Stylist strikes out on own

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 1999

Roxanne Roche is quick to point out that the Country Music City News handed Neal McCoy its most recent "entertainer of the year" award.

Sunday, August 29, 1999

Roxanne Roche is quick to point out that the Country Music City News handed Neal McCoy its most recent "entertainer of the year" award.

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Roche is a huge McCoy fan.

"Have you ever heard of ‘The Shake’ ?" she said, before telling the story of how she and her older sister, Annette Grage, met McCoy backstage once and have maintained lasting friendships since.

Like everybody else, McCoy could not help but notice Roche’s startling green and hazel eyes.

McCoy also could not help but notice that Roche has opened her own beauty salon, Roxanne’s Hair Studio. McCoy joined a number of well-wishers in sending Roche flowers and other kindnesses.

"I was a little nervous about opening on my own," Roche said. "But my clients had been telling me for the last year, ‘Open something on your own. You can do it. We’ll be there for you.’

"That’s the difference. I’ve got wonderful, faithful clientele."

The studio is located at 910 2nd Ave. SW, in the building formerly occupied by M J O’Connor, Inc. Roche’s husband, Ken, works for M J O’Connor, an air, heating and plumbing outfit. When it moved out to the industrial park, Roche quickly moved in. It took Roxanne and Ken a few weeks of labor, sweat and late nights to get the salon into performance shape.

In the main room, there are three styling chairs – two other stylists will soon join Roche – a two-sink hair washing station and a fireplace.

"I wanted it to look kind of cozy and comfortable," Roche said.

To that end, there’s also a television and a VCR. The other day a mother came in for a one-and-a-half hour hair appointment, while her daughter sat quietly watching "The Wizard of Oz."

In another room, you’ll find a manicurist’s table and two massage therapy stations. One of the message stations will be operated by Jeanette Phillips, who used to work at Aveda Spa in Osceola, Wis., rated one of the top 10 spas in the world. Arlene Bastian will be operating the other station.

Roche is also offering full-body waxing.

"I wanted to offer a full-service salon to the people of Austin," said Roche, the mother of two sons, Ryan and Kyle Jacobson.

The salon’s hours are 9-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Roche says she’ll also work Saturdays. She’s already got a bridal party lined up for Sept. 11, when Roche will come to the rescue for six women on one woman’s very special day.

"I’ll do prom too," Roche said of her Saturday moonlighting.

Roche worked six years as a hair stylist in Austin. Prior to that, she performed secretarial work, before her sister pushed her to pursue cosmetology. So, Roche went to Riverland Community College to check on the program. She found there was one opening remaining and courses started the upcoming Monday.

The rest is history.

Roche is very grateful to her sister, husband and mother, who wrote the check to pay for Roche’s first quarter, mentioning them often. She appears well on her way to justifying their support.

The appointment book is filling deep into October, keeping Cindi Christianson busy. Christianson is the receptionist at Roxanne’s. She’s also sings and plays guitar in a local country band Thunder Rose.

"We’re big country music fans around here," Roche said. "I play a mean cow bell. Cindi calls me up on stage and that’s all I can play. The cow bell. That’s all I can do."

There are those who would beg to differ on that last note.