A mother’s legacy, a daughter’s loyalty

Daughter's style takes Cathy's Beauty Salon to new places

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Maddie Friedmann

Crystal Ferry starts buzzing Sydney Killburns hair at Cathy's Beauty Salon.

A pop-filled Pandora playlist played in the background behind the chatter at Cathy’s Beauty Salon located on State Street. Heard beneath the music, a blow dryer symphony was being delicately conducted by two hairdressers working on their clients side by side. Crystal Ferry, the manager of the salon, was in the process of styling 15-year-old Morgan Eakin’s hair with bright pink highlights.

“I’ve wanted pink in my hair since school started,” said Eakin.

“I know, your mom told me you wanted pink and I told her it would look great,”  said Ferry.

“I think that’s the only reason she let me do it,” replied Eakin.

Cathy’s Beauty Salon has been up and running in Meadville for a year and a half. From the moment the client sits in the chair, they are in for a unique hairstyle with a touch of Cathy’s legacy, lived through Ferry and passed on through her employees. The reputation of Cathy´s Beauty Salon lives in the quality of service. Clients are loyal to the salon because of the well trained employees.

“I wanted to try out a new salon for myself. The first time I came here they were so kind and did exactly what I wanted both times, so this is our new home,” said Julie Walters, a customer of Cathy’s.

 

Crystal Ferry strategically cuts lines on Sydney Killburn's newly shaved head.
Crystal Ferry strategically cuts lines on Sydney Killburn’s newly shaved head.

The stylists pump the lever of the salon chair with a rhythm, rising the client to the desired height and the magic begins there. Ferry, a spunky stylist filled with dedication for her profession, has more than qualified for her position as a manager.

According to Ferry, she placed in Nationals for hair styling in 11th grade. The following year, she qualified for Nationals and was picked to represent the United States for a world competition when she was only 21 years old. The competition took place in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Ferry then took her competing above and beyond.

¨I tried out for the men’s hairdressing team and I was on the Olympic men’s hairdressing team for six years in a row, three different years competing,¨ said Ferry.

As a child, Ferry spent most of her time under her mother’s wing, in the original Cathy’s Beauty Salon. Observing and absorbing her mother’s technique young Ferry was well on her way to becoming a hairdresser. The first hairstyle she ever learned was a stacked bob at the age of twelve. Ferry began to practice styling more frequently under the supervision of her mother and consequently, all Ferry’s friends had the same hairstyle: a stacked bob.

Noticing Ferry’s growing dedication to the work, her mother began to teach her more styles and techniques. Reminiscing on her childhood, the manager remembers a time where her mother would allow her to practice styling on her head.

“I’m one of four and one time my older brother made me cry because I accidentally took a chunk out of my mom’s hair. He ripped me a new one,”  said Ferry.

Ferry began studying to be a hairdresser in high school. Her early career consisted of hours of traveling to different states and countries in order to practice and compete, all while she maintaining her job and schooling.

 

Sydney Killburn and Crystal Ferry wash their client's hair in Cathy's Beauty Salon on a Friday afternoon, March 6th.
Maddie Friedmann
Sydney Killburn and Crystal Ferry wash their client’s hair in Cathy’s Beauty Salon on a Friday afternoon, March 6th.

Ferry’s investment in hair styling emanates through her salon, from her employees down to her children, who spend time in the shop as she once did as a child in her mother’s salon. Cathy’s legacy is a strong one and Ferry’s management of her own salon was a long time coming.

“Education and training [employees] is definitely the key to success because when they get out of school they’re just taught the basics and you can’t survive just off the basics,” said Ferry.

A steady flow of clientele run through the salon on a daily basis. Ferry explains that, although as a stylist you do repeated work, every half hour you get someone new in the chair, meaning a new hair style, a new texture and a new personality.

In the back of the salon amidst the buzz, a young girl with a bright smile sits in a chair, as she plays with a white hat.

“I have two little girls, one is Cora. She’s five and then I have another little girl, Kate, and she is three. So my husband, of course, is definitely hoping they will take after me in the tradition of hairdressing,” said Ferry. “He knows I love it and I think hairdressing is a wonderful career to be in.”