Ben Rios was born in 1933 in Floresville, Texas. He came from a poor family and because of his circumstances, developed an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age. At the age of 7 he used to catch Horny Toads and sell them to local pharmacies for a penny each, sometimes spending an entire day only to find 1.
He then began working at Piggly Wiggly grocery store prior to joining the military at the time of the Korean war.
After his short stint in the military he began working for La Vue Beauty Supply. Mr. Rios often tells stories of the owner and his press for honesty from all of the employees. He recalls several occasions where the owner would put extra supplies in the salesmens cars to see who would bring back the supplies and who would sell them and pocket the money. He also use to leave 5, 10 or even 20 dollar bills on the floor of the stock room to see who was honest enough to bring them back to him. Mr. Rios passed all of these test and was honored by his boss for his tremendous honesty.
Because of this relationship with the owner of La Vue beauty supply, the owner gave Mr. Rios his first opportunity to open a salon. Mr. Rios’ wife at the time had gotten her license as a stylist and so they opened up a portion of their house on S. Flores for business.
The owner gave him a chair and station to begin his shop. This was in 1964 and was the first of many to come. At the time the salon was called the Flamingo House of Beauty. Not long afterwards he opened his second salon in 1965 on Nogalitos. Next, in 1966, came a small salon on 121 N. Park Blvd, where the HQ of the company is currently located.
Shortly after opening the third salon Mr. Rios’ wife passed away. In 1969 Mr. Rios married Connsuelo Caballero who became his partner for the real growth of the business. By 1970 3 more salons were opened for a total of 6 salons. Between 1970 & 1983 4 more salons were opened under the Flamingo name, as well as a Beauty Supply business and a wig salon. In 1983 Mr. and Mrs. Rios opened up the new Salon Chain, Rios Golden Cut, Inc., which still stands today.
The Flamingo stayed part of the operation until 1990, at which time all operating Flamingo salons were renamed Rios Golden Cut, and became part of the large family of salons which had blossomed to be 55 salons.
In 1984 the business was run out of their personal home in the Colonial Hills area, as the main office building was rented out to dentist and lawyers and other tenants. All hiring and business decisions, payroll, AP etc. were all run out of their home. This year they increased 10 salons, and did the same each year through 1988, increasing 10 per year until they reached a total of 50 salons.
By this time the office moved to North Park, and the family moved to Helotes. In 1990 they began a new theme called the Golden 50’s. They opened 2 salons, on Eckhert and Commerce with this theme. These had tremendous success for a few years.
Since that time to now there have been several changes in the dynamics of San Antonio, which have caused closures of some salons as we prepare to open new ones in the areas of new growth in San Antonio. We are also realizing a goal of moving the chain out of San Antonio to the nearby communities.
Our first salon outside of San Antonio which is Now Open for business in Boerne. We have several other communities we are planning to look to in the next few years. Below are a couple of pictures showing our new colors and logos as the company evolves it’s image.