Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2008
At 20,000 square feet, it’s the second largest salon in all of Northwest Florida. It caters to more than 100 customers a week and continues to grow its clientele simply from word of mouth. It’s not your typical hair salon. All services are done by students.
For more than 30 years customers have entrusted themselves to PJC cosmetology students for low-cost manicures, pedicures, waxes, and hairstyles. Today there are about 4,000 customers in the salon’s database, according to Larry Gardner, department head of professional service careers.
“Fifteen-thousand people came last year,” Gardner said. “Because the students do such good work, we have a lot of repeat business.”
Gardner said that customers are not allowed to request a particular student hairstylist so that they won’t get attached to the student or vice versa. As a result, clients return to the PJC salon even after a particular student has left or graduated.
“I would say our public clientele probably gets treated better here than they do in the salons,” she said. “Our students take time with them, and they do it the way they’re supposed to do.”
“The service is good and the people are good and friendly,” Poole said. “I’ve just about had everything— hair cut and all,” she said.
“They’re under the teacher’s supervision, and the teachers are really good about walking around and checking on what the students are doing,” she said.
“[The students] are in school 1200 hours, and every hour is documented,” he said.
The students “are going out to work in salons pretty soon anyway so they’re qualified,” she said.
“We don’t push money, but it saves money for students and for clients as well when you compare those services to what is charged in the salons,” Gardner said.
The PJC cosmetology program trains and turns out some of the best cosmetologists in Pensacola, according to Keating.