Mona’s Styles in Emmons is a gateway to beauty

Published 11:11 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holding open the door of her beauty shop as an elderly patron made her way slowly back to her car is typical of the working life of Ramona Reicherts. Owner of Mona’s Styles in Emmons, she is not fazed by the challenges of running a business in the small town that bills itself as the “Gateway to Minnesota.”

Facing challenges is part of Reicherts’ daily life. A breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed with Lupus nine years ago, she said she has refused to let the disease get her down.

“I look in the mirror every morning and I get fired up. I look on my medical situation as a challenge,” Reicherts said.

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Mona’s Styles is a family hair care business with multiple options for personal beauty enhancement, including tanning, full body massages and wraps, pedicures, manicures and artificial nails. Personal care products are also for sale.

The business opened on Emmons’ Main Street five years ago in a former crafts shop. Extensive remodeling was done by Steve Reicherts, Mona’s husband, and a cousin, Roger Peterson.

Emmons may seem like an out of the way place for a business to thrive, but Reicherts says its central location among the many smaller towns in the surrounding area provides a strong customer base. A typical week will see 180 customers being served at Mona’s Styles, which is open Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturdays, in addition to regular weekday hours.

“We attract customers from many of the small towns and farms around here, in addition to Albert Lea. It really helps us that Highway 69 rolls right through town.” she said.

Spa parties for up to eight people are offered during non-business hours. Separate rooms provide privacy for various beauty treatments. Two hair stylists, a massage therapist and a three person rotating crew of receptionists make up the staff of Mona’s Styles. Additional stylists and therapists are sometimes brought in to handle extra work during the spa parties.

Ongoing education at personal beauty care academies in Florida and Texas have helped Reicherts expand her knowledge in an effort to serve the customers of Mona’s’ Styles.

Microderm, a skin treatment program that uses LED lights to heal the skin from within, is available at Mona’s Styles. Reicherts recently completed a course of study at Aesthetics Academy in Texas, which enables her to administer the microderm treatments for acne, scarring and the effects of aging.

Customer service is what keeps her business going strong, Reicherts said. “I love making people feel good about themselves and the way they look. If people go away happy, they will probably be back,” she said.

Repeat customers are critical to the ongoing success of Mona’s Styles. Listening to and understanding the needs of her clients are credited by Reicherts as reasons why customers come back to her business.

“We have to respect our clients if we want them to continue to support us.”

Operating a home based business is another facet of Reicherts working life. Butterfly Products, which specializes in purses and jewelry, offers dealers such as Reichert a chance to earn a second income with minimal startup costs. Reichert will display her Butterfly products at an open house at Diamond Joe Casino Hotel on Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other home-based beauty products dealers will also be at the event.