A Place Where Customers Feel Just Like Family
Merle Norman & Luna Bella owner Alaina Prentice has created a place where her customers feel just like family. Some customers have been visiting the store over thirty years.
“Our customer service is what makes us unique,” Prentice said, “because our customers are family; they know that this is a safe space. We laugh with them, and we cry with them.”
With such a warm, inviting atmosphere, people drop in at Merle Norman & Luna Bella all the time. It’s this feature of owning a retail store that Prentice really enjoys.
“Starkville is home,” says Prentice, “and I love the people. I get to be a part of the legacy that is this store.”
Part of Starkville’s Early History
Merle Norman opened its doors in 1942 on North Jackson Street, making it the second oldest retail store in Starkville. The original store offered a range of cosmetics and included a hair salon.
In 1976, a second proprietor took over the store who added Alma’s Attic – a gift shop.
Under the second owner, Prentice worked at the store for several years while finishing college and after. She fell in love with the store and its customers. So when the opportunity to take over the business came about, she jumped at the chance.
“I renamed the shop after my grandmother,” says Prentice.
We are a full-service skin care and cosmetic studio. In our Luna Bella gift store we offer a wide array of gift items: home fragrances, jewelry, kitchen items, home decor, baby items and so much more!
Prentice’s favorite item in the store is the Grandmother’s Buttons Jewelry line — antique or vintage buttons crafted into jewelry by hand.
Helping Customers Feel Beautiful
Prentice loves helping her customers and making them feel beautiful. Whether it’s discovering a new shade of lipstick or finding the perfect fall décor, Prentice and her team are there to help.
Merle Norman takes a customized approach with its customers looking for skincare and makeup and even creates makeup tutorials tailored to each individual.
The team at the store takes every precaution with regards to sanitation too. There is never any double-dipping with Merle Norman makeup. Employees also never directly touch the products.
Supporting Starkville Businesses
Owner Alaina Prentice serves on the Starkville Main Street Downtown board and helps out with many community events.
“[Starkville] is home! I’m honored to be a part of my town’s community and history,” says Prentice.
Merle Norman Luna Bella is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The store is located in Cotton Crossing on Russell Street.