Beauty Bar soon to have new home

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It was a combination of the smells. The creativity. The social nature. Helping people attain hair happiness. The atmosphere, ambiance, and after school visits to her aunt’s salon that laid the inspirational foundations of a future Elkader success story: that of Caitlin Kuehl and the Beauty Bar. Well, that and a little bit of fluck. So, in 2008, armed with a 10-year plan and some self-professed reliance on “winging it,” Caitlin’s entrepreneurial journey first took real shape in one of Iowa’s most idyllic places.

She arrived from Strawberry Point, with an “education in hair” she’d received from Capri College in Cedar Rapids, and most importantly, she came with a vision. A vision encompassed by professionalism, affordability, and a “people first” philosophy that underpins her humble beginnings at A Hair Bit Better. From there she moved to Mere Images, which she purchased in 2014, having achieved her 10-year goal in just six.

She would rechristen the salon, the Beauty Bar. A name chosen for its alliterative aesthetics and also because it symbolizes the shops creative inclinations, friendliness, and of course, the complimentary alcoholic beverages. All mixed together with small town intimacy and the Beauty Bar becomes a hair cutters version of Cheers, and the staff swiftly alternate between stylist and “therapist in hair.” It’s this sense of socialization, the humanity behind human interactions, and the unencumbered desire to make “people’s hair speak,” coupled with Caitlin’s alluring tenacity and perseverance, that has been a driving force behind the success of the Beauty Bar.

It’s an impressive success, given that there are three other salons all competing over a very small pie of clientele in a small town of less than 1,500 people. All this makes the upcoming move and expansion of the Beauty Bar to a brand new location on Main Street even more monumental. So, what can this level of fortune in such a competitive business be attributed to? The answers were many, starting with “teamwork makes the dream work,” emphasizing the shop’s culture of good vibes, promoting an atmosphere of peace which is devoid of contention and confrontation, and combustible topics of conversation remain sequestered outside the confines of the Beauty Bar’s walls. The “teamwork” itself succeeds because, as Caitlin asserted, the staff “doesn’t work for me, they work with me,” and the staff, it appeared, seemed willing to run through a brick wall for Caitlin. There was an overwhelming sense of devotion, loyalty, and friendship, all of which embody the ideals of the Beauty Bar.

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