There were lots of things that appealed to Gradena Phipps about her mother’s profession. As a nail technician and salon owner, her mom met lots of people and shared lots of confidences. She was her own boss, earning good money, and setting her own schedule. So when Phipps’ father died in January 1997 she made her mother, Kay Weldon, a proposition: if she would move from Waco to Canyon, Texas, Phipps and her sister would become nail technicians and the three of them could all work together.

The timing was right for all concerned. Phipps was being laid off from her secretarial job, while her older sister, Lynn Brown, was looking for a change of pace from her job as assistant director of a day care facility. After five months of nail school, the sisters received their licenses and joined their mom at KL’s Knippers & Kippers in Canyon.

Weldon owns the salon and her daughters are both renters. “But the salon is family run,” Phipps is quick to say. “We share the responsibilities and each bring different things to the business. My sister knows plenty of people from her day-care job. My mom has the business experience and I have computer skills,” They rotate taking walk-ins and calls from new clients.

The mood is inviting at KL’s Knippers & Kippers.

The hairstylist, Suzannah Rexrode, is like family.

“Sure we fight - we’re family. But we always work it out.” Say Phipps, “Of course, I’m always right” adds mom.

Incense, low lights, and music set the tone, while clients relax in black leather reclining chairs.

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