Legacy business looks to the future with assistance from Egleston Square Main Street

Ericka Lawson with the shop’s new laptop.

Egleston Square Main Street is proud to support Lawsons Barbershop & Beauty Salon, a 50+ year legacy business and anchor of the Egleston Square commercial district, to get ready for a new generation of customers with 1-1 small business assistance and referrals.

Earlier this year, Ericka Lawson, owner of Lawsons Barbershop & Beauty Salon, asked us for help adapting her family’s cash-only shop to introduce an online booking system and accept credit card payments.

Her father, Robert G. Lawson, was known and loved in the community for decades. Since his passing in 2016, the family reputation and word of mouth brought in a steady clientele from all over Boston and beyond. But Ericka knew that for her business to not only survive, but thrive, she needed to appeal to new and younger customers.

Ericka also envisioned boosting her historic family business, established by her father and uncles in 1961, with a brand-new website, business card, and social media marketing.

In May 2022, we assessed the business’s needs and connected Ericka with the Boston Main Street Foundation Technology Initiative. Through BMSF, Lawsons received a one-year subscription to Boulevard, a POS system, necessary hardware, and web design services. We also worked with her to think through how the business would grow to cover these new expenses after the year of the grant.

Ericka and Vida Lawson try out their shop’s first online Boulevard booking with a customer.

Ericka asked us to meet with her once a week for support while she began attacking her goals step by step: learn to use Boulevard; add services, prices, and staff members to the system; have wifi installed in the shop; choose hardware; create a business email account and business card; have a new website made and make edits herself.

With a lot of tenacity and persistence on her part, Ericka is now gradually updating her shop’s operations and preparing to launch online booking to attract a new generation of Lawsons’ customers.

It takes so much work to start, adapt, or grow a resilient small business, especially while you are in survival mode. Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner in Egleston Square looking for support, in English or Spanish?

Make an appointment today by contacting 617-637-2270 or denise@eglestonsquare.org. If your business is located in Egleston Square, we’ll come to you. Set aside 30-60 minutes for us to meet. We’ll start by learning more about you and your business and assessing your needs.