Hairstylist Jana Hesch is continuing her business where she got her start.
Fifteen years after she began her career in Verona — including a dozen running a salon in Madison — she’s back with her Bellarina Salon LLC at the Revival Salon building at 118 North Franklin St. And she couldn’t be happier.
“Moving back to Verona feels like coming home,” she told the Press. “I love the community and look forward to continuing and growing my business here.”
She reopened the salon in Verona in October after a space became available around the time the lease for her Madison location was up. It was a move she’d be wanting to make for years – not only did Hesch want to move back to Verona to make it easier for her established clients to come to her, but the Madison location lacked adequate parking and at times had a significant police presence.
For now, she’s open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, maintaining some flexibility to run her salon – and her three children.
Hesch provides hair cuts, coloring, highlights and facial waxing at her salon.
“I feel like I specialize in natural-looking hair,” she said. “I really like that type of look.”
After the current Belleville resident attended the University of Minnesota – at the encouragement of her parents, she said – she decided to do something she always wanted to do – hair and makeup. Returning to the Madison area, Hesch – then going by her maiden name Paulson before she married her husband, Simon – earned a degree at a cosmetology school, and soon after got a job at Pure Essence Salon in 2004.
There, she worked side-by-side with the owner, and said she got a lot of experience running a business, and other aspects of hairstyling she didn’t necessarily learn in cosmetology school.
“They teach you basically how to pass the state board (exam),” she said. “You learn basic things, but hair is more like an art form. Any time I wasn’t busy, I was able to just sit and observe and ask questions.”
After a few years, she felt it was time to open her own salon.
“I wanted a more intimate setting for my clients where there’s not another chair right next to you with another conversation going,” she said.
The space she has at Revival Salon is nicer than her prior location, too, Hesch said, with windows and more space to create a “comfortable” feel to her salon.
“Before it was just a little nook in a hallway,” she said. “I like to keep things a little more clean, and a lot more home-like.”