In Hastings, coifs and a cause at cut-rate prices – 3/10/2011
The Hastings Beauty School serves students and clients of all ages from Minnesota and Wisconsin. You’re invited.
By JOY POWELL, Star Tribune
Photos By Marlin Levison, Star Tribune
Your chair awaits you.
Students at the Hastings Beauty School, in the renovated Gardner Hotel built in 1884, are inviting the community to come in and see the multi-million-dollar investment by owner Dan Lynch — and get hair, nail or skin care at bargain prices.
Lynch said beyond “affordable prices in tough economic times,” clients also help students to achieve their dreams.
But business has been slow lately, and too often, the students have only each other and mannequins to work on.
“I’ve always had a passion for doing hair,” said Jaime Hageman, 20, of Prescott, Wis. “But we have a lot of students, and we need something to do.”
One of two men in a class of 40, he learned at age 3 to braid hair from his grandmother, Pat Hageman, a retired hairdresser who ran the Beauty Nook in Hastings for 38 years.
Now, Jaime Hageman’s greatest dream is to work, even just once, on the hair of country music star Taylor Swift. She lives in Nashville, where Hageman intends to move after graduation to get his cosmetology license.
Beauty school students need practice, his grandmother said.
“You need to have people sitting in your chair, doing their hair,” she said.
“It’s really about going in there and giving these kids the chance for practical experience,” she said. “They listen to what you say, and the instructors are always there to guide them. There’s very little chance for mistake.”
Manager Jeanette Johnson agreed. She’s been with the school for 23 years, helping more than 900 students to serve thousands of clients.
“They’re safe when they come here,” said Johnson of clients who come to the federally accredited school. “We do good work. It does cost less, but the students are supervised. They need customers to work on so they can go out and work in salons.”
Joan Dahlgren, 59, of Hastings, was pleased last week with her color touchup and cut for $26, a quarter of the price that she paid at her last salon.
“It’s always nice to help the kids when they’re starting out in their careers,” she said. “They do a great job, and they really take their time. You’re almost like, ‘C’mon, it’s only hair.'”
Twice she’s been to the school, and she plans to return.
Dahlgren noted the interesting architecture. It includes an original tin ceiling, massive fireplace and 12-foot oak-framed mirror in the lobby. The three-story building also has 12 apartments on its second and third floors.
Priscilla Diethelm, 62, got her hair colored and cut Thursday on a monthly special: A $6 haircut. “The price point for this economy is absolutely fabulous,” she said.
Diethelm, who moved to Hastings a year ago, said she discovered the school after the exterior, with its 19 olive-colored pillars, caught her eye.
“It’s a good use of space” in a building that had at times sat empty, she said.
Dahlgren held her head still as student Jess Shequen, 23, of Lake City, clipped wet red hair.
“We’re like a family,” Shequen said. “And we treat you like family.”
A downtown presence
The school opened about 35 years ago. Lynch bought it in 2003, in leased space 50 feet away from the existing location.
Two years later, he bought the Gardner building. It’s annexed to another building, the Fitch, also part of the school.
Cosmetology student Serina Lewis, 18, of Cottage Grove, is in a 10-month program, and she said she likes the location of the school near the river. She and other students spend their first two months in the classroom, in their own stations, learning basics and new trends in cuts and colors.
At nearby Berens Jewelers, owner Tony Berens said Lynch has done a good job with the restoration and school.
“It’s a big asset to downtown,” Behrens said. “Any traffic downtown is good.”
Across the street from the school, at the Creative Confectionaire, manager Alysha Blomquist appreciates the business. Students come in to buy shakes in the summer on their lunch hours, and clients buy candy and fudge.
Lynch said the students come from all backgrounds, but a good number are young, single mothers learning a way to provide for their families.
“We appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of the Hastings area,” he said, “both in terms of an education and then for those who want… our services.”
