Before finishing cosmetology school, Jennifer Hill had a dream to be a business owner and open her own salon.
With the drive and determination to make that dream a reality, she started looking into what it would take to start her own business. Jennifer reached out to a contact at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension office and received guidance on where to begin, including how to make a business plan.
She was also advised to contact the Center for Rural Affairs for further assistance. With the Center’s guidance, Jennifer has been able to take on the roles of both business owner and full-time stylist since opening Pampered & Polished Salon and Spa in 2015.
As the owner of a family-friendly, full-service salon in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Jennifer’s customers’ styling needs are covered—everything from haircuts to eyelash extensions.
Pampered & Polished Salon and Spa also offers hair colors, corrective colors, perms, and styling. Skin care and nail services like tanning, facials, waxing, manicures, pedicures, and more are also part of the extensive lineup of options.
Through start-up financing from the Center, Jennifer was able to revamp the building her salon calls home. The addition of new furnishings, plumbing updates, extra supplies, and more has turned her business into what it is today.
“Center staff have been great at answering my questions, especially with any changes through the Small Business Administration,” Jennifer said. “When I have extra time, I want to take advantage of their training courses to learn more about running a business, because they offer so many helpful classes.”
Center Loan Specialist Anthony Gurrola has worked with Jennifer for the last few years, supporting her as she achieves her business goals.
“I enjoy working with Jennifer, and we’ve had some great conversations,” said Anthony. “It's great how she’s doing within her community. I look forward to finding more opportunities to help her business grow with the Center’s assistance.”
Jennifer operates her salon as a sole proprietor and opened her business with a small staff consisting of herself as a full-time stylist and one other part-time stylist. Currently, there are two full-time stylists, including the owner.
Though she and her co-worker stay fairly busy, Jennifer says operating a small business during the COVID-19 pandemic has been trying, to say the least.
“We got shut down for 30-plus days,” she said. “It’s so hard for a physical service to recuperate from that.”
Jennifer decided to take out an additional loan from the Center at that time to cover any unexpected expenses, and that funding eventually ended up covering overhead costs.
And, though running her salon during a pandemic has been an adjustment, she’s grateful to have support when she needs it.
“Center staff have been super easy to work with,” said Jennifer. “They’ve been awesome in helping us know what’s going on and keeping in touch with us about any updates or changes we should know about.”
At a glance
Pampered & Polished Salon and Spa
2107 Broadway, Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Hours: Monday closed; Tuesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday by appointment only; Sunday closed