Who We Are: Finding you best look with Barb
Editor’s note: Who We Are is a regular series featuring men and women who embody the unique spirit of the Grand Valley. To nominate someone to be featured, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
With beautiful brown curls and a contagious laugh, Barb Roberts has a knack for making her clients feel at ease.
As a co-owner of Main Street’s Five 60 Salon & Spa and a hair stylist — who specializes in cuts and color — this Grand Junction resident loves helping people find their best look.
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“I make people feel good,” 41-year-old Roberts said. “That’s my favorite part of the job. A person’s appearance is important — it instills confidence — and it’s really nice to be a part of that.”
Plus, through her work Roberts is able to take part in a variety of special milestones across the valley — weddings, prom, and celebrations of all kinds.
“You’re there for a lot of big occasions in people’s lives, and it’s great to be a part of that,” she explained.
Roberts also enjoys seeing her clients grow up.
For instance, she styled one woman’s hair for prom, her wedding, and then she gave the woman’s child his first hair cut.
Another client passed away, and her whole family came in to have their hair done before the funeral.
“You become such a part of the flow of peoples lives,” Roberts said, who appreciates the ritual of preparing for special gatherings. “It’s a sign of respect to look your best.”
Roberts, who owns Five 60 Salon with partner and fellow stylist Heather Heinbaugh, works with a team of seven women at their downtown business.
According to Heinbaugh, she started Five 60 on her own in the beginning of 2006 and then became partners with Roberts in 2009. The full-service salon got its start at 6th Street and Colorado Avenue; then they moved to 354 Main St. about two years ago.
“We had outgrown our space, and we wanted to remain downtown,” Heinbaugh said. “The location was perfect.”
Both Heinbaugh and Roberts believe in the importance of giving back to their community, through fundraising, volunteering, and employee training.
“I have a love and passion for the industry, so employee education and programs for new graduates” is an important part of Five 60’s mission, Heinbaugh said.
Roberts also noted that everyone at Five 60 participates in the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good, Feel Better” program at St. Mary’s Hospital.
“We donate services to cancer patients once a month” at the hospital, Heinbaugh added. “They can also come here to get their heads shaved and for upkeep. We help them through all that.”
The annual Cut-a-thon for CASA of Mesa County — where all proceeds, including tips, are given to the nonprofit supporting local children in April — is yet another way Five 60 staffers give back to the Grand Valley.
“Over the last six years, we’ve raised about $5,000 for CASA,” Heinbaugh said. “We’ve been trying to grow that event every single year.”
A LOVE FOR BOOKS
Though Grand Junction has been Roberts’ home for the past 13 years, she hasn’t always lived in Colorado.
“I came here to attend The Academy of Beauty Culture,” Roberts said.
Before that, she lived her whole life in a little town called Blanding, Utah.
There, she worked as a library director for five years before turning her attentions to hair.
“I was a librarian for a long time,” Roberts said, “but I wanted a job that was creative,” and focused on projects with deadlines.
Thus, becoming a stylist was a perfect fit.
Roberts still stays true to her passion for reading with her monthly book club and involvement with the steering committee for the popular “One Book, One Mesa County” program with Mesa County Libraries. This group of 13 people picks a book each year for the community to read and engage in related events, including an author presentation.
This year’s book is “A Tale for the Time Being,” by Ruth Ozeki.
According to the Mesa County Libraries website, “One Book events will begin on Jan. 29,” with a presentation called “Out of Our Control: Natural and Not So Natural Disasters” at the Central Library in Grand Junction.
“It’s such a fun committee to be on — it’s funded by the Mesa County Public Library Foundation — and I’ve been on it for almost seven years,” she said. “A couple of my clients were on the committee and they asked me to participate because they knew I was a big reader.”
Roberts’ favorite book from the program so far was “Rules of Civility,” by Amor Towles, the title chosen two years ago.
“It was set in the 1930s,” she said. “It was such a fun era. We had a fashion show” and the group brought in an etiquette expert to present. “It’s really cool to immerse oneself in a book for a month. I love to read, and always loved to read. That was my thing when I was a kid.”
When Roberts isn’t volunteering — she also helps out Grand Junction’s Community Food Bank, she enjoys trail running, Grand Junction’s burgeoning music scene, the arts, and spending time with her boyfriend Todd Ankenman.
“I like that Grand Junction is a big, small town,” she noted. “There’s a great sense of community and people are very willing to help and share. So many people have moved here because they want to be here and they’re happy to be here. It’s a good place to be.”
For more information about Five 60 Salon & Spa on Main Street in Grand Junction, visit http://www.five60salon.com.
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