In 1989, Donnie Walker established Mane Event Hair Designs at 407 South Main Street in Petal.
Thirty-two years later – in an age when many businesses last only five years or less – Mane Event is continuing to thrive at its original location, making it one of the longest-tenured businesses in The Friendly City. The shop, which has hosted many of the same regular customers over the past three decades, offers cuts, coloring, perms and waxing.
“I wanted to be local, because I am from Petal,” Walker said. “It feels very good (to have been a mainstay in Petal this long).
“We love being here, and we love the location. We’re a small hair salon; we have three hair stylists, and the two that are here (as we speak) have been here with me 18 years. The one before that left actually moved out of state, so it’s really local, because everybody is from Petal that works here.”
Being a family-oriented business, over the years Walker has seen many wives, husbands and children come back year after year.
“A customer and I were talking not too long ago while he was getting a haircut, and he remembers when he had to sit in the booster seat to get his hair cut,” Walker said. “And now he has children that come here.
“I have people, that ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been doing their hair. And the (stylists) here, they have a lot of regulars that they have done from the beginning.”
Walker has been a member of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce for approximately 15 years. With the help of the chamber, she and her staff have regularly taken place in initiatives such as Shop Petal First, an event held annually in November that highlights Petal businesses and encourages customers to shop local with sales and other promotions.
“That lets people see what we have and what we offer,” Walker said. “(The chamber) has done things in the past, like the (American) flags they put on the poles in front of the businesses.
“All the things that they offer are strictly to increase the business for people, and to make them noticed.”
Although Walker will turn 65 this month, she plans to keep going strong at her shop and to remain a member of the chamber.
“I’ll work a little longer, and I’ll always stay a member of the chamber because I think it is beneficial,” she said. “We have the online (form of communication) where they notify us of different things going on in the city, and what we can look forward to.
“So I just think the chamber is a good thing for business, and everybody should be a member. Valerie (Wilson, executive director of the chamber), has been very good to keep people informed. She’s great.”