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.