By Cynthia Sheer
Jerry and Pamela Cash knew Belleville would be their home as soon as they walked into the fixer-upper house located just west of Food Mart Thriftway.
For a year the Lincoln, Neb., couple had been spending their weekends touring towns in Kansas and Iowa as they looked for a community that could support her hair salon and his handyman business. Pamela Cashes’ longtime dream of having her own salon came true on Saturday as she welcomed her first walk-in customers to Salon 2318.
“We feel really good about the location,” she said of her family haircare business located at 2318 M Street. “It’s right across from the grocery store on a popular road.”
The couple was looking for a house that would serve as a salon in the front and a home in the back. A garage out back was a requirement for Jerry Cashes’ handyman business. The couple also wanted a space where they could garden and grill.
The communities of Belleville, Concordia and Shenandoah, Iowa, were on the short list until the couple happened to see the empty house at 2318 M Street on their way out of town during a driving tour last year.
“We liked Belleville, and as soon as we walked in this house, we knew this was the one,” Jerry Cash said.
The couple has done extensive renovations on the 100-plus-year-old house since they purchased it last July because it had been setting empty for awhile, Jerry Cash said.
The salon is separated from the rest of the house with a newly built wall and double doors, but Pamela Cash said she wanted a salon attached to her home so that she could work on other projects in her house during “down time” at the salon.
Pamela Cash is a Friend, Neb., native and had her own hair salon there after graduating from cosmetology school. She later moved to Lincoln where she worked in some salons before becoming a cosmetology instructor. She was an instructor for a year at Joseph’s College of Beauty before teaching at College of Hair Design for 10 years.
“Working with all those young people kept me young,” she said. “But there was a part of me that wanted to get behind the chair again.”
For about two years the Cashes talked about moving away from Lincoln, which they said had gotten too big. They went on road trips nearly every weekend scouting for towns with history and the right population size.
Their journey lead them Choosing a new place to call home Belleville tops list of possible new hometowns when couple decide to move from Lincoln to Belleville.
“We really liked Belleville right away,” said Jerry Cash, who is a Gibbon, Neb., native. He said the people were friendly, waved and had manners.
After months of remodeling, the pair are ready to begin their self-employed careers in Belleville. Jerry Cash said he plans to pick up some handyman jobs now that the salon is open, and Pamela Cash said she is ready to get back to doing hair.
She said she loves all parts of the cosmetology industry, including cutting hair and doing perms, and she wants customers to know that she is current with the hair trends. She recently left her job at the cosmetology school where she catered to a young college crowd that was very fashion-forward.
“We were doing the latest crazes at the college,” she said. “But I also look forward to getting to know the clientele here and the styles they like.”