Photography by Julie SaariMichele
Professional Salon Academy
“Is Ms. Michelle here?”, I ask at the reception desk .
Every time I get my hair done at the Professional Salon Academy I ask for Ms. Michelle. She chooses my color, style, and length. It is not because I can’t make these decisions, rather it is because she gets it right every time, and I leave feeling fabulous. Throughout the years of going to the Professional Salon Academy and spending time in the chair I have gotten to know Michelle. A fiercely caring mother, a wife, a professional, a Christian, with a sense of humor and ability to bond with and lead her students through their schooling with respect and admiration. I love “Ms. Michelle”, I am betting you will too.
My husband, two children, and I found out we were packing up and moving to Bemidji March2, 2006. At the time, it was quite possibly the worst thing that I thought could happen to us. I had a successful business, renting a chair in a salon, I had a great clientele, and I had my church family. My kids had their lives all set in Detroit Lakes. My daughter had a friend with cancer that she needed to be a support system for! How could this be happening? My husband was being transferred with his job. I kicked (literally), and screamed (at least inside my head). I came up with every conceivable option to not uproot my children, and save my business. I spoke to a close friend of mine, who clued me in that our former pastor was now residing and ministering full-time in Bemidji. He gave me his number.
We booked a hotel for the weekend, and my husband and I made the trip up to “scout” things out. We spent an afternoon with our pastor and friend. He prayed with us, and let us know that this was God’s plan. He introduced us to some of the members of the church, and told me to contact one in particular who would become my employer and close friend.
I went from being angry to losing control of my future in such a good way. I ended up with what is now my dream job. I am a full-time instructor at Professional Salon Academy. I discovered with that position, my mission in life. I feel I was meant to do what I am doing right now. All of the years before this were a means to an end. My husband had told me that maybe the move wasn’t about him this time, just maybe it was about me.
My children came out better for this move. I had prayed that my daughter would not have to watch her friend pass away. What I was praying for was recovery for her friend. God always answers our prayers, sometimes just not the way we want. My daughter did not have to watch her friend pass away. We moved the weekend hospice care was called in. She passed away one month later. My daughter didn’t have to see her friend suffer. I feel moving to Bemidji helped my children to become who they are now.
I am an artist, mentor, wife, and mom. This is my town, (and I’m not moving!).Written by: Michele Peterson
pics by Julie Saari