Digital Original: Mother opens boutique to help daughter with rare genetic condition find work

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BATESVILLE, Ark. – Owning your own business – is all about it putting in the long hours or is it more serendipitous?

Well, if you ask Ramona Halford owner of Serendipity Salon and Boutique, in Batesville, she would say it takes a lot of hard work, prayer and of course serendipity.

After all, it is the name of her business.

“When you find something beautiful and you were busy looking at something else and it all turns out alright,” explains Halford. “I wasn’t looking for the business, it found me.”

Halford has been a beautician by trade for more than 25 years but says she always wanted to have her own business.

She says she wasn’t looking to start the business, it just happened and turned out to be a great fit for her step-daughter, Austin, 16, who suffers from a rare genetic condition that occurs when there is a small piece of genetic material (DNA) missing from one of the chromosomes.

“It’s called 24q17 – really rare and it just delays everything,” Halford says. “She struggles and everything, is a little more immature, and just a little bit harder. Everything is just a little bit harder.”

Halford says she saw how her daughter struggled to find employment like her other 16-year-old friends.

“She learning how to work the credit card machine,” explains Halford. “She’s created that space for it.”

She hopes the experience of working in the boutique will turn out to be – serendipitous for her daughter.

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