‘It’s not a business. It’s a friendship.’
Merle Norman owner Shelley Babcock discusses business growth, customer service, and empowering women
By Matthieu Vollmer
MARSHFIELD — Merle Norman Cosmetics & the Day Spa Boutique has been helping area residents achieve their health and wellness goals for over 65 years.
“It’s not a business. It’s a friendship. I want (customers) to feel good about themselves,” said Shelley Babcock, owner and Auburndale resident. Babcock has over 10 years of industry experience.
The business, staffed by four full-time and two part-time employees, is a Merle Norman franchise that has expanded to include clothing products and spa services via the day spa and boutique. Merle Norman is a member of the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
“I started part-time and loved it. I fell in love with the customers, and it has been a good marriage ever since,” said Babcock. She will be celebrating both her sixth year of ownership and the store’s anniversary of 66 years in September.
Best selling products/services include acne and other facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages.
“They got it going on. They look the part and act it. The staff is friendly, and the owner is great. They are so helpful, and they have great products. It is very trendy,” said Rebecca Hein, a Stratford resident and owner of Chair Affair, an eclectic event/party rental business.
The boutique area of Merle Norman features Karen Kane and Jag Jeans, which are made in the U.S. Merle Norman tries to buy as many American-made products as possible. Babcock said that Merle Norman Cosmetics, which are also made in America, stand the test of time.
“Makeup is about empowering women. We show them how to put on lipstick that matches their skin color and to help make them feel good about themselves,” said Babcock.
Staff members at Merle Norman are licensed in aesthetics, cosmetology, or massage therapy. Babcock said that by purchasing products that work, customers end up using fewer products and save money in the long run.
“I gave the gift certificates as gifts over Christmas. They do the extra little touches and have a great group of women in there,” said Hein. The gift certificates come in a pillow box garnished with ribbons and other occasion-specific accents.
When asked what she thought area residents would be surprised to know about the business, Babcock said that most people do not know they have beautiful spa. She said that they have a unique environment, which is a one-stop shop for nails, jewelry, clothes, makeup, and more.
“Come in and see the store and beautiful day spa. Check out the atmosphere. We are different and have made good changes over the last 65 years,” said Babcock.
Massages range in price from $30 to $100, nail services from $24 and up, and hair removal from $10 to $70 and higher. Merle Norman also offers bridal packages and special occasion makeup applications.
Facials range in price from $55 to $75. Gift certificate packages range in price from $60 to $149 depending on the services included in each package. Calling to schedule appointments for skin care consultation is recommended.
Merle Norman Cosmetics & the Day Spa Boutique is located at 249 S. Central Ave. in Marshfield. To learn more call 715-384-8000, visit yourmerlenorman.com, or find them on Facebook by searching “Merle Norman & The Day Spa Boutique.”
Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.