GREENVILLE — With the glorious return of Spring comes the sunshine, budding of new tulips and trees, and the natural beauty of the earth with its vibrant greenery on full display. In this lovely season of new beginnings, many time-honored events and traditions are planned, such as proms, graduations and weddings, which often require weeks (and sometimes, months) of planning. People want to look their best for these occasions — and especially, for the photos which will tell the story years from now.
Thankfully, there is one memorable place in Darke County that residents have been able to count on for help with special occasions and everyday living. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this month in downtown Greenville, Merle Norman Cosmetics and studio owner, Pam Sharp, have been providing people of all ages the opportunity to look exceptional all year round.
Founded in 1931 by Merle Nethercutt Norman, the daughter of Darke County natives who settled in Logansport, Ind., Merle Norman Cosmetics has lead the way in providing skin care products for women of all ages. Having studied medicine and chemistry in the early 1920s, Merle Norman developed a patented trio of “scientific preparations” which she called the “Three Steps to Beauty,” which include a cleansing cream, foundation (Miracol), and powder base. Since then, the company, which is also celebrating its 90th Anniversary in 2021, has expanded and developed an entire cosmetics line, emphasizing the importance of skin care as the foundation for looking one’s best.
Pam Sharp, owner of Greenville’s downtown Merle Norman Cosmetics studio, has spent much of her career in the beauty field. Having studied cosmetology since the early 1970s, Sharp worked as a hairstylist and make-up artist in Orlando, Fla., Columbus, Dayton and Arcanum.
It was while working at the Cut, Curl and Tan-It-Here salon in Arcanum that Sharp was encouraged by her clients — many of whom faithfully used Merle Norman products — to consider opening a studio of her own. While resisting at first, Sharp made the decision to apply for a Merle Norman franchise and attended the two-week mandatory training at the Merle Norman corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. Then, with the support of Kevin, her husband of 35 years, Sharp opened her Greenville Merle Norman Cosmetics studio, located at 309 S. Broadway, in April, 2011.
“What sets Merle Norman apart from other similar companies is that all studio owners must go through this intense two-week training in LA, just to be able to sell the product in a retail setting, “ said Sharp. “Even though I came in with a cosmetology background and several decades of experience, I spent almost two years familiarizing myself with the Merle Norman product line, and I am always learning more.”
In addition to the full Merle Norman line of cosmetics, Sharp also displays and sells high-end fashion jewelry and accessories for those who wish to add a little extra sparkle or ‘bling’ to their look for special occasions, like proms or weddings.
“These are unique pieces…reasonably priced, that you might not see in other places. I select items that I would wear myself, “ said Sharp.
Over the past 10 years, Sharp’s Merle Norman Studio has become the place to get great beauty advice and achieve an exceptional look. Networking with other nearby Mainstreet businesses such as Roots and Studio One, Sharp hopes that women looking for the perfect prom or wedding look will stop by, relax, and know that they have friendly experts on hand to help them. As always, Sharp encourages everyone to come in and try out the products before purchasing them, which is in keeping with the“Try Before You Buy” motto of Merle Norman Cosmetics.
Sharp added, “We all try to work together to help women feel beautiful for their special occasions!”
To visit Merle Norman Cosmetics, stop by the store at 309 S. Broadway in Greenville, or on Facebook at Merle Norman of Greenville Ohio. Questions? Call Pam Sharpe at the studio, 937-459-5030. Open hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Fridays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and by appointment.
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.