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Adding a little Southern Charm to Railroad Street

May 05, 2021 - 00:00
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    Examiner photo by Connie Clements: In spite of the rubble of construction work on Railroad Street, Southern Charm owner and stylist Tanya Ingram had a vision of what her Navasota salon and boutique could look like. Southern Charm held its Grand Opening on Texas Birthday Bash weekend.

Thanks to people of vision and those with jackhammers, cement trucks and electric saws, Navasota’s historic Railroad Street is being reborn. One new occupant who was able to see past the construction rubble to bring another element of charm to Navasota’s quaint downtown is Tanya Ingram. Ingram’s Southern Charm Boutique and Salon at 119 S. Railroad opened in early 2021 and her vision is paying off.


It was in 2019 when Ingram closed her Montgomery salon to relocate to Navasota. The move would allow the Navasota resident more time with her children who are very involved in Navasota school activities, but finding a location was more difficult than anticipated.

Ingram said, “We actually started the process here in December 2019. It seemed like every door would shut. We couldn’t find buildings available that were what we wanted. Then Covid hit. It was kind of a blessing in disguise that we didn’t open the shop back then.”

While Ingram’s husband wasn’t opposed to the idea, he had some reservations which weren’t helped by the image of busted concrete, dirt streets and businesses cordoned off behind barricades and chain link fencing.

Ingram said, “Believe it or not, my husband didn’t see my vision. When he saw the road and the building, he was a little standoffish. I saw it in my heart, my soul, my mind and I knew.”

As Ingram stood there pondering the building’s potential, as if by divine intervention, a stranger started a conversation.

Ingram said, “Ana from the Examiner walked by while I was looking at it. She told me all about the Railroad District and what was coming. That was the very moment I knew this was what we were doing and where we were going to be.”

Blessings in disguise

Launching a new business under the best circumstances is challenging but Ingram, her stylists and customers would have to work around the ongoing reconstruction of Railroad Street, a process delayed by Mother Nature.

She said, “The biggest challenge were the days we didn’t have a sidewalk at all and it was just dirt and people didn’t really know we were open. The blessing in disguise was our second entrance. I think if we didn’t have that we might not have done as well as we have been doing. Having that second entrance made a huge difference.”

Using social media, Ingram has kept customers and potential customers engaged.

She said, “People are understanding and excited, and I’ve been keeping them updated with comments like ‘We have pavers today!’”

Southern Charm opened just in time to experience two major Navasota events.

She said, “We had our Grand Opening the same weekend as Texas Birthday Bash. That’s a big day. The City was incredible helping advertise our Grand Opening. It was kind of a collaboration. Then we participated in Wine Walk in April and that was so much fun and so incredible.”

The Southern Charm difference

While Navasota has a number of well-established hair salons, part of the Southern Charm difference lies in the shop’s boutique. Its clothing lines are USA Basics and Dear-Lover.

Ingram said, “Right now I’m finding our niche. What does Navasota want and what does Navasota not want? We’re testing the waters.”

She continued, “It’s like a one-stop shop, we dress you from head to toe, but honestly, I think our stylists set us apart. We have some incredible talent that work for us.”

In addition to Ingram, stylists include Kimmie Porter, Rayna Valadez, and Brooklyn Dennis.

She continued, “They’re overall very talented but they each have their one niche that they’re so very good at. If you need something, they can make it happen.”

Salon services include Brazilian blow-outs, balayage, color, haircuts, handtied extensions, perms, waxing and coming soon, event makeup and hair.

It’s about community

It was her sense of family that prompted Ingram to open Southern Charm in Navasota, but she also has a strong sense of community.

She said, “We want to bring “southern charm” to that charm we already have here in Navasota and add to it. I’m 100% about community. Community is everything and you don’t have anything without it. I want to give as much as I can to it and hopefully, it gives back.”

Southern Charm Boutique and Salon’s hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. For appointments and information, call (713) 828-4143.