NORTON, VA – January 25, 2023 – Helping others to feel good about themselves is something Gary Williams and his wife, Rebecca, hoped they could do as they opened B’s Wigs, Extensions and Beauty Supply, LLC in Norton, Va., which caters not only to those who are looking for a change in hairstyle, but also to those who have suffered hair loss as the result of a medical condition, aging or cancer treatments.
B’s Wigs, Extensions and Beauty Supply, LLC was a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant.
“B’s Wigs, Extensions and Beauty Supply, LLC offers a unique service, especially in the way it seeks to cater to the needs of those who need its services as a result of medical conditions or cancer treatments,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The business currently has one full-time and two part-time employees and within five years, is projecting five full-time and two part-time jobs, according to their application.”
“My wife and I were sitting around one evening, looking at TV and noticed a woman with wigs and that got us to thinking, there’s nothing like that here,” Williams said. “It’s something somebody might want or need and she said we ought to start a business and it kind of took off from there.”
Williams said addressing the need for wigs by cancer patients resulted in he and his wife making contacts with cancer centers in Big Stone Gap, Clintwood and Pikeville to let them know about B’s Wigs and the options there for patients. Its location, within sight of a local Ballad cancer center, serves that population well.
Additionally, hair extensions are sold, catering to a younger target age of females 18-45. Braiding services are also offered.
“I’m vice president of the Lions Club and we try to help people and I feel good that now through our new business, we can help people,” Williams said.
“We have a caring and compassionate staff and atmosphere for customers to try on and purchase wigs,” he continued, adding that by seeking to assist those undergoing cancer treatments and those suffering from hair loss, there is a special niche B’s Wigs fills.
“This is a need in our community that B’s Wigs feels compelled to fill by showing respect, care and compassion to those who need an alternative to their hair loss and with creativity to those wanting a new look through wigs, extensions or braids,” he said.
“The VCEDA grant has helped us through the winter months and has been a lifesaver,” Williams said.
Looking to the future, he said, plans call for the development of a website and an e-commerce function to sell the wigs offered at the brick and mortar location of B’s Wigs online. Additionally, space in the Norton location will be available for other stylists to rent.
Williams worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the City of Norton Industrial Development Authority.
“Gary and Rebecca Williams came to Mountain Empire Community College’s SBDC with a dream and determination to open their business and help cancer patients,” said Becki O’Quinn Purdie, SBDC program director at MECC. “They have worked hard to realize their dream and build upon their business with other products and offerings. The SBDC appreciates being a small part in this business startup.”
The business is located at 668 Highway 58 East in Norton and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It may be reached by calling 276-325-0149 and may also be found on Facebook.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses, within qualifying business categories, one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.