Amanda Trotman: Spark On Bluff

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Age: 39.

Owner of: Spark On Bluff Hair Studio, 441 Bluff St.

Years owned: Co-owned at 441 Bluff St., with Marlo Goodrich, for four years — prior to that on Central Avenue, which opened in 2011.

What your shop offers: A large variety of hair services, such as haircuts, colors, perms, smoothing treatments and facial waxing.

Family: Everyone feels like family in our little salon; however, I will have been married for 20 years in June to my husband, Mitchell. We have a son in his first year at Buena Vista University and a son and daughter in high school in Dubuque.

What inspired you to open your business? I was managing a busy chain salon in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area, working salaried hours — as was my husband, managing a corporate business. Our nanny was raising our children, and we decided to move to Dubuque to live modestly and spend more time as a family.

What do you believe is the most unique aspect of your shop? Our relationships are very unique. Our clients really do become family. We work hard to build each other up and make everyone feel confidant. Because we are a small salon, we do have the ability to do services more privately. This makes it easier for individuals with sensory or immunity concerns. Our online booking through is the easiest way to book an appointment.

What will your shop be offering for the holiday season? We recently launched our own line of haircare products. 44One Luxury Haircare is what we love about products in one line. After four years of development, we are ecstatic to have them on our shelves. Sulfate-, paraben-, silicon- and cruelty-free, our products will not disappoint. Each features a positive affirmation to remind you that we think you’re strong, unstoppable, lively and incredible. Our “You’re Calm” and “You’re Tranquil” shampoos and conditioners will have your winter scalp loving the peppermint, tea tree and lavender oil. As always, we close from Christmas Eve until New Years day to spend time with our loved ones.

What do you enjoy about the location of your shop and the camaraderie of women who also own businesses in Cable Car Square? I enjoy the collaboration of business. Retail and beauty can be competitive markets, but I have found that businesses that grow share resources and clients. If we don’t offer the service you are looking for, we know someone who does. Kate & Co. operates a beautiful salon on the same block. Gaia waxing offers excellent waxing services to our clients. If someone comes in early, they can grab coffee at Monk’s or just kill time at Fig Leaf. It is daunting to be a woman owning a business in a world of men in suits. I feel stronger as an owner knowing other women entrepreneurs.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? I thought it would always be sleeping around the fireplace while the kids try to catch Santa, but last year, we did something different. We did less gifts, and since we did not have to open gifts, we woke up early and made a big breakfast and cookies as a family. When the kids told me it was the best Christmas ever, we decided that would be our new tradition. We don’t need anything but time together.

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