Downtown a mecca for salons and stylists

Jeneria Burgardt, left, visits with Rosie Swick while working on a client’s hair at Illusions Hair Salon in downtown Garden City.

By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications

Beautiful Downtown Garden City is home to more than a dozen beauty salons and barbershops whose goal is to help the community look its best.

A stylist for 27 years, Rosie Swick, owner of Illusions Hair Salon, 414 N. Main St., has worked in downtown salons for 23 years.

“I love downtown character. I love the history. I just stuck down here,” Swick said. “I knew in high school that this is what I wanted to do and I’m still at it.”

This August will mark the 12 year anniversary since Swick got the chance to open her own salon. Illusions originally opened a couple blocks south on Main but outgrew that space.

Swick bought the current building about six years ago and completely renovated it while maintaining the original wood floor and much of the original tin ceiling. During the 90 day renovation, they found old newspapers from the 1920s that had been used as insulation, and even some discarded Lucky Strike cigarette wrappers.

Illusions is a full service salon that offers haircuts for men, women and children; colors; waxing; nail services; eyelash extensions; tanning; make up services; and sells various hair and beauty products. It has nine stylists and a receptionist.

When asked what keeps her going, Swick said it’s probably the concept of change.

“Everything’s changing, and that keeps it exciting every year. I’ve had some clients for 23 years who are still coming. I like that. You become friends and family with them, but at the same time they’re changing right along with me,” she said.

Swick said downtown is a great place to be and enjoys seeing new businesses and activities get going. She is a board member for Downtown Vision.

“We’re really just shooting to build and bring a lot more people down here,” she said.

Illusions’ hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; Mondays and evenings stylists are available by appointment. Illusions also maintains social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Exclusive Barber Shop

Joshua Hinde, owner of Exclusive Barber Shop and Spa, 214 N. Main St., said he first started cutting hair in high school as part of a plot to keep the money his parents gave him to go to a salon.

“My friends and I all just happened to be getting our hair cut on the same day and we came up with an elaborate scheme for how we could keep our parents’ money that they gave us to have somebody cut our hair. If we screwed it up, we could blame it on whatever salon or person,” Hinde said. “I was about the only one worth anything when it came to it.”

After high school, Hinde went on to college and didn’t plan to be a barber though he still cut friends’ hair on the side. He was working as a case manager for area mental health when he got into a serious car accident about nine years ago and fractured a vertebrae.

After several months, Hinde couldn’t get cleared to go back to work and struggled to find any job. His wife, Guille Hinde, who is director of cosmetology at Garden City Community College, urged him to go through the cosmetology program.

“What sold me was she said you’ll never have another boss. I was like, that’s always been my goal anyway,” he said.

Hinde has been a professional barber for seven years. He opened Exclusive about five and a half years ago. Currently, Exclusive has three barbers but has the space to accommodate up to 10. Barbers are self-employed and rent booth space at the shop. Each week, everyone pays a certain amount to the shop that pays all the bills. Hinde said the business is essentially operated like a limited liability company.

Each state has different requirements for barber training, Hinde said. In Kansas, the program requires 1,500 clock hours for certification, which involves a lot of training, learning to use the tools of the trade properly and how to maintain public health and safety.

Exclusive offers all aspects of men’s grooming including haircuts, shaves, facial steam for guys. Only men work at Exclusive. Frankly, women might not like the environment, Hinde said.

“Girls don’t want to come into this environment. There’s lots of testosterone,” Hinde said with a chuckle. “There’s a lot of manly stuff in here. We’ve got long boards, a pool table. We’re shaving, talking about sports, guy stuff.”

Exclusive’s hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. To make an appointment, visit their Facebook page or go through their scheduling website:

NStyle Salon

It’s not hard to figure out why Savannah Brungardt chose a career as a stylist.

The daughter of Joshua and Guille Hinde, Brungardt purchased NStyle Salon, 317 N. Eighth St., nearly four years ago. She grew up in Garden City, graduated from high school a year early and finished the cosmetology program at GCCC at age 18.

“I’ve always been interested since kindergarten. (My mom) was in school at the time and I remember we would wake up extra early so she could do my hair and she would do mini updo’s on me. I just felt like the coolest kid ever walking into school. My hair looked amazing,” Brungardt said.

Stylists Savannah Brungardt and Hailey Sullivan pose inside NStyle Salon in downtown Garden City.

Owning her own business at such a young age has been amazing, Brungardt said. The salon has five stylists.

“We have a great work environment. I feel like it’s more like a family. First God, then family, then work. I feel like everyone is on the same page here,” she said.

Brungardt loves the environment downtown and said while there is competition among the various salon businesses, they support each other more than one might think.

“We have a group on Facebook where it’s just us stylists and barbers, and people are very supportive,” she said. “There is competition, but it’s not hateful or anything like that.”

NStyle serves both men and women clients, and does colors, cuts, facial waxing, manicures, pedicures, shellacs, perms, makeup and more. They also specialize in weddings and special occasion updo’s and makeup, which are Brungardt’s favorite.

“If I could do that all day it would be incredible,” she said. “I feel like you’re making someone’s day even more special. That’s why I started doing hair is I wanted to make people feel good about themselves.”

Technically, each stylist sets her own hours, but generally the salon is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. They don’t usually take walk-ins, but love taking on new clients. Call for an appointment or visit NStyle’s Facebook page for more information.

For Valentine’s Day, NStyle is offering a free cut with every color service all this week.

Other fantastic downtown salons and barbershops include:

  • Legends, 109 Grant Ave.
  • Generations Salon, 111 E. Laurel St.
  • Shear Style Salon, 218 N. Main St.
  • Nicole Austin Salon, 602 N. Seventh St.
  • Emmy’s Hair Salon, 206 N. Seventh St.
  • The Room Salon, 110 E. Chestnut St.
  • Lux Nails & Hair Salon, 112 E. Chestnut St.
  • Main Street Salon & Spa, 523 N. Main St.
  • Edge Salon, 111 W. Chestnut
  • Charizma, 310 N. Main St.
  • Rybak’s Barber Shop, 109 W. Chestnut
  • Cliff’s Barber Shop, 325 N. Seventh St.