Butterflies can be seen throughout Theresa Langdon's nail salon located inside Sherman Phoenix. The beautiful, bold, winged butteries are a representation of her son.
"My son in life was my greatest friend," Langdon said. "His spirit is still with me."
Langdon started in the nail business 27 years ago as a way to set her own schedule and be closer to her son Tyrone Keith Brown Jr.
"When my son came to the shop with me, he was little so my clients would hold him on one side and I would do their hand and they would switch," Langdon said.
But in 2012, when her son Tyrone was 22, he was shot and killed in a double-homicide in Milwaukee.
Langdon found it hard to go back to work. She closed up her shop and for 10 months she mourned the loss of her first born.
"When I lost my son I went into hibernation," she said. "I didn’t want to answer any questions."
When her friend's grandson passed away at 5 years old, she found the strength to get back up and keep pushing forward, so she could be there for her friend.
"I said well you lost a 5-year-old, I lost a 22-year-old, so surely I can move beyond, if they are," she said. "It hurt it’s painful but I use it because it’s necessary... it has changed my heart."
Eventually, Langdon started doing nails again at Flawless Feature located on Capitol Drive until she was provided an opportunity to own her own place again at Sherman Phoenix.
"It’s a great experience, I'm glad I came," Langdon said.
Langdon said it's her son's spirit that helps her to continue to her business and through her client relationships, she finds peace and healing.
"Nails have given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people," she said. "It’s bigger than nails for me, it’s a relationship, a friendship."
A place of peace and a blend of entrepreneurs growing and thriving is what the developers of the Sherman Phoenix intended it to be.
Maanaan Sabir was part of the Sherman Phoenix development team, he is also the owner of Shindig Coffee. He said the businesses are thriving.
"Businesses are doing really well," Sabir said. "I think they are exceeding expectations."
Sabir said the weekends are when businesses are at their busiest.
"On the weekends, it’s like a party. At any time during the day people are always here generating some type of conversation with each other."
He hopes in the next 5-10 years, shop owners will have opportunities to open up multiple shops across Milwaukee.
Langdon hopes to enroll at MATC to get her instructor licenses.