Ronald Jemison Jr. has a rich heritage of entrepreneurship. For four generations, Jemison’s family has guided Franklin Beauty School, the oldest continuously operated licensed beauty school in Texas. The school, which has graduated more the 100,000 students, is set to celebrate it’s 100th anniversary in 2015.
Jemison’s great-grandmother, N.A. Franklin, started the school in 1915 by traveling door-to-door by horse-and-buggy to teach hairdressing and sell homemade hair products to black families in San Antonio. She soon opened salons and schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Chicago, and Houston.
In 1935, Texas passed laws that separated cosmetology schools from salons and established a regulatory agency. The Jemisons closed their Chicago operations and focused solely on the Houston establishment. The school provided a way for hundreds of black students, mostly women, to obtain training for careers as stylists and entrepreneurs.
Watch Jemison’s #MyUntold story as he tells the life-changing lesson of entrepreneurship and hard work.
In addition to serving the community for nearly a century, Franklin’s is also the subject of a TV reality series, Houston Beauty, on Oprah’s OWN network.