Joy Powell • 952-882-9017
Natural Beauty and the Cosmetologist – 12/20/2010
Contemporary pundits and social critics decry the beauty and fashion industry for the national obsession with physical appearance and the social pressures foisted upon young girls to achieve the right mix of physical proportion and artful presentation. These critics claim that young girls are expected to achieve unrealistic and often unhealthy standards of beauty. They implore us to seek self acceptance and forgo attention to, or effort in, the pursuit of the cover girl appearance.
Fortunately there is no plot by the beauty industry to make us feel bad about ourselves. What is frequently neglected in any discussion of beauty is that it requires work, usually hard work and sometimes a fair amount of money. There is no such thing as a natural beauty who arises from slumber looking glorious.
The beauty industry is not the problem, but is part of the solution. There is no such thing as a true natural beauty. A beautiful physique doesn’t appear without effort. Aphrodite didn’t rise from the sofa after polishing off a quart of ice cream in while parked in front of the television in sweat pants and dirty tee. A real stunning beauty is normally the result of discipline not unlike the study and practice of an athlete or musician.
Beauty is a form of artistry requiring knowledge and effort. Hair, skin and nails are the fabrics on which beauty is built. A cosmetologist studies the nature of color, symmetry, style and definition. A skilled cosmetologist can help a client see possibilities by knowing what shapes and colors highlight an individual’s features. Equally important, a cosmetologist understands a client’s needs and desires, helping a client achieve the level of “natural” beauty within the time constraints and financial capacity of the individual. Certain styles and colors require a more demanding maintenance schedule than other styles.
The capacity to acquire beauty – like any other discipline – is both democratic and egalitarian. Put in time and effort the desire results will follow. Seek help from an accomplished cosmetologist realize beauty.
Hastings Beauty School Thanksgiving Press Release – 11/24/2010
Holiday fever has struck Hastings Beauty School with events and games. The students started the season early with a Halloween costume contest. Enthusiasm was available in abundance and it showed with many imaginative costumes, including an impressive Teletubby costume, pirates and assorted spooks.
Hastings Beauty School prides itself on providing a great education with connections to many salons in the metro area. But in addition to the education we are a family with close connection to each other and positive environment. School should be fun. At Hastings Beauty School we provide an open and reaffirming atmosphere where students can gain the education, experience and confidence needed to pass their state board exams, and find meaningful employment.
Hastings Beauty School boasts a 90% completion rate, 100% licensing rate for both the Minnesota and Wisconsin programs, and finally an 80% job placement rate. It is very important to HBS that our students can enroll and know they will get the education they want and find employment that will enable them to make a good living. Not all schools can show such impressive rates of completion, licensing and job placement.
Frequently Hastings Beauty School receives calls from students who express interest in transferring to Hastings Beauty School. Hastings Beauty School does accept transfers from other accredited cosmetology schools and will work hard to help these students realize their dreams in the field of cosmetology.
Prospective students should always consider carefully the environment and success of the school they are considering. Schools have different atmospheres and different track records of success. At Hastings Beauty School we are both fun and highly successful at training our students to succeed in the field.
Life is too short not to do what you like – Hair! And it’s too short to have to teach yourself how to do it. Join us at Hastings Beauty School where a cosmetology education is fun and you can be confident in your prospects for success.
Minnesota Beauty School – New Release
Hastings Beauty School celebrates 5 full years in its new location in the Historic Gardner Building in downtown Hastings. It’s hard to believe that it was five years ago that the complete renovation of the first floor of the Gardner Building was done and the beauty school students were welcomed into the fashionable new facilities located on the corner of Ramsey and 2nd Street in Historic Hastings, Minnesota.
The facilities have been a great asset and have greatly enhanced the reputation of Hastings Beauty School. Careers in cosmetology continue to be a growing field and cosmetology students from both Minnesota and Wisconsin continue to be excited about the quality of education and the warm and supportive approach to education.
Currently Hastings Beauty School is running a 90% completion rate with all students and a 100% licensure rate with students who complete the program. Job placement stands at 80%. Career opportunities continue to grow in the beauty industry.
Hastings Beauty School offers licensure programs for Minnesota Cosmetology License and Wisconsin Cosmetology License. Approximately 20% of the students come from Wisconsin and obtain both a license for Minnesota Cosmetology and a license for Wisconsin Cosmetology.
The September class will begin next month and this is always a full class of new students and a very exciting time to enter school.
You can visit Hastings Beauty School to learn more about opportunities in the field of cosmetology for Minnesota and Wisconsin licensing.
Beauty school plans for new digs – Gardner House slated for extreme makeover.
Published on 07/10/2005
By Frederick Melo, Pioneer Press
HASTINGS – What’s a beauty school to do when the coifs are cutting edge but the digs are a drag? In downtown Hastings, history has a date with hair care, and their budding romance is funding the makeover of one of the state’s oldest hotel buildings.
Employees at the Hastings Beauty School like to joke that theirs is the “funner” school of cosmetology, where students, according to the school motto, “learn to help people feel beautiful” in a chatty, relaxed atmosphere.
But the school’s two-floor layout in a Second Street storefront has budding beauticians all but bumping heads. As students run up and down stairs, customers weave around them to get from a cramped waiting area to awkward twin rows of salon stations.
“It’s a dump,” said instructor Wendy Gardell, a mountain of highlighted, reddish-orange curls bobbing with her laugh. “It’s really outdated. And there’s no room for growth.”
Banking on the benefits of a beauty school makeover, school owner Dan Lynch has found his students a new home right next door in the Gardner House, a three-story building dating back to 1884. Lynch, who bought the site in April, said he is putting roughly $1.5 million into acquiring and renovating the former hotel, one of the downtown historic district’s largest and most prominent properties. He hopes to move by Monday.
Excited by the hammering of work crews, neighboring business owners call Lynch’s investment the largest private historic renovation project to grace the sleepy downtown main street in recent memory.
Once a bright spot for city events and social gatherings, the old hotel hasn’t attracted a sizable crowd in at least 30 years, say residents. From a series of antique shops to an old “Pizza Ranch” restaurant franchise, small businesses have come and gone through the property in quick succession.
“It’s just kind of been on hold for several years … but it used to be the life of town,” said 66-year-old Dick Reissner, of Reissner’s Meat and Grocery, recalling childhood days when the Gardner held free eggnog socials every Christmas Eve.
There may not be rum-laced drinks this Christmas, but the school’s relocation still promises to be an unusual blending of old and new. Soon, pedicure tubs and vibrating massage chairs will line new hardwood floors. Tiltable shampoo sinks will dunk clients into the 21st century, even as customers catch their reflection in long mantel mirrors above a century-old fireplace and beneath an ornate tin ceiling.
The city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority gave Lynch a $48,000 low-interest loan toward painting and refurbishing the building’s Italianate-styled exterior.
Employees are looking forward to classroom space, facial rooms and the salon clinic being situated on a single floor. Lynch is improving 11 upstairs apartments, which are helping to pay the mortgage on the $910,000 property. The Gardner House, which alone runs 87 feet wide and 140 feet long, includes the adjoining Fitch building, a narrower structure constructed in 1881 that once served as the hotel bar.
Lynch acknowledges the relocation is a pricey departure from tradition for the small beauty school, which has 32 students but hopes to grow to 60.
“As far as schools go, this is really upscale,” said Lynch, who hopes to draw more customers and more interest in the school’s newer services, like hair extensions and chemical peels.
Not everyone is pleased with the Gardner House’s new direction. As Hastings struggles with ways to attract tourists and foot traffic to its historic district, some residents had hoped to see the building accommodate an anchor attraction, like an upscale restaurant or high-end hotel.
“There are people who feel that this building should be returned to its original purpose,” Lynch said, who considers his school the proven proposition.
But risks have paid off for him in the past. Lynch, who has a degree in English literature with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, bought the beauty school three years ago knowing little about the field. To learn, he sits in on classes and submits to facials and hair colorings, a human guinea pig for the student body. He also runs Lynch Capital Corp., which brokers the leasing of automotive, airport ground support and fitness equipment for companies and municipal groups.
Beauty school to move
Published on 6/9/2005
By Ben Ganje – Star Gazette Managing Editor
Dan Lynch hopes his renovation of two downtown buildings – which is one of the most ambitious in recent downtown history – will boost his beauty school business. Others hope his project, which is one of the most ambitious in recent memory, help revitalize the area. His $1.5 million project will move Hastings Beauty School, which he bought two years ago, about 50 feet east into the ground level of the Fitch and Gardner House buildings. It’s that 50 feet that Lynch said will send his business into the 21st century by creating a state-of-the-art school that will attract new students from around the southeast metro area. “My difficulty is that I’m in the beauty business and I have a facility that is not up to what we deem as industry standards,” he said. “Now, we’ll have a business that exceeds industry standards.”
The move was necessary because Lynch couldn’t buy the building he was in and couldn’t secure a long-term lease. He’s happy with the current course of events, though, he said. “I think the Gardner is the queen of the block down here,” he said. As long as he’s at it, Lynch is trying to enhance some of the historic character of the building, while creating a modern space that will attract new students and clients.
The pillars that epitomize the building, in dire need of refurbishing, will be replaced with pillars that the Hastings Historic Preservation Committee approved for a previous owner. The tin ceiling, too, will be restored and a featured part of the school’s reception area. Attention to historic detail is a good sign in a new building owner, according to Hastings Housing and Redevelopment Director John Grossman. “It looks like Dan Lynch is an owner who plans to be there for awhile and that’s good for the building,” Grossman said. “It’s good he’s interested in the building. “The porch and the pillars and the paint all need redoing. He has plans to do that.” Even those not attune to historic rehabilitation will notice the difference in the exterior of the Gardner House when Lynch is finished, however.
The pillars, now white, will be painted a deep, dark green, to reflect a likely color from 1885, when it was built. “That period was a time when deep, dark rich colors were used on commercial property,” Grossman said. Other downtown business owners are pleased with the renovations, as well. “I just think it’s terribly exciting,” said Laurel Cox, owner of Professor Java’s, a downtown coffee shop. “Dan’s going to bring that business into the current century, someplace that’s fun,” she said. Lynch said he wouldn’t be able to modernize his school without a good working relationship with Hastings’ city staff. He has mapped out an aggressive schedule – the project complete by July 1 and the school moved by July 5. Both he and a Crew Commercial representative, his general contractor, said that Grossman and building official Tom Bakken have been very helpful.
“I’m feeling nothing but support from the city,” Lynch said. Cosmetology is not new to downtown, Hastings Beauty School has operated out in the Mertz building since 1981, but the beauty business is new to the Gardner House. When it was built in 1885, the Gardner House was not a beauty school, it was a hotel. For much of its life span the building housed tenants. During that time, however, bankruptcies and turnover were common. Renovations are nothing new, either. During its first 15 years, the Gardner House – named after Hastings’ pioneering miller, Stephen Gardner – underwent several remodels. Lynch hopes his is different. His businesses success, he said, is linked to its location in Hastings. The school serves the southeast metro and many of the small towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“Hastings is probably the best for us,” he said. “It gives the students a tremendous opportunity.” Lynch will continue to operate 11 apartments on the upper levels of both buildings. He plans to gradually upgrade those, as well. There are some, including the former owners, who wanted a hotel in the Gardner House, to reflect its original purpose. Lynch, for his part, is interested in creating a successful business in downtown Hastings. Right now, he’s in the beauty business, he said. Grossman said Lynch’s financial commitment to renovation in the area is the largest in recent memory and a good indication of stability. Cox said it’s nice to see someone taking care of the Gardner House. “He’s going to finish it,” she said. “Finally.”