Granddaughter prepares to take over historic beauty shop - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Granddaughter prepares to take over historic beauty shop

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For close to a half century, Freda's Beauty Rama has been a historical fixture in the Cedar Rapids neighborhood of Oak Hill Jackson.

The beauty shop is owned and operated by Freda Long, whom, at 83-years of age, is still doing hair. But, soon, the business will be passed down to her 21-year-old granddaughter, Octavia Cox.

Cox says much of her childhood was spent there in the shop preparing her for this.

"I was here almost everyday. Always on the weekends," Cox said. "Just sitting here watching her do hair most of the time and I always said if I couldn't do anything else I would do hair."

Cox now works at the shop, right alongside her grandmother.

"She loves what she does and it motivated me and I learned a lot from her just by watching," she said.

In order to prepare to take over her grandmother's business, Cox took part in a 10-week entrepreneurial class hosted through Jane Boyd Community House and GoDaddy. The class came suggested to her by Freda and it aims to give young entrepreneurs from the Wellington Heights neighborhood-area training, tools, and networking to help their small business ideas succeed.

"This is the part that I know how to do, the hair part but when I went to the program it was more about the financial part like credit and and how to advertise and marketing and stuff. Stuff I didn't really know how to do. I've learned a lot. It seems every time I go to class I've learned something different," Cox said.

She hopes to apply the skills she learned in the class as she prepares to take on that hire role.

"People come here because they're comfortable and we've been here for like ever. That's one thing I want to keep when I become manager around here, just keep it family. Keep it comfortable and keep everybody, treat everybody like they're family," she said.

Cox said, of her many ideas to improve the business, a remodel is on the top of the list. She also hopes to add more services to make the beauty shop a one stop shop for all beauty needs.

The next recruitment for participants begins next week. For more information contact Dorice Ramsey at or 816/516-1027 or Kristin Roberts at or 319/360-4563.

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