The HairLoft finds home downtown

Friends opened salon in May


Five friends who got to know each other during their time in beauty school now work together at a salon in Fort Dodge’s downtown district.


Ben Pille, stylist at The HairLoft, works on a client’s haircut on Wednesday. Pille and four other stylists work at the downtown salon.






Erica Trudeau-Adams and Brittany Kirsch opened The HairLoft, 14 N. 11th St., in May.


“Brittany and I have worked together in the past before with some managing experience,” Trudeau-Adams said. “We both were unhappy where we ended up after Mastercuts closed. We both had the same ideas of what we wanted out of the business and the same vision for the environment.”


Mastercuts closed abruptly in November 2019. And as a result, employees had to look for new opportunities.


Ben Pille, Marissa Wheeler and Kelsey Paschke, decided to join Trudeau-Adams and Kirsch as stylists at The HairLoft.


“We had all worked together (at one point),” Kirsch said. “We went to school all around the same time. We worked at Regis Salon and then Mastercuts.”


All five graduated from La’ James International College in Fort Dodge.


Trudeau-Adams, a 2010 Rockwell City-Lytton High School graduate, has been a licensed cosmetologist for nine years.


Kirsch, a 2011 Humboldt High School graduate, has been a stylist for eight years.

Pille has been a stylist for six years. He graduated from Clarion-Goldfield High School in 2011.

He said La’James was a good fit for him.


“I just didn’t feel at home at a community college setting,” Pille said. “I had toured La’ James and was checking out another school. When I got to La’ James they were so welcoming — to me they were. I just felt at home.


And Marissa and I have been friends since my first day.”


Marissa Wheeler, a 2012 Rockwell City-Lytton High School graduate, has been in the business for seven years.


Kelsey Paschke is a Fort Dodge native. She graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 2011. She’s been styling hair for almost eight years.


Prior to opening, all salons were shut down anyway due to COVID-19 restrictions.

During that time, the group worked a remodel, installing new flooring and giving the walls some fresh coats of paint.


“The timing worked out well to give us time to work on things,” Trudeau-Adams said. “It was just concrete floors and concrete walls.”


“We put in some blood, sweat and tears,” Wheeler added.


The pandemic has also forced the stylists to learn new skills when it comes to working around masks.


“Mask-wearing — we have definitely learned some tips and tricks about cutting around the mask and applying color around the mask,” Wheeler said.


Kirsch attributes more abrupt cancellations to the pandemic

.

“And the cases have picked back up,” Trudeau-Adams said.


At the same time, Trudeau-Adams said business has remained fairly steady.


“We have had really good support,” she said.


Trudeau-Adams said she likes having the business downtown.

of the stylists when I come in. It’s a laid back atmosphere, no judgment zone.” Trudeau-Adams said she likes to keep the mood light.


“We are a good time and a good team,” she said. “It’s like family. We don’t always get

along but it’s nice to know you have friendship and can confide in your co-workers. I’ve definitely appreciated them in the last several months. We get told we are pretty funny.” In terms of the name of the business, Trudeau-Adams said it was just a name idea that

came up in conversation.


“And we have a small loft in the front, so it works out,” she said.


Pille dispelled the rumors that the name had anything to do with the former Hayloft

Lounge located downtown.


“A lot of people think it’s a spin-off of the Hayloft that used to be in town but it’s not,”

he said.


“We really like the downtown area,” Trudeau-Adams said. “It’s got some interesting scenery sometimes, but never a dull moment. And it’s really neat to see the developments they are doing as far as revitalizing.”


Pille said The HairLoft is like a family atmosphere.


“We all bring different personalities and techniques to the table,” he said.


The HairLoft offers haircuts, coloring, texture, perms and wedding updos.

Wheeler said she and the other stylists enjoy learning about their customers.

“We have a lot of compassion, too,” she said. “We hear a lot of stories about their

personal lives.”


Paschke added, “We are someone you can open up to.”


Katie Flanigan, a client of the salon, said even though Wheeler cuts her hair, she talks

to all the stylists.


“They are all personable and easy to get along with,” Flanigan said. “I can talk to any of the stylists when I come in. It’s a laid back atmosphere, no judgment zone.”


Trudeau-Adams said she likes to keep the mood light.


“We are a good time and a good team,” she said. “It’s like family. We don’t always get

along but it’s nice to know you have friendship and can confide in your co-workers. I’ve definitely appreciated them in the last several months. We get told we are pretty funny.”

In terms of the name of the business, Trudeau-Adams said it was just a name idea that

came up in conversation.


“And we have a small loft in the front, so it works out,” she said.


Pille dispelled the rumors that the name had anything to do with the former Hayloft Lounge located downtown.


“A lot of people think it’s a spin-off of the Hayloft that used to be in town but it’s not,”

he said.

REPRINTED FROM THE FORT DODGE MESSENGER

Recent Posts

See All

Main Street Fort Dodge is a volunteer organization that fosters public-private partnerships, to revitalize and market Historic Downtown Fort Dodge.

CONTACT >

24 N 9th St., Ste D
Fort Dodge, IA

T: 515-573-3172

E: info@mainstreetfd.org

© 2021 by Main Street Fort Dodge. Proudly created by SPIN.