Courtney Beddow is the antithesis to the current economic trend.
At a time when businesses are downsizing and employees are being laid off, Beddow's business and personnel have doubled.
Beddow, owner of Alaska Center for Natural Health Inc., jumped on an available lease in Soldotna's Superstructure Building in December. What was formerly Zenny's Design Studio has since been transformed into Evolve Salon and Style -- literally.
"It's been through an extensive remodel," Beddow said.
Earthy tones now rest where green and purple walls, white floors and ubiquitous mirrors once stood. The whole place was gutted, she said, even down to the sinks. The renovations were completed in March.
"We did all of it ourselves," Beddow said. "Our customers deserved this makeover."
"I think it's beautiful," said Evolve's newest employee Kelsey Rohr. "It's unlike anything in Soldotna.
"It's very relaxing in here," Rohr added.
Along with her other business, which offers acupuncture, massages and skin care, Beddow said she now has the largest spa beauty staff on the Kenai Peninsula.
"This team has joined my other team," she said. "I can truly say I've got you covered from head to toe, inside and out."
Beddow not only saw this as an opportunity to expand her business, but also to save the jobs of qualified hair stylists.
"(I didn't) want to see another good business go down on the Kenai Peninsula," she said.
Beddow said opening the salon gave her the opportunity to provide a good, professional working environment for young women. "I like the interaction with people," said Beddow's daughter, Kiana. Working as a receptionist, Kiana, who just finished her sophomore year of high school, said it's good training and experience for the future. "I like the business atmosphere," she said.
Beddow said the salon isn't just for women.
"I like to think of this as a man-friendly shop."
Mike Nesper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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