Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Roberta’s Salon at home in new building

The tiny 1907 building, which once housed the Brady village office, served Roberta Karchner well as a hair salon for 14 years.

Fresh out of beauty school at Joseph’s College only a couple of years after high school graduation, Karchner took a leap of faith in 1996 and opened a salon in her home town.

“It has saved me from driving somewhere else,” the hair stylist said, “and every little business here keeps the town going.”

Karchner’s sister, Rebecca Stearns, joined the business in 2003

Karchner considered a new space for many years but the opportunity just wasn’t right until the school district sold its downtown building and the new owners approached her.

Bob and Mary Ellen Mann purchased the building just north of the Get-N-Go last summer.

Before the school renovation and addition in 2007, the building had been used for industrial tech and home ec classes since the 1970s.

Prior to that, Karchner said she believes it was an apartment and storage area.

“Mary Ellen asked me about remodeling and renting the front half of the building for my salon,” Karchner said. “After we took a look, we decided it would work.”

Like just about any renovation, the project was a little more than Karchner anticipated.

The building was just old enough that all of the electrical work had to be redone to meet current code requirements.

Paneled walls were also replaced with fresh drywall.

The project became a family affair with husbands Shawn Karchner and Ryan Stearns providing much of the manpower.

Roberta’s Salon continues to offer all hair cut, style and color services, as well as manicures and acrylic nails.

She said the larger space has allowed for a separate tanning room and the sisters will also soon have a pedicure chair installed.

“It’s wonderful to see the small business that I started with grow little by little,” Karchner said. “Each step is a sense of accomplishment.”

Roberta’s Salon is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with later appointments available on Thursdays. They also take clients on Saturday mornings.

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