Merle Norman, producer of skin care make up and other cosmetic products, is celebrating its 80th anniversary – and for almost half of that time the local Merle Norman store has been open for business.

The proprietor, Pam Peterson, who, along with her husband Bill, has been a resident of Waxahachie for the past six years, owns two outlets – one in Waxahachie and one in Fort Worth.

“We focus on personalized service and encourage customers to just come in, sit down and we ask a few open-ended questions in order to pinpoint any problems and then we direct them to the skin care product and give them customized service,” she said.

Asked what made her work fulfilling, Peterson was quick to give her list.

“I love to get to help each person with individual retail therapy and to just get to know them and be a part of the community,” she said. “We are a traditional ‘brick and mortar’ company like any mom and pop store – we love for our customers to come in and touch and feel the products and try them out before they buy them.”

Peterson explained that the company was started up in 1931 in Merle Norman’s kitchen. She worked in a hospital lab in Los Angeles and when she went home in the evenings, she spent hours mixing ingredients together and would give them to her family and friends and constantly worked to perfect the product.

Peterson cited concerns that many customers have that prompt them to drop by to examine the product line.

“There are environmental concerns because the air we breathe and what we’re exposed to that directly affects the skin’s aging process and (customers) need every trick in the book to try to minimize it,” she said.

Peterson worked for years in the corporate world as a commercial property agent, managing shopping malls.

“My work took me from the east to the west coast and every state,” she said.

Peterson cares for her mother who lives with her and she also spends time with her furry companions, Rox’e, a Yorkie, and Teddy, a Yorkie mix.

For further information, contact the local studio at 972-937-5060 or visit the website at www.merlenorman.com.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.