All About ‘U' Hair Care

Owner Willie Wims Jr. provides a homey atmosphere for stylists, barbers and customers

Willie Wims Jr., right, owner of All About “U” Hair Care, finishes up with Cameron Gibbs at the salon, located at 1146 NE 16th Ave. Left is stylist Yeena Williams.

ERICA BROUGH/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.

All About “U” Hair Care is a place where men, women and children of all ethnicities can get their hair cut and styled and their spirits ministered to by people who want to help them look and feel their best.

Formerly Professional Hair Design, All About “U” is located at 1146 NE 16th Ave. The owner of the business is Willie R. Wims Jr., who was given ownership of the business when his older sister, Velinda Wims-Davis, decided to take on a lighter workload.

“We changed the name about two years ago because we wanted to give the business a new face,” Wims said. “We wanted to emphasize that this shop serves all men and women, so we figured changing the name would let people know ‘It is all about you.' We want people to know we serve everybody, and it's all about the customer.”

Wims-Davis said the name change also coincided with the ownership change.

Wims-Davis, who started Professional Hair Design in December 1999, said she decided to let Wims become the owner of the business because, after being a professional stylist since 1995, she wanted more time to simply enjoy her life.

“Running a hair salon comes with a lot of responsibility and my brother is energetic, innovative and just ready to go forward, so I said take it over and he agreed to do so,” said Wims-Davis.

The atmosphere at the salon is authentic, homely and loving. Last Friday, a woman came in selling slices of cake and another passed out fliers advertising an event her church was sponsoring. Both ladies stayed a while to talk and just hang out at the business.

Wims and Wims-Davis work in the business with two other barbers and two other stylists. The barbers are Wims' son, Nathaniel Alston, and Bernice Henry, former owner of Russell's Barber Shop on NE 8th Avenue. The stylists are Felicia Lowman and Yeena Williams.

Alston was adopted at the age of four and reunited with Wims via Facebook in March 2011. He moved to Gainesville two months later. He graduated in February from The Salon Professional Academy in Gainesville, and has been working with his father ever since. He said he is using social media to build his clientele and enjoys working at All About “U.”

“I like the homely environment here and just being able to relate to everyone who works here and who comes in here,” said Alston, who graduated from high school in 2006 in Lake County. “We can talk about any topic, and it never turns into a heated discussion. I just know there is a lot of love in the air here, and it is a good place to work.”

Henry began her barbering career in 1960 at Russell's, which was owned by her late husband, Russell Henry, who died in 1992. When Russell's burned down in January 2008, Wims invited Henry to work at what was then Professional Hair Design.

Henry said about 75 percent of her customers followed her and more are coming as they find out where she is located. She also said she enjoys working at All About “U” and is looking forward to retiring in a couple of years.

“The atmosphere is really good here, and we are always talking about the Lord,” said Henry, who has been the barber for four generations for some families. “The atmosphere here keeps me balanced.”

Lowman, who has been working at All About “U” since March, specializes in natural hair care and braids. She received her training in cosmetology at Bly's School of Cosmetology in Gainesville, graduating in 2011. She said she enjoys working at All About “U” because the staff and customers are friendly and the atmosphere there is always positive.

Williams, who earned her license in cosmetology in 2000 from the Gainesville School of Hairstyling and began working at the business, said she loves working at All About “U.”

“I like that we all work good together, and this is a good team to work with,” Williams said. “We make a good team and we work well together with satisfying the customers.”

Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The phone number is 352-375-2263.

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