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Opening business is like coming home

Staff writer

Sometimes when we are young, family holidays and celebrations create the most lasting memories, and are the events about which we get nostalgic as we grow older. Often we wish we could have those moments again.

For Linda Miles Martinez, one of downtown’s newest business owners, early memories of Peabody have been the impetus for taking the leap into owning and operating her own beauty salon, Manestreet Beautique.

Martinez grew up in Minneapolis, but spent many vacations and holidays in Peabody visiting her grandmother, Edna Miles, and the family of Ivan Miles, her father’s brother.

“My dad, Alvin, and his brother Ivan were close. They grew up here and after my folks settled in Minneapolis we made lots of trips back. I loved coming to Peabody,” she said.

“We always came for the Fourth of July and often I came to spend a couple of weeks in the summer, sometimes two or three different times. And there were other holiday trips and family events that drew us back.”

Martinez is married to Peabody native Paul Martinez. They were married in March, but met when they were youngsters and Linda was visiting family here. “We met when we were 13 and sort of had a long distance romance. Eventually we lost touch, but we re-connected on Facebook and renewed our friendship,” she said. “At some point he opened his wallet and showed me that he was still carrying my senior picture. He’d had it for 28 years!”

After Linda and Paul married, they moved to Peabody in part because of their mutual history with the community. However, it also was close enough to their extended families (each has adult children from previous marriages), but far enough away for a change.

“I love what I do, but it can be hard work,” she said. “I’ve already spent 25 years at this business—but always for someone else. Right after we moved here I worked in Hesston, but soon realized I truly wanted to have a place of my own,” she said. “My cousin, Brent Miles, was interested in re-opening the coin-operated laundry and we decided to go for it. Since Stan and Jeanetta Farr had the same kind of businesses in the building, we figured we could make it work.”

They had the entire building gutted, had a new concrete floor, joists, walls, ceilings, wiring, and plumbing installed and found themselves generating a lot of talk amongst Peabody’s “sidewalk superintendents.” However, they have been grateful for the interest among community residents as well as the tremendous support from their families.

“Everyone really has been nice,” Linda said. “They were curious, but they were rooting for us, too. Paul even got lots of comments and questions when he was at work at Peabody Market.”

Linda says she hopes to be able to build her business and eventually expand into tanning and massages. “And I hope to get involved with promoting the community and helping with events and projects that come along. That is what it is all about, helping each other.”

Manestreet Beautique is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day except Sundays and Tuesdays.

“The whole experience has just been the most satisfying thing,” she said. “Getting re-acquainted with people I knew back when I was young has been wonderful. It is like being a kid all over again. Really, when we moved back here, it felt like we were coming home. I’m so glad we made the decision we did.”

Last modified Aug. 18, 2011

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