By Daniel Betts
A new business on Main Street in McBride, B.C. is certainly a welcome sight. Filling a long needed community service gap, Country Chic Beauty Salon, opened its doors to the public on July 20, 2012. Owners, Ashley Chuipka, makeup artist and hairstylist, and Jennette Chuipka, certified esthetician are newcomers to the business world but are certainly not strangers to McBride, both having lived in the community for their entire lives.
Ashley received her make-up artist training at the world renowned John Casablanