By Gwen Sisson
MABEN — It all begin as a hair salon in downtown Maben.
And a little over a year ago, the former Hair Pen evolved into Swank on Main,
providing clothing, jewelry, accessories, hair salon services and tanning.
Swank on Main owner Stephanie Contreras said she is so thankful for the store and her customers.
“I know that it would not be a success without God,’ Contreras said. “He has blessed me greatly by making it possible for me to do something that I absolutely love!”
Formerly The Hair Pen, owned by Contreras’ mother, Carolyn McMullen, the hair salon served Maben area residents for many years. Three years ago, they took their next leap of faith and added a tanning bed to provide tanning services for their customers.
Two years ago, Contreras decided to place a few pieces of jewelry in the salon to see how customers would respond.
“I never thought that it would grow past just that … a few pieces of jewelry,” Contreras said. “I had fun displaying the jewelry in creative ways. When people started showing interest in the jewelry and buying it, I ordered more. It just grew and grew.”
A few months later, Contreras and her mom made the decision to change the name of the shop to Swank On Main.
“At that point, I started adding more items such as clothing and purses, a little at a time,” Contreras said. “A few months later, I became the owner.”
The store has evolved so much over the course of three years. The slow and steady grow has been a wonderful opportunity for Contreras to expand their product line and customer base.
Contreras said for as the typical customer base, there is a wide range in the salon and in the boutique.
In the salon, stylists include Contreras, McMullen and Madison Gibson Tester. They work hard to serve all ages, young and old, male and female.
“We try to stay on top of the latest styles and trends and offer services such as color, highlights, perms, cuts, facial waxing and more,” Contreras said.
Contreras said they have the same type of customers in the boutique. She said they work hard to offer styles for all ages and sizes of women, but they also have men that come in to the boutique to shop for items for that “someone special.”
“I love every minute of my job and often find myself in the store on my days off,” Contreras said. “I love interacting with the customers and helping them to feel special and welcome when they come in the door. From giving someone a new cut or color to helping them pick out a new outfit with matching jewelry, I enjoy every part of it.”
Carolyn McMullen said the relationships are a key part of what makes Swank on Main a great place.
“We enjoy each other and those that we work with — it’s our motto,” McMullen said. “Our customers are very important to us. They become like an extended family to us.”
Kailtin Walls of Maben is a big fan of Swank on Main and one of three boutique employees. Morgan McMullen and Amy Copley also work in the boutique.
“I love that the store is run in a way that includes Christian views and the fact that everyone, including customers and employees alike, are treated like family,” Walls said. “It’s God first, family second, work third and I love that mentality!”
And Walls isn’t the only Swank on Main fan. Contreras said two major business highlights have been Christmas Open House and Black Friday 2013, where local fans made a big impact.
“Those were two times that I will never forget!” Contreras said. “We had just expanded into an additional room and people piled in by the dozens to grab Christmas gifts for their friends or family. Our Black Friday sale brought in tons of people! They were lined up down the street 30 minutes before time for us to open! We were pleasantly surprised at the huge turnout!”
Contreras and her husband, Adam, live in Maben with their children, Lexi Rae Bright (15) and Pearson Bright (13). Adam works with the Eupora Post Office and the Maben Police Department. The children attend East Webster High School and the Contreras family are members of Mathiston First Baptist Church.
“My family is very supportive and help out at Swank on Main behind the scenes whenever I need them,” Contreras said. “When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and making memories with them. We are usually out and about looking for interesting things to do around Mississippi. We love exploring the Old Cove or driving to the Delta for a day of exploring the history there.”
Swank on Main is located at 736 Second Ave. in Maben. It is open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. but hours are a little different in the summer. For more information about Swank on Main, find it on Facebook at http//www.facebook.com/SwankOnMain or call 263-4004.