Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 12, 2013

A welcome career change for duo

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Many towns can find quite a few examples worth following from any one of their small business owners, but perhaps even more admirable are those who develop their connection locally from the ground up.

Part spending a good deal of their youth here and education around the corner at the cosmetology school downtown, April Ulloa and Ashley Frost are the latest such example to join the scene with their personal income project, High Maintenance Salon & Tanning.

Opening back on June 4 at 111 West McClure in downtown PV, they are still working on building a larger group of regular clientele, but it is a welcome change in reality for both after completing their education back in March.

“My mom always told me I was high maintenance when I was little so that’s what I went with,” said Ulloa, who grew up here and was a stay at home mom before she made a decision to go back to school. “I did it because it was something I could do with my kids.”

Frost’s decision was a bit more centered on something that wasn’t quite as grueling as her previous job as a post office employee, but would also still be here in town.

It seemed like an easy choice since she could also make her own hours and noted how styling hair was largely inspired through her respect of a famous monster movie makeup artist named Rick Baker.

“I needed something else to do… It was physically too much for me.” said Frost, adding how on in occasion in the past she has helped create some rather creative looks for Halloween like a Gene Simmons makeup job.

“He was my inspiration for even thinking about cosmetology to begin with… I love monster makeup.”

Some of the services the salon offers includes the standard haircut, but branches out to include other beauty considerations like coloring, perms, waxing and tanning, said Frost.

It’s hard to miss their building painted in a very noticeable shade of pink, something done on purpose to compliment work owner Ulloa had done to restore the inside of a building desperately in need of refurbishment.

“It would set us apart,” said Ulloa, noting how the location was also in their price range compared to other spots in the area and is a good way to connect all the good times she had in the same section of town as a kid.

“We thought if we painted it pink no one would forget it.”

However, the one thing that makes going into business worth it for both ladies is how just the process of getting one’s hair done can brighten someone’s outlook after they have come in.

Frost noted how she has seen the transformation in moods and the conversation throughout frees up what is on the mind.

“You can totally transform someone’s attitude about their life,” said Frost. “It’s the small things.”

In the end, it’s a steady business Frost and Ulloa can depend on even if the economy takes another nose dive. This is bolstered by the fact that people will still want to get their hair cut or styled even if they are out of the job market.

“It’s steady no matter what the economy is,” said Ulloa. “People are still going to get their hair done.”

They are also open to renting space for another cosmetologist to join them in this mission.

Operating hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 or 5:30 p.m. weekdays and on Saturday by appointment only. For more information call the shop at 405-207-9939.