Bankers Leap Hair Raising Experience


    Jeremiah White Jr., proprietor of salon chain Reflections 5001 and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2005 Minority Entrepreneur of the Year, credits much of his success to his banker, Pat Julian, vice president of commercial lending for Mercantile Bank.

    Like most entrepreneurs, White was rejected numerous times before Julian agreed to finance his start-up.

    “I’ve seen barriers and I’ve learned that you just have to persevere through it,” White said. “If I can say anything, it’s that if someone tells you no, it doesn’t mean never.”

    In 2001, he opened his first Reflections 5001 location on

    Hall Street

    . He has opened two more locations since, including a store at

    1258 Madison Ave. SE

    as part of a full-scale mixed-use development.

    “These are very high-touch accounts,” said Julian, a 20-year veteran of the market. “I tell people to interview your banker, find someone that you can have a long-term relationship with.”    

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