First Avenue Styles has a new cosmetologist, and 20-year-old Emily Evans is combining her youthful vibrancy with a built-in knowledge of the community. Evans knows St. James well, because she was “born and raised here,” she said. “It feels like home, and everyone is so welcoming.” She graduated from the Cosmetology Training Center in Mankato this August, and she always wanted to be in this profession. “I've always wanted to do hair, ever since I was little,” she said. “I love cutting and styling.” Because she's fresh out of school, she knows the current trends, and she's happy to give customers those scoops. She said short bobs, layers, and dark colors are chic right now. When she's not working, she enjoys shopping, and one of the highlights of her year is when she joins her family--her sister, Kaleigh, brother, Sawyer, and parents, Mike and Lisa--for their annual camping excursion in Hutchinson. Evans isn't the only new staff member at the shop, however; Karen Jence came aboard in June after having spent time working for a salon in Ormsby. “I was tired of making the drive (to Ormsby), especially in winter,” said Jence, who originally hails from Duluth but has lived in St. James for nearly a decade. A job for her husband, Kevin--now a truck driver--lured her to St. James in the first place. “I'm busy (at work), and that's good,” said Jence, who is a mother of two children, Katie and Kyle. “I love to style.” Leora Murphy has owned the shop for nearly a quarter century, and she said she's thrilled with the vivacity new employees like Jence and Evans have brought. “They're young and enthusiastic,” she said. “I'm glad to get all my slots filled and have these young girls work with us.”