New location, same commitment to meeting individuals’ needs

Kathleen Fuery owns Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in HarMar Mall, which offers a wide variety of cosmetics, wigs and hats. (Rebecca Lynn Anderson photo)


Kathleen Fuery knows what it’s like to face adversity and persevere.

She is on her third career and loving it, despite the challenges she has faced along the way.

Fuery has worked at the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in HarMar Mall for 25 years. She has owned it for the last 15.

She started her life working in Cosmetology; but she suffered from severe allergies forcing her to move onto something else.

She transitioned into the medical field. Working as an Internal Medicine nurse with a geriatric specialist.

One day while shopping in the Mall she came upon The Merle Norman Studio. The wigs caught her eye.

She went in and the conversation started. The friendly staff encouraged her to try some of their makeup after hearing about her allergies.

Kathleen did and in 2 weeks she stated, “ I had the best skin of my life.” Upon returning to make a purchase, the staff had encouraged her to apply for a job. She did, and that became the start of her Merle Norman career.

Kathleen needed a change from her nursing career as she later discovered that she had an auto-immune disorder making her sick quite often.

After 45 years in one spot, Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio is changing locations in HarMar Mall

Made in America cosmetics

Unique selection of hats for every occasion
Large selection of wigs
Owned and operated by Kathleen Fuery

She look a break and moved to Colorado. While there, the previous owner approached her about buying the store.

“I was from a blue collar, working class family. I didn’t have the kind of money to buy a business like that.” The previous owner, knowing Kathleen’s ambition, offered to finance the purchase through her personally. It was a win-win. With the help of a friend and a business partner for the first 10 years, it has became the successful store that it is today.

Merle Norman was a young female chemist. She started in her kitchen. She blazed the trail as a female entrepreneur in the 1920s.

She was the originator of “Try before you buy!” That is the culture of the company.

She believes in her products and her customers do, too.

Kathleen is very proud that the products are “Made in America.”

The secret to her success is a relentless dedication to the customers and a commitment to meeting their needs.

Many of their customers, especially those facing cancer, are not coming in because they want to; but because they need to.

It can be very difficult; but she tells her staff that if we can make the experience better than they expected then we have done our job.

She is proud of the fact that even those facing the biggest challenges usually leave with a smile on their face.

Today, Fuery is facing a new challenge. After over 40 years in the same location she is being forced to relocate for the expansion of Michael’s.

She is especially frustrated after a recent complete renovation and remodel of her existing store.

The store will remain in HarMar; but Kathleen is concerned that her customers might assume that the store has closed if they don’t see it in its usual location. She is working diligently to get the word out.

Its one of a long line of challenges she has tackled; yet her enthusiasm to overcome it glints in her eyes.

“I have lived the American Dream.” and, “I am not ready to give up yet!’


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