African-American Owned Barber and Cosmetology College Set to Open in Tupelo

By Amanda Jewel Warren

When Kenneth Mayfield built the space for Dynasty Rental last year, he knew he would have more space than he needed for appliances. The second floor alone was around 7,500 square feet. “My initial thought was to simply set it up with a barber-beauty salon, and just rent out spaces to people,” Mayfield says. 

But then someone gave him the idea of putting in a school. The person he discussed this with revealed that presently, those interested in obtaining a barber’s license must go to Ripley, Mississippi, as there are no barber colleges currently open in Tupelo. 

Out of that discussion, he decided Dynasty College of Barberology and Cosmetology would be the home of cosmetology and barber schools. The cosmetology school will be located on the second floor. Later on, the barber school will be set up on the first floor. As of now, Mayfield is focusing mostly on the cosmetology school which can eventually accommodate 40 students. However, the plan for the first class will be to cater to and focus on 20 students. 

“I want these students to have a first-class education,” says Mayfield. “That includes not only in terms of the facilities, but also the curriculum, the classes we teach, and overall management of the school.” 

The suggestion was made to Mayfield to obtain the experience of Mrs. Geraldine Gillespie. Gillespie, who many loving refer to as “Mrs. G.”, has always had a heart for teaching. She taught in public schools for years and then decided to try her hand at cosmetology. One day several years ago, she went to Creations to have her hair done and talked with the owner of the school about what it would take to become an instructor. “She had all white teachers, and I told her I wanted to teach. She said, ‘You’ve got to go 1500 hours plus 2200 hours.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it.’ And I did it.” Gillespie will not only be a lead instructor and mentor, but she will also serve as president of Dynasty College of Cosmetology. 

Teresa Barr will also join the team as a lead instructor and mentor for night classes and will serve as the college’s administrative assistant. Pheleshia Buchanan will be the director of both the cosmetology and barber programs, as well as serve as an instructor.

Buchanan is excited about what the future holds for the school. “I am enthused that it is bringing greatness to a community that is already well developed, and that can show the love and compassion that I have known for many years in this business. I am enthused that I am a part of something that really could help bring a better environment and a better future or investment to the community.”

One aspect that is important to Mayfield is for students to understand how to run their own business. He wants the school to spend time focusing on teaching business skills to make sure students are set up to be successful. “I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I would really like to see these young people develop these different businesses for themselves,” says Mayfield. 

Mayfield and his wife Eloise developed the Dynasty Scholarship Foundation in 1999 as Tupelo 2000 Youth Outreach Ministry. Its mission is to assist youth with educational and developmental needs. Because it will take time for financial aid to be available for Dynasty College of Cosmetology, the focus of the foundation in 2021 will be meeting the financial needs of their students.

Dynasty College of Cosmetology will offer four levels of tuition over a 12-month period. Students have a payment plan option or pay the full tuition cost upon enrollment. Kits and books are included in tuition. The non-refundable registration fee for all students of $175 must be paid on the enrollment date. Students must provide two forms of identification and must have a high school diploma or GED. When Dynasty College of Cosmetology opens, the first class of 20 students will be offered a $500 scholarship. 

Day classes for the cosmetology school are set to open by the summer of 2021. Each program of study requires a specific number of hours for completion of the course. They are as follows: 1500 hours for cosmetology and barber courses; 1,000 hours for instructor training; 600 hours for the esthetician program; and 350 hours for the nail technician program. The barber school, nail technician program, esthetician program, and night classes will be offered at a later date. Taking and passing state board tests are necessary for licensing requirements. 

Buchanan hopes that students understand how the completion of this program can open doors to a variety of employment opportunities. “You can become a hairstylist, makeup artist, day spa technician, nail salon technician, salon owner, product or program educator, sales rep, and so much more.”   

Students will learn through theory and lab classes. Students will engage in theory classes from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Tuesdays and during the morning hours of Wednesdays and Thursdays. The school will be open to the public for practicum hours after 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Fridays, and on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. 

What makes Mayfield proud about opening the doors to Dynasty College of Cosmetology is the chance to develop diversity in business and idea innovation within the community. “We want to modify without discrimination. We want to improve better education for the business of cosmetology and barber, and we want to offer more of an effort in creating better careers. We also want to start partnerships with other entrepreneurs to build a standard for future investments.”

Dynasty College of Cosmetology will be located at 449 North Front Street. For more information contact Director Pheleshia Buchanan at (662) 882-8303. The website and Facebook page Dynasty College of Cosmetology will be available soon.

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