Coon Rapids Kids Kuts keeps owner Forever Young

If you’ve got little ones who need a hair cut and you could use a perm and some color, too, Kids Kuts/Forever Young could be the place for you.

The unique salon in Coon Rapids provides hair care needs for the entire family.

With the Kids Kuts portion of the dual salon behind her, salon owner Deb Rivard visits with a longtime customer on the Forever Young side of things.Photo by Sue Austreng

With the Kids Kuts portion of the dual salon behind her, salon owner Deb Rivard visits with a longtime customer on the Forever Young side of things.Photo by Sue Austreng

And for owner, Deb Rivard, the dual salon recently provided a unique rescue for her business, too.

“Kids Kuts is going to keep me Forever Young,” said Rivard, smiling at the irony.

Rivard opened Kids Kuts at the intersection of Northdale and Crooked Lake boulevards more than two decades ago.

Over the years, she’s built up a loyal clientele providing the perfect cut for little ones while surrounding them with a sunny, playful atmosphere.

And whenever mom or dad needed some hair care, Rivard and her staff were happy to accommodate those needs, too.

“We did just as many adults as we did kids,” Rivard said.

But last fall, when JC Penney offered back-to-school haircuts at no charge, Kids Kuts suffered a catastrophic cut to its business.

“You can’t compete with free,” Rivard said.

This past August, Kids Kuts’ profit was $5,000 less than it had been the previous August.

“It wasn’t long before I couldn’t pay rent. I literally had no money for rent,” Rivard said.

“It was awful… literally the worse thing ever in my whole life.”

When Rivard told her landlord, Dan Hebert of Gaughan Companies Real Estate Services, that she would have to close, he refused to let that happen, telling her he wouldn’t let Kids Kuts be closed, and told her to come up with a plan.

And that’s when Forever Young was born.

“We’ve been giving good quality service for children and adults for so long – we just decided to make that more clear,” Rivard said.

To do so, Rivard remodeled her 2,000 square-foot space, dividing it in two with Kids Kuts on the east and Forever Young to the west.

The space is flooded with sunlight and accented with artwork and jewelry on the west, while Disney characters dance and play on the walls to the east.

“We have two separate salons in one place – two salons, three doors,” Rivard said.

There are separate exterior entrances to Kids Kuts and Forever Young and an interior doorway that connects the adjacent salons.

Rivard also tweaked her business plan, inviting her stylists to lease space in Kids Kuts and Forever Young to practice their craft.

“I changed it to chair rental, so the girls rent their chairs with money they make cutting hair,” Rivard said.

Her stylists were more than happy to comply, she said.

“The girls have been here a long time – one who’s been here eight, one who’s been here 10, another who’s been here 16 years,” Rivard said. Rivard’s customers have been with her a long time, too, she said.

In fact, the day Kids Kuts was officially rescued was Dec. 1, 2012 – the 24th anniversary of the day she originally opened.

Kids Kuts/Forever Young hair salon is located at 2847 Northdale Blvd. To learn more about this children/adult hair care salon visit KidsKutsMN.com or MNForeverYoung.com or call 763-754-2680 (Kids Kuts) or 763-757-5289 (Forever Young).

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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