René Morris and the staff at The New Ewe salon have been providing beauty services for residents of the Rim Country for 20 years.
This Friday, April 6, The New Ewe will celebrate its 20-year anniversary with an open house from 1 to 4 p.m.
Morris began her career in the beauty business in Flagstaff, working for about 18 months in a regular barbershop. Doing only "barber cuts" did not satisfy her creativity, so she left the business and went to work for the Arizona Daily Sun.
Newspaper work was not her cup of tea either, so she and her husband decided to move to Payson. Her family owned and operated AZ Coil on Main Street.
Morris' husband went to work for the family business in December 1985 and she took a job with a small beauty/barbershop. When it closed, she went into another small operation and it also closed.
Morris, with the help of her parents and family, decided to open a beauty shop on Main Street, next to AZ Coil. The New Ewe opened Feb. 23, 1987 at 212 W. Main St. in Payson.
The very first week the shop was open, Payson had three feet of heavy, wet snow. The town practically shut down and so did The New Ewe.
Morris was a volunteer for the Sheriff's Posse at the time. For three days of the first week The New Ewe was open, she was working with the junior posse shoveling snow off roofs and driveways and delivering supplies to the stranded residents.
During the first few years Morris made Payson her home, she was involved with numerous organizations and activities, such as gymkhana, programs for handicapped adults, the Elks Lodge and the Diversified Occupations Program through the high school.
She also belonged to a hiking group -- mainly female friends and family -- who raised money for trips to Havasu Canyon, along the Rim and campouts. They raised the money working a food booth, called "The Potato Hut," at all the summer events at the old Payson Rodeo Grounds.
About the time the hiking group was starting to dissolve, AZ Coil was in need of some help with management and Morris was now ready to get more involved in the family business. So, she took some classes in accounting and taxes and stepped into the business. The arrangement is very convenient. Right now, she can do hair at her own business, The New Ewe, and just walk across the parking lot and take care of the books for AZ Coil.
"The New Ewe has been so good to me," Morris said. So, she wants to thank customers, employees, family and friends for all they have done.
In appreciation, The New Ewe's 20th Anniversary Open House will feature a live remote broadcast with KCMA, pizza and sodas for everyone, balloons and face tattoos for children.
Morris is inviting everyone to come by and make donations to the Payson Humane Society and Public Safety for Kids Program in exchange for spins on a wheel of chance for gifts from The New Ewe. In conjunction with the celebration, there will be additional prizes awarded on KCMA, 98.5 FM during the live "The New Ewe" trivia game.
For more information, call The New Ewe at (928) 474-1497.