What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker | Special to the Gazette

Webster Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”  Over the next few months we are going to highlight some of Mission Hill’s extraordinary individuals who truly exemplify entrepreneurship. 

Liz Rose, the owner of Liz’s Hair Care at 1605 Tremont Street, has been making our neighbors beautiful for the past 21 years! She is no stranger to entrepreneurship – her family has lots of them! Early on, she trained as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and then fell into the hair care field and, right from the start, she was good at it. The one thing Liz knew for certain was that she would be helping people. 

After working 11 years for Olive’s, the best and largest ethnic hair salon in Boston, she struck out on her own. Many of you know that Olive Benson was renowned as a businesswoman and a talented hairdresser. Olive inspired Liz first as an ethnic woman and then as her mentor. They traveled Europe and the continental U.S. learning and demonstrating new techniques at hair shows. After being offered an opportunity for a franchise, Liz knew the time was right to go out on her own and started Liz’s Hair Care, one of Mission Hill’s Legacy businesses.

Every business has challenges. When Liz started, she already had a huge clientele and worked alone. Quickly, Liz needed to hire staff – motivated, professional staff to train and develop. The management side of the business was a big learning experience. “Today there are still challenges” said Liz. “ Our post-pandemic business world is different and evolving. The younger generation is interested in trying out new fields, changing and developing constantly. How does one deal with that? I go to hair schools and speak to the students and present my story, teaching the skills for being a business owner and successful hairdresser. I found that for my industry, offering several scholarships in the schools, brings me opportunities to help young people learn new skills in a field that will provide them a pathway to becoming their own boss. I love what I am doing!”

A different kind of entrepreneurship is the Mission Hill Arts Festival now in its second year. MHAF’s theme this year is “Interconnections” and presents six events, which began June 11 and runs through August 20 with a wide range of exciting artistic styles, performances, and dialogues. Luisa Harris, Executive Curator of the Mission Hill Arts Festival, and long-time resident, says, “An artistic gathering should stimulate the artistic essence of the audience, creating the circumstances to alert them to ways they can create greatness for themselves and others. It’s a way to defeat anxiety while cultivating and encouraging harmony.” For the full lineup of events visit: www.MHArtsFest.org.

The Mission Hill community has a strong appreciation for history and since 1995, Anthony Sammarco, Boston’s historian, has written and lectured on the history and development of Boston. MHMS invited Anthony Sammarco to be a part of our Fall event and to lecture on his new book “Mission Hill Through Time.”  Here is an excerpt – “The Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston has long been a thriving nexus of cultures, with residents of all walks of life, including numerous workers in the medical field, making it an inclusive, busy, and evolving neighborhood. Though Mission Hill is less than one square mile, it is a neighborhood constantly in transition, with not just homeowners but renters, especially students, calling it home. What it lacks in land area, Mission Hill makes up in character, maintaining a small neighborhood vibe while remaining one of Boston’s most diverse neighborhoods. With a variety of housing, restaurants, and pubs, it also offers green spaces such as the Iroquois Woods, the Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park, and the Back of the Hill Urban Wild, making it a small neighborhood that has evolved over the last century as a destination.” Do join us on September 10th at the Parker Hill Library and experience this wonderful treat!

Please join us on July 14th at 9:30am for “Coffee with a Cop” at Dunkin, 37 S. Huntington Avenue. It is sure to be a lot of fun! We have invited both B2 and E13 officers to join us. Hope to see you there!

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.”  Langston Hughes, American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist

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