PARKERSBURG - Having been open about six months, the Artisan School of Cosmetology has developed a positive reputation in the beauty and public community.
"Things are coming along quite nicely and we are building a really good reputation," said co-owner Mark Binegar. "We have had area stylists visit and tell us how impressed they are with our students' work and the atmosphere and many of the people who come here for services speak highly of us on Facebook."
The school, located at 115 Rosemar Road, opened Oct 30 last year and currently includes instructors Binegar and Melissa Delancy and co-owner Chad Clark with a dozen students. Binegar has been a cosmetologist for 29 years, Delancy has spent 25 years as a cosmetologist and Clark has worked in the business end of salons for a decade.
Artisan School of Cosmetology students Erica Watson has Taylor Dill, both of Parkersburg, foil color into her hair for both of them to learn how dyes and other hair color works in the Rosemar Road facility. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
Binegar and Clark had been working to open a cosmetology school for about seven years when the beauty school on Market Street closed and Binegar said he saw it as a sign to open.
"Because we opened after the downtown school closed most people think we are that school, but we aren't," Binegar said. "We are not affiliated with any other cosmetology school; we are our own place."
The pair opened the school because they wanted to bring a fresh style and concept to cosmetology in the area with a focus on education.
"Education is our number one priority," Clark said. "We want to make sure our students are able to walk out this door and get a job in any salon after attending our school."
Students seeking a cosmetology degree will take 1,800 hours of classes and 14 months learning not only how to treat hair, skin and nails, but also learning chemistry, sanitation and anatomy, Binegar said.
"It's not as easy as people assume it is," Binegar said. "It is a lot more work than anyone who comes in thinks."
The anatomy lessons include the bones and muscles of the hands, face, feet and scalp.
"Without knowing those things the students won't know how to work with their clients," Binegar added.
Students Erica Watson and Taylor Dill said they love everything about the school and learning the ropes, so to speak.
"I love coming to school and hate when I'm sick and have to miss," Watson said. "I know girls who have gone to other schools in the area and aren't learning the things I am or having as much fun."
Dill said she never saw herself as a cosmetologist but decided to try the school because it looked different from others.
"Because Mark and Melissa are so hands-on and helpful I love being here and learning," she added.
Binegar said he is pleased to see the school do well and clients return multiple times for services.
"This has been a dream a long time coming," he said. "And I couldn't be more pleased with the reception we're receiving."