In August, St. James welcomed in a new beauty shop to their downtown area.

Karen Jence and Carolina Campos of "Grassroots" both have prior roots in the St. James salon scene. Jence and Campos are applying what they learned at First Avenue Styles, which closed shortly following Leora Murphy's retirement, into their new business.

Jence worked in the salon for six years, while Campos was only onboard for a couple of months.

"When Leora retired, they wanted to sell the building," said Jence. "I didn't want to buy it but I wanted some job security."

Jence has had to go from employee to business owner.

"Everything has changed," said Jence. "Some stressful some not. Paperwork was the worst."

Now owning a business, Jence has had to rely on that old business from First Avenue Styles. In fact, a healthy amount of the business that Grassroots has seen in their first few months of operation has been carryover customers from First Avenue Styles.

"About 90% of our clientele is from First Avenue Styles," said Jence.

In addition to hair, the shop will also offer nail service.

"No other salon here in town does nails yet," said Campos. The new owners of the First Avenue Styles building will offer nail service once they are open.

Since purchasing their lot, Grassroots has renovated its area. The prior regime was a Hawaiian theme, thus the name "Grassroots". 

"We want the community to helps us with the name change... because it doesn't look anything like grassroots in here anymore," said Jence. There may be an opportunity for those who attend the open house to submit a name to Jence and Campos.

The salon will hope to continue their positive growth with an open house on Friday, November 8th, from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served and drawings will be held for those who attend. 

Walk-ins are welcome. Grassroots does hair, nails, and waxing. Their hours are from 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be contacted at (507)-375-4848

The salon is located next to Mayberry Realty offices.