VELVATEX OVER THE YEARS...
Velvatex College of Beauty Culture, Inc., was
established July 1, 1929 by Mrs. M.E. Patterson, Founder and President.
Velvatex’s system was Little Rock’s only approved school for people of
color. The motto was: “Fideli Certa Mercisy, the reward of the faith is
certain.” The class colors were gold and purple and the class aim was “We
Have Finished To Begin.”
March 12, 1942, Mrs. Earnestine Towns joined her mother, Mrs. Patterson, in
teaching beauty culture. After 12 years, the school achieved
acknowledgement for their consistency of students passing the board.
During the 12 years, every student that went before the Arkansas Board of
Cosmetology passed. Because of the school’s accomplishments, in 1954 the
board suggested the school’s name be changed from Velvatex Beauty College to
Velvatex College of Beauty Culture.
In 1954, after many years of training, Mrs. Towns purchased the school from her
mother and began her quest of carrying on the legacy of Velvatex College.
The school was located in the center of the minority business district where
you could get all the practical work necessary. The theater, YMCA,
nightclubs, churches, and schools surrounded the college. It was also in
walking distance of the downtown-shopping district.
In 65 years, a great deal has changed
and stayed the same. Mrs. Barbara A. Douglas purchased the college on
July 1, 1994. Although there are now many more institutions of learning
focused on cosmetology, Velvatex was the pioneer in its field for
African-American women. Mrs. Douglas’ daughters, Mrs. Rachel Willis and Roberta
Douglas, joined the Velvatex staff in 1995 and 1994. The two together are
working toward taking the school into the new millennium.