Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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May 8, 2013

Reality TV's new stars: Small businesses

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"I do realize that television shows end," he says, even though the show is coming back for a new season May 30. "I want to make sure I have a business when people are saying, 'Hey, do you remember that show about four fat guys in a pawn shop'"

A show may end, but it's not quickly forgotten. Hair stylist Elgin Charles, whose salon was featured on VH1's "Beverly Hills Fabulous," says he is still benefiting from the show even though it hasn't been on the air for nearly two years.

Fans of the show still stop into Elgin Charles Beverly Hills to get their hair done, some from as far away as Australia and Nigeria. "The phone didn't stop ringing for eight months after the show aired," says Charles, who has owned the salon for 15 years.

Charles was recently cornered by fans at a Dallas nightclub trying to get a picture of him on their smartphones. "I can't even walk the streets of New York without being approached," he says. (Charles is hard to miss. He often wears shiny, dark, straight shoulder-length hair.) He has been paid to make appearances at hair shows and conventions. "Many doors have opened," says Charles.

"The whole reason I did it was to make Elgin Charles Beverly Hills a household name," says Charles. He's says he's putting his name on a school, called the Elgin Charles Universal Beauty College, which is expected to open this summer in downtown Los Angeles.

Reality TV has been good to Duff Goldman, too. Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" filmed Goldman and his employees at Charm City Cakes bakery as they made lavish cakes. (In one episode, they made a cake for a "Harry Potter" movie premiere party that looked like Hogwarts Castle, the boy wizard's school.) "Ace of Cakes" ended in 2011, but Goldman and his bakery are still in high demand.

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