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August 25. 2013 9:09PM

Barrington woman develops courses for salon industry


JEANNE DEGEN 

BARRINGTON — A local woman plans to use the fruits of a new business venture to achieve a life-long dream of helping heal abused children and pets.

Jeanne Degen, 54, who’s worked in and managed hair salons for the past 33 years, said she is on the verge of launching a series of 10-minute training sessions to help hair stylists learn to promote and manage themselves and their salons — regardless of the size or location.

“There’s such a need for it,” Degen said, adding there’s such a huge gap for this.

Degen, who is chief executive officer of Positive Salon Strategies, said the course — which will soon be available via e-books, DVDs and audio tapes — focuses on the “business end of being a stylist,” including tips for managing the counter, preventing theft and lowering heating costs.

“I broke it down into 10-minute increments so you can learn it and move on,” Degen said, and the course will be useful to anyone who cuts hair or works in a salon.

Each paperback workbook is $29.99 while the DVDs and online workshops vary in price. For example, “Stylists are Business Owners Too” costs $19.99 while “The ABC’s of Operating Your Salon,” a three-part series, is $35.99.

Degen said the program, which will be available via her website — www.positivesalonstrategies.com — by the end of the month, has already attracted the attention of the people she’s met, trained and worked with in the industry.

“I have a lot of people who are buying this for their stylist and a lot of stylists who want it,” Degen said, and beauty distributors, which sell combs, scissors and shampoo to salons, are also interested in the series.

Once the project is up and running, Degen said she expects to market it to businesses across the country and internationally. Degen said she intends to use half of the profits to pursue her dream of helping abused children and pets find new homes through The Dakota Fund, which is named after her 11-year-old dog.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was 6 years old,” Degen said. She recalled how she wanted to mend families after seeing an episode of “My Three Sons” where a boy could not take his favorite dog to his new home.

While the details are far from being finalized, Degen said she plans to work with her older sister, Susan Hardin, who is a state prosecutor in Burlington, Vt., to create “foster homes” or centers where abused children and elderly residents can meet recovering pets.

“We can pair them up so they can learn to trust again,” Degen said, and her hope is both child and their beloved pet will find a home together.

Degen said it will take time for The Dakota Fund to be up and running, but she already has attracted the interest of people who would like to get involved.


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