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Know your neighbor — Barbershop manager is a Friend to many

Melinda Friend is a single mom and barber who has gone from having nothing to having everything.

Friend became interested in cutting hair because of her grandmother, whose hair she styled and even permed at the mere age of 7.  She graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s cosmetology program in 2004 and completed a barber and styling school in 2016.  Now she is the shop manager for The Barbershop.

“I just try to show my children that anything is possible,” Friend said.

Friend dons her apron to cut and style hair at The Barbershop here in town and has been employed there for seven years.  Friend has 15 years of experience, which includes five years of management.  When she isn’t working, she spends time in her hobbies, which are art and music.  She plays the piano, guitar, sings, paints, and sketches.

Friend was born in Norman, Oklahoma, but Brookhaven has been her home ever since she was 5 years old.  She grew up in the county and graduated from Loyd Star Attendance Center in 1998.  She is 39 now, and is a mom to four children — Shelby, 21; Heidi, 19; Olivia, 14; and Christopher, 12.  As of now, she is a grandmother to one, with one more on the way.

Friend worships at Centerpoint Church in Brookhaven.  Outside of church, she attends a women’s devotional group called Living Through Grace.  She loves all kinds of foods, and her favorite tradition is gathering with her family for a nice Sunday dinner.  Her family is the most important thing in her life, and she could never do without them, even if she wanted to.

She considers her best quality to be compassion.  This is because her sister always taught her to be compassionate to others, as many people need that more than anything else.  Her compassion has given her a love for others.  If she could give one piece of advice, she would tell others to be willing to listen and understand other people. 

For Friend, her biggest goal in life is to simply live her life for herself and to be happy.