Rossville resident April Nerren dreamed of opening a hair salon since childhood.
In the spring of 2011, her dream became a reality when the 23-year-old and three other hairstylists moved into a spacious renovated 2,400-square-foot two-story salon at 71 Quarter Master Circle in Fort Oglethorpe. She is now working to build her New Image Salon one step at a time.
"My mom researched the building," said Nerren, who gives the credit for her being able to be there to God. "It was used by the railroad to store military uniforms and guns at one time. I've heard it was also used as a horse stable and as a jail for soldiers in the past."
She said the upstairs of the building is now used for offices, while the downstairs has hairstylist stations, shampoo bowls, dryer stations, two bathrooms, a waiting area and a break room.
"I want to have stylists upstairs and downstairs," said Nerren. "The stylists here rent booths and do well."
Inside the salon patrons can listen to J103 radio station, take off their shoes and relax while getting their hair done. New Image Salon offers haircuts for men, women and children, hair coloring, eyebrow waxing and manicures.
"A lot of the darker colors are in right now, such as reds," Nerren said, adding that people often request a mocha hair color or a blonde and red blend to spice things up. "Pretty much everyone has side-swept bangs."
Nerren said she would like to add more hairstylists, a massage therapist and a nail technician to do pedicures in the future.
After graduating from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in 2007, Nerren earned her hairstylist certification from Georgia Northwestern Technical College in 2008. She said fellow New Image Salon hairstylists Heather Blevins and Morgan Beard also earned stylist certifications there. Jade Millard is certified through Regency Hair School.
"We went through names for the salon," said Nerren. "I wanted a new image from the other salons from the past. We want to get people where they want to be with their hair."
She's running a new- client special for $15 off a hair color or perm.
"We are really good at what we do," said Nerren. "We love accepting new clients and seeing new people."