Hairdresser seeks sponsors for elderly makeovers in St. Paul – Twin Cities


SouthSide Fancy is coming to Frogtown, and a handful of older women line up to get free transfiguration over the holidays.

Mary Lemon, also known as SouthSide Fancy. (Courtesy of Mary Lemon)

In musical circles, Mary Lemon is best known by her stage name, a tribute to her sometimes brutal South Minneapolis roots that are both literal and metaphorical. Lemon for years operated a barber shop on 38th Street and Chicago Avenue near what is now frequently referred to as George Floyd Square. It was his annual tradition back then to find young families living in shelters and giving them makeovers and holiday parties, free of charge.

Lemon adopted the character of SouthSide Fancy full-time when she left the hair business for a decade to get into rap. She produced the first Minnesota Jr. Music Awards, which was one of the first media outlets to celebrate the “Hot Cheetos & Takis” music video by young artists known as Da Rich Kidzz. The song, an urban anthem celebrating a particular mix of junk food, became a viral sensation that made Spin Magazine’s Top Songs list in 2012.

Three years ago, Lemon got back into her hair, hanging a shingle for Fancy’s Beauty Bar at 1999 Burns Ave. on the east side of St. Paul. On the afternoon of December 19, she will resume her holiday makeover tradition, this time focusing on seniors at the Kings Crossing affordable senior housing complex on University Avenue and Dale Street in Frogtown.

Its objective is to offer 5 to 10 elderly women of any race or creed a “Full Fancy” makeover, including hairstyle, wigs and make-up, without having to leave the housing complex for the elderly. A cable access studio, “Speak Minneapolis”, plans to record part of the event, as does the Twin Cities Radio Network, which will provide music.

“I usually go to shelters, get kids and give them a Christmas party, but this year I wanted to do the elders,” Lemon said, noting that the pandemic has been extremely hard on the elderly. Its requirement is that everyone involved be fully immunized.

To fund the makeovers, Lemon is asking sponsors to donate up to $ 200 per senior. To be a sponsor, send an email to [email protected]


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