowadays, she’ll occasionally style something on the edgy side, like a spike look, or apply a color from the rainbow instead of the standard shades of brown, black, gray, auburn, white or blonde.
Her shop on East Broad Street still makes use of vintage bonnet-type hairdryers. It’s a place of “no fussing and no cussing.” And the walls and doors are taped and pinned with photos, newspaper clippings, obituary programs, anniversary notices and other reminders of people who have touched her life. “These are either men and women I know or kinfolk of people I know,” she explained
For its her customers, she says, that she finds most rewarding about running her style shop.
“It’s the people. These people have seen me through some really hard times,” says Everett, who characterized her customers as patient and gracious – traits that stick during good times and bad.
Although Everett can customize her work to whatever style a customer seeks, she sees herself as something of a traditionalist.
“I’m old school,” she says. “I do regular cuts and a lot of them –
a lot of regular colors. And for a lot of (customers) I do specialty colors. I do problem hair. I do things that a lot of the youngsters don’t have the patience for any more. Finding a way for hair to look thicker when it’s thin, finding a way for gray hair to keep the color on it. … There are so many things we need for our age group, say from 40 up that a person who’s 20 doesn’t necessarily know how to address.”
Sometimes customers rely on her experience and skill to address unique situations.
“She also has to figure out what to do with a person’s hair when they’ve had chemo,” says Barbara Morgan, a cancer survivor. “It changes it totally. That’s something I leave in her hands. I don’t have a clue of what to do with it. She works with me and we get it to where it’s as good as we can.”
She called Everett’s skill and willingness to work with her “a blessing.”
Racheal’s Style Shop has a client base of roughly 300, according to Everett. She knows that because she used to send out a Christmas card to every one of her customers. She sees about 45 regular customers every week, and some of those come twice a week. She cuts men’s hair as well, and sometimes men use her shop for a place to play cards or plan for their next meeting. “You’d be surprised with the things that are planned in here,” she joked.
The age of her current clientele ranges from babies to age 96. She pointed to a photo on the wall of a deceased man. “This man here, I was doing his hair until he was 100.”
On one door is a montage of clippings and photos dedicated to veterans.
“I’m pretty patriotic,” she states. “We forget, we might be speaking Japanese or Chinese or something if it wasn’t for our vets. I’m for our vets having everything they deserve and more – until there’s not one on the street anymore.”
One of the photos on that door is that of a young, shirtless man flexing his muscles.
She smiles and identifies the man as her late husband, Charles. The photo dates back to his time in the service. She and Charles and their four children moved to Mineola in 1992, coming over from Wills Point, and before that Dallas. The problem with Wills Point, however, is that it did not have a library, and her children had to go to Canton to use the public library.
“We started searching; we found Mineola, and loved it,” she recalls, and having a library here cinched the deal.
Everett has no plans to quit styling hair anytime soon. If she ever lost the lease to her shop, she said, she’d set up a booth somewhere in Mineola and just keep cutting hair. She may not have a choice but to stay here in the hairstyling business.
Says Morgan, “I won’t let her leave.”