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Beauty salon moves four doors down

RONAN — Judy Meeks is moved to tears. She turns away from her hair station in her little salon and faces the women that are getting their nails done. 

It’s the last day of work in the old building that housed Town and Country Beauty Salon. The sun is streaming in the windows and the tiny salon is filled with clients and passers-by, soaking in the small-town beauty shop atmosphere. 

“I am having a hard time with it because I don’t like change,” Meeks chokes out. “But it will be a good change.”

Meeks is only moving her salon a couple doors down to a new location, but the building holds sentimental value for her. 

“My kids were raised here,” Meeks said. 

The building, constructed in 1912 originally housed a barber shop and the barber’s family lived in the back. The century-old structure has been transformed from a barber’s shop, to a sewing shop, to a health food store, to offices and eventually back to a barber shop of some sorts when Meeks moved in with her salon. 

Unfortunately, the building was built without a foundation, which made upkeep near impossible. In the 23 years she has been in the building, she has replaced the floor three times.

“It’s just an old building,” co-owner and stylist Katie Snyder said. “The only thing (the landlord) could have done would be to jack it up and put a foundation under it.”

Push came to shove when an inspector from the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists did not want to inspect the building, citing that there were too many code violations to fix. 

“We have done as much as we can do to keep it up to code,” Meeks said. 

“It’s time,” Snyder adds.

On Monday, when the new location opened as J and K Town and Country, Snyder assumed duties as part owner along with Meeks. 

The new location is bright and airy, painted in hues of yellows that reflect the sunlight through the windows facing Main Street. Ornate, wooden mirrors hang from the walls, and on Friday during construction, the dust and the cords on the floor couldn’t hide the beauty of freshly installed flooring. 

The salon was also fortunate enough to receive a donation of fun salon furniture from Snyder’s aunt in Oklahoma, who closed shop two years ago. 

Since the owners’ road trip to the southwest to pick up the furniture, the leopard print couch and chair, various product racks, hair stations, and a pedicure station, sat in storage until the time was right.

Meeks and Snyder decided on the new location because of its space and the recent remodel of the building. 

The new salon includes several different rooms in the back for tanning, waxing, mixing colors, and even an extra room that will enable the salon to hire a massage therapist.

On Saturday, the ladies headed over with a few boxes of products, hair styling tools, leaving the old building and furniture behind and walked into a freshly remodeled salon at 208 Main Street. 

Luckily their little shop of beauty memories will remain a sentimental landmark a few doors down.

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