Two forms of expression
Personal Expressions combines salon, art gallery
Styling hair and creating art throughout her salon at Personal Expressions is therapy for Amanda Peart.
“I have always been kind of crafty, but art became my therapy,” Peart, of Fort Dodge, said.
Peart, of Fort Dodge, is one of four stylists who work at the salon located in Crossroads Mall. She opened the business in January.
And in March she added the art gallery to her salon.
All of the art is created by Peart, who said she started painting about two years ago.
“A lot of them are acrylic pours,” she said.
Peart’s specialties include spray paint art and gun powder art.
The other hair stylists, also of Fort Dodge, include: Lynne Brown, Miranda Dencklau, and Amy Derrig.
“One thing that is really nice about this salon, she (Peart) added her personal touch in here,” Brown said. “The paintings, the back splash on the shampoo bowls — all of the decor.”
Peart, a 2004 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate, loves to create. But she also likes to teach others.
She offers classes at the salon.
“I love making trees on top of pours after they have dried,” she said. “I think it’s fun to teach people these skills. A lot of people don’t think they can paint until I show them how easy it can be, given the right direction. It’s the same with hair. I try to teach my clients how to do their hair at home so they can duplicate the look they want. Some people don’t want to spend a little more for products, but I compare it to building a house. You have to start with a good foundation if you want lasting results.”
Peart doesn’t mind giving some additional advice.
“If a client comes back and tells me they couldn’t do it how I did, I’ll stand back and have them show me exactly what they’re doing at home so I can give my pointers where needed,” she said. “I want everyone to leave happy and to feel good.”
Peart said each of the stylists at Personal Expressions are their own business owner.
“They don’t work for me,” she said. “When you come in here you are truly supporting each stylist. I wanted it to be a place for stylists to build their careers from.”
Peart has been a licensed cosmetologist for 14 years. She attended La’James International College.
Prior to opening Personal Expressions, Peart had been displaying her art pieces in a kiosk at the mall.
Then she saw the space that used to house the Regis Salon.
“My dad’s office was here (Crossroads Mall) before I came here,” Peart said. “I saw how well the mall was willing to work with him. A lot of the big stores have gone out of the mall, but for a local business owner to be able to come in and have affordable rent is huge.”
The name of the business — Personal Expressions — uses the first two letters of Peart’s last name: P and E.
So far she’s been pleased with the community’s support.
“The salon has grown a lot faster than I expected it to with the stylists,” Peart said. “It started out as a central place where I can do my art and hair — put my passions all into one and then expanding it with the microblading.”
Microblading is permanent makeup used oftentimes on eyebrows, she said.
“Fourteen needles are lined up like a razor that pushes pigment into the three layers of skin,” she said.
Tattoos are different because they go into eight layers of skin.
“This (microblading) will fade with time,” Peart said.
She plans to start offering that next month.
Haircuts at the salon are $16 for adults. $12 for children.
Personal Expressions also offers pedicures and art classes.
Brown, a 2011 FDSH graduate, said she found Peart through social media.
“I kind of took a hiatus from hair when I moved back to Fort Dodge,” Brown said. “But I think I’m doing pretty well here. She was looking for a stylist. I talked to her for about 15 minutes, showed up that night and have been here ever since.”
Brown graduated in 2015 from Iowa School of Beauty in Sioux City
She moved back to Fort Dodge in 2016.
When Brown is not working at the salon, she works the registration desk at the UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center emergency room.
Brown and Peart have gotten along well.
“We have formed a nice bond working together,” Brown said. “I think we all work really well together.”
Peart said she has room for more stylists, but wants to keep a small group.
“I have 11 stations, but there’s no way I would bring in 11 people,” she said.
Brown enjoys helping people look the way they want to.
“I really do enjoy doing hair a lot,” Brown said. “I like the creativity. They put that on us to look like that picture, and you can build really good relationships with the clients you have.”
5 questions for the stylists
1. Favorite movie? Avengers: Endgame
2. Last song or artist you listened to? Buckcherry
3. Place you want to visit? Rome
4. Dream dinner guest? Johnny Depp
5. Favorite food? Tacos
1. Favorite movie? Pretty Woman
2. Last song or artist you listened to? Cool by Jonas Brothers
3. Place you want to visit? Sweden
4. Dream dinner guest? My mom
5. Favorite food? Pizza