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- Published on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 20:51
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Her hands are the inspiration of beauty and the guiding light of King George County.
Ida Bertha Hodge’s life-long dream of providing hair care in the form of cosmetology for the residents of her beloved community has lasted for nearly 50 years. In 1962, during the days when the state of Virginia required beauty salons to have licensed operators, Ida Bertha Styling Salon was established in the heart of King George—adjacent to her home.
Her presence was unique in several respects. Not only was she an accomplished beautician, but also, she became the first licensed African American beautician in King George County—and remained the only one for many years.
Her salon offers relaxers, permanents, coloring, cutting, sets, treatment for damaged hair, and the “back in the day” hard press and curl. Although clients have come and gone, after 52 years of making the ladies beautiful and on occasion, making the male clients handsome, her business continues to thrive.
Before embarking on her career in hair care, Hodge realized that she needed a firm foundation built on education. She graduated from Edgehill Training School, before graduating from Apex Beauty College in Richmond, Virginia.
She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cosmetology in 1973 at the National Convention in Denver, Colorado. In order to keep abreast of the latest trends, she attends clinics and workshops related to her vocation. Throughout the years, Hodge has won numerous State and National awards and certificates.
An ardent believer in sharing her craft with aspiring beauticians, she has also been an instructor for hair coloring classes. Her vibrant and classy personality transcends into her unique style of fashion. To date, she is known throughout the Virginia Beauticians Association [VSBA] as a fashionable model, and as the lady who can model those hats.
Hodge has also given back to the community in the form of volunteerism. She is a 50-year member of the Guiding Star Chapter, #216, Order of Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliated, King George Chapter of the NAACP, King George County Officer of Elections, King George Democratic Party, Lifetime Member of the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association, Fredericksburg Local Beauticians Association [50 years], Board of Directors for VSBA, National Beauty Culturist League Association, Little Ark Baptist Church [Usher Board, Kitchen Committee, Trustee Board, Choir], and volunteer for nursing homes.
Her late husband, Lawrence Hodge, Sr. was also an entrepreneur in King George County as the owner of Hodges Welding Service for 45 years and a retiree from NSWC, Dahlgren Laboratory after 36 years of dedicated service.
Hodge is the proud mother of Lawrence Hodge Jr., who served in the United States Air Force and retired from the United States Postal Service. Her daughter Gail is a graduate of Hampton Institute [University] and a Program Analyst, currently supporting the United States Navy as a defense contractor.
She has seven living siblings: Mageline, Adelle, Alice, Rosie, Benjamin, Eugene and Mary Ann. Her three deceased siblings are James, Tommy and Sadie.
Through segregation, to integration, Hodge has been steadfast in her convictions to strangers, friends and family that anything is possible if you strive to achieve and keep the faith in God. And achieve she has; her chosen profession and a life long of lasting friendships. Most recently, she was honored by the NAACP annual banquet that was held at the King George Citizens Center.
She has always lived by the biblical passage, Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.