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Ryan Johnson, Published November 27 2013

Moorhead salon owner tapped to style ‘Duck Dynasty’ matriarch

FARGO – Tim Williams can’t take credit for styling the shaggy beards of Phil Robertson and Uncle Si.

But the owner of Details Salon in Moorhead recently was with the stars of reality show “Duck Dynasty” to help the family matriarch, Miss Kay, look her best during a book tour that brought them to Milwaukee.

“I enjoyed it a lot,” he said. “She’s the kind of person you’d want everyone’s mom to be. She’s a really great lady and not fussy or overdone.”

Miss Kay, the wife of family leader Phil Robertson, has refined her image and become more groomed and sleeker since “Duck Dynasty” became a big hit on A&E in April 2012, Williams said. The fourth-season premiere drew 11.8 million viewers this summer, making it the most-watched nonfiction cable broadcast ever.

Still, Williams said the celebrity was no diva when he was styling her hair and makeup to get her ready for book tour events in Milwaukee on Nov. 14 and 15.

“She got up and she said, ‘Terrific,’ ” he said. “It’s just something she wants when she’s on a tour like this to feel comfortable.”

Williams got the unique chance to work with the famous family because of his friendship and past work with Jennifer Smith, the winner of the Miss North Dakota USA competition in 2004 who now is the book publicist for the Robertsons through Simon & Schuster.

“There is no other person or friend who was better qualified for the job or who I would trust with someone at this caliber of ‘celebrity,’ ” Smith wrote in an email to The Forum.

The gig gave Williams plenty of time to talk with the Robertsons, a family he said surprised him for coming across as completely “normal” people despite their wealth from duck hunter company Duck Commander and their ensuing success on TV.

“They have a really good grasp on what’s going on and who they are and the reality of their situation,” he said.

Phil Robertson, the leader of the family, struck Williams as “one of the smarter people about his views on life that I’ve ever met,” even if he didn’t necessarily agree with everything the celebrity said.

Miss Kay, too, impressed Williams with her grasp on their current fame – and their inevitable retreat from the limelight whenever the show is over, telling him that they’re enjoying riding their “wave” right now.

“I think that a lot of people think that what they do is sort of a shtick, and it’s not,” he said. “People would view them as not very worldly, and they’re incredibly worldly.”

Williams said the family did public appearances in Milwaukee, each one drawing an audience of about 4,000. Miss Kay’s book, the recipe collection “Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen,” was No. 3 on the New York Times best-seller list even before she started touring to promote it, he said.

“They’re a very big deal,” Williams said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587