A couple days in her own barber shop was all it took for Jenna Darcy to know she found where she belonged.
Darcy has been in the industry since she was a sophomore in high school. Now she's opened her own place, The Barbers Den, located in Escape Salon at 2421 Hanley Road.
Darcy's first exposure to cosmetology was as a receptionist in Hudson. The stylists she worked with there bought her a pair of shears, and told her to jump in.
"It kind of just became a part of me," she said.
In cosmetology school her instructor made sure she and her classmates had more training on men's cuts. Once she began working outside of school, she found she enjoyed men's cuts the most. She started working at Sport Clips in Hudson.
"That's when I learned that men's cuts were my thing," Darcy said.
She likes the intricacies that can come with men's cuts. They can often be more difficult than cutting women's hair, as she has to take in the geography of the head.
"Nobody has a perfectly round head," she said.
From there Darcy knew she wanted to learn more. She moved to Jen's Barber Shop in River Falls where she learned more intricate and artistic techniques like fades, undercuts and designs, as well as straight razor shaving.
"That kind of sealed the deal," Darcy said.
Now her place offers those same services she learned, tapping into the old-school offerings of barber shops. Offerings include cuts, waxing, shaves and facials. It's all designed to be an experience, Darcy said.
"It's more of a pampering," Darcy said. "You can relax and develop a relationship."
Opening up a shop in Hudson was an easy decision for Darcy, who grew up in Hudson. The area is booming, but it doesn't have a classic barber shop closer than River Falls or the Twin Cities.
"Hudson has everything, so I just wanted to add to the everything," she said.
Owning her own business has provided her with more flexibility and also more control.
Many of her clients from her previous salons have followed her since she opened at the end of January.
"If I didn't have them, I wouldn't have started my own spot," she said.
One of her favorite parts of her job is meeting new people, Darcy said.
"Everybody's nice," she said.