Merle Norman thrives in Gadsden


By Laura Ann Tipps/Staff Writer

Last year, Merle Norman Cosmetics returned to Etowah County, setting up shop on Rainbow Drive near Pruett’s Bar-B-Que and Zaxby’s. 

The store opened on June 1 and celebrated with a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Sept. 20.

Towanna Robbins, who has had a lifelong relationship with the cosmetic brand, is the proud owner of a salon in Oneonta in addition to the new and improved Gadsden store. 

“People are discovering every day that we have reopened and are under new management,” said Robbins.

Loyal and long-time Merle Norman customers are happy to have a store in the area again, but Robbins said many Etowah County residents are also trying the products for the first time.

Merle Norman has a wide selection of moisturizing products for dry, winter skin and a new foundation with an SPF of 25 for sun protection, which Robbins said is easy to neglect when it is cold outside.

“Skin care needs change throughout the year, and you may even need different colors in the winter when your skin is more pale,” she said.

With prom and wedding seasons approaching, the Merle Norman staff is gearing up for the many makeovers they will perform this spring, as well as interview and stage makeup for girls of all ages competing in pageants. 

“We have also worked with dancelines and cheerleaders at the schools,” said Tommie Jo Jolly, Robbins’ sister and store manager. 

Merle Norman is still offering free facials and the staff looks forward to giving them to mother-daughter pairs for Mother’s Day. There will also be gift certificates and packages available for Easter.

Soon, the salon will host a Most Kissable Lips contest. Ladies will come into the salon to kiss a piece of paper with their information on it, and the winner will receive a free lipstick of her choice. 

The sisters are thrilled with the progress the salon has made and look forward to continuing to thrive in Gadsden. Robbins and Jolly said the Chamber of Commerce has been especially helpful.

“We have been very pleased with this location, and we love Gadsden,” said Robbins.

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