Jetquetta Glacken did not always dream of working retail. She was content staying home raising her daughters and earning money from her rental properties. Her oldest was about to start her senior year at Cooper High School. Her other daughters were middle school-aged and preschool-aged. Life was full and busy. But when her cosmetologist-cousin Ayanna Williams suggested they open a beauty supply store together, she was intrigued. Pushing her more, Ayanna convinced Jetquetta to open Beauty Plug.
Bright purple floors welcome Abilenians to this beautiful, Black-owned business. The walls are filled with braiding hair of all kinds – beautiful colors, yes, but also glow-in-the-dark hair, color-changing hair, and hair to support local teams. In fact, the spring and early summer was a great boost to the shop. “Home Run Ponytails were huge during softball season. Girls would come in and do two braids with their team colors,” Jetquetta excitedly explains. Beauty Plug has hair care, hair accessories, wigs, various dyes and relaxers, and supplies for men, too. With Halloween approaching, business will boom as she sells hair dye, fun colors of braiding hair, and wigs.
In the back of the shop is a chair that braiders can rent out for braiding. “Most braiders schedule clients through social media,” she said, but word of mouth has been her best marketer this year. “Sabrina Strawter has been our biggest supporter.” Sabrina is the professional hairstylist and owner of Locs of Love. She gets a lot of her products at Beauty Plug and sends a lot of her clients there. “The outpouring from the Abilene community has been so good,” said Jetquetta.
One exciting way that Beauty Plug gives back to the Abilene community is by encouraging students to bring in good grades for packs of hair. Jetquetta calls it “Braids for Grades.” The week after report cards come out, students can bring in a copy of their grades to show the team at Beauty Plug. If a student is just passing, they get a single bundle of braiding hair for free. If they make As and Bs, they earn two bundles. If they get all As, they get three packs. Usually, three packs will be enough for full braids.
Jetquetta’s brother JaKenzie Jones works in the shop with her. “I have loved being back with him, doing this,” she said. She and her brother were very close growing up, as they are just over a year apart in age. JaKenzie is respected in the store, especially by men who are often intimidated to enter a beauty supply shop. He is quickly learning the business and how to encourage customers. Women looking for wigs come back for the advice from JaKenzie. “He has come a long way from where he started, and I’m so proud of him,” said Jetquetta.
Doris Johnson, a frequent customer, said, “This is the only hair store I have ever felt comfortable in. Jetquetta and her staff are patient with my indecisive daughter, and they ordered a special do-rag for my son.” Jetquetta said that she enjoys working with customers because she has used these products on her own hair and on her daughters’ hair. “My three daughters all have different hair types,” she explained, “so I know which products would be best for which type.”
Many times, moms come in who have biracial children, asking for help on where to begin with hair care. Jetquetta’s calm spirit and gentle guidance help those parents feel comfortable. “It’s a big deal to have somebody who actually uses the product to guide people in what to buy,” Jetquetta said.
“I love Abilene. I love this city. I have been here my whole life,” Jetquetta said. “Black hair is high maintenance and is a labor of love. Moms spend twelve hours or so on their daughter’s hair out of pure love. It is a bonding experience. So to have somewhere where it is celebrated is special. A girl walks in and is accepted. We work through hair problems together.” Beauty Plug is fostering community in our city. It is a special place, and it is just getting started.
By Laura Daulton