Student applications quickly piled up soon after Miranda Ziegler and Baneza Andrades let the world know they’re opening a new beauty college in Glenwood Springs.
“We have, right now, in the upper 50s — students that are lined up,” Ziegler said.
Inside a 3,100-square-foot, two-story building in West Glenwood, owner Ziegler and junior partner Andrades are set to open Glenwood Beauty College. An open house is slated for 3-7 p.m., Aug. 27. The address is 50633 U.S. Highway 6, Unit B.
This new school is furnished with 28 double-sided beauty stations, nearly 10 manicure and pedicure stations, three hair-washing stations, two spa rooms complete with four beds, a classroom area and more. Framed pictures of Audrey Hepbrun, Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot already adorn the walls.
Ziegler said the college will offer a full cosmetology curriculum for skin, hair and nails. Tuition is set to cost about $24,000 a year and includes a 1,500-hour program, taught by five instructors.
“There’s such a necessity, and I thought I could help my fellow women to get their licenses,” she said of the need for a local beauty college. “All salons, everywhere you go up and down the valley, they’re needing people.”
The Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys have been without a regional beauty school for the past five years now. The former Glenwood Springs Beauty Academy, which had operated for more than 30 years, shuttered in 2018.
This left a gigantic void in the valley, forcing any prospective cosmetology students to commute or fully move to places like Grand Junction or the Front Range if they wanted to attain their license.
“Spending so much time on traveling, gas, housing — all of that counts,” Ziegler said. “I cannot tell you how many people have called and said, ‘Oh my god, I’m so excited, when are you guys opening?’”
In addition to the former Glenwood Beauty Academy closing down, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help the local beauty business either. Cosmetology is obviously a close, intimate experience and, because of this, foot traffic dwindled for salons trying to endure the pandemic.
For Andrades, who used to operate Sol Maya Cruelty-Free Spa and Salon and The Secret Garden Spalon and Boutique in Glenwood Springs, she, too, felt the brunt of the pandemic.
“I was only open for three years, and then it was time to renew the lease, the rent was three times higher than what I was paying,” she said. “I was paying $1,200 a month. They wanted me to pay $3,800.”
This inherently created an internal desperation for more stylists. And, coincidentally, Ziegler was an instructor at Glenwood Beauty Academy when she met Andrades — a student of Ziegler’s at the time. This led to her, later working as a stylist in Snowmass Village, calling Andrades with a pitch to open a new regional beauty college.
“I was happy,” Andrades said of her response. “Because when I had my salon, I’m like, we need a school.”
At this point in time, good luck trying to get in a stylist’s chair within two hours. Wait times for cosmetologists in the Roaring Fork Valley are astronomical, according to Ziegler and Andrades.
But by localizing a beauty school, it bolsters a licensed workforce and shores up short staff at local salons. Paul Stewart, owner of Great Clips in Glenwood Springs and Rifle, is confident that the new Glenwood Beauty College will mitigate this issue.
“Glenwood Beauty Academy was around for a long time in Glenwood, and it closed shop several years ago. And since that time, it’s been really hard for hair salons, like myself, to find the staff to serve our community,” he said. “I know that myself and other salon owners really welcome having Glenwood Beauty College set up again and in Glenwood.
“This is going to be a great resource for all salons in the Roaring Fork Valley.”
Stewart also echoed that the pandemic had a lot to do with the local shortage of cosmetologists.
“The state of Colorado requires stylists to be licensed through the state,” he said. “So during COVID, because of the danger particularly toward older stylists who were contemplating retirement, just the nature of the job being so hands-on with the general public, it created a fair amount of anxiety.”
Now, students who graduate beauty college and get licensed typically can make upwards of $80,000, Ziegler said. The Brazilian-born beautician wants the same for every student who walks through her new college.
“This is a labor of love, you know — a dream,” she said. “It’s just kind of nice to teach others to have a nice career. It served me well.”
Interested in becoming a student at Glenwood Beauty College? Call them at 970-989-9123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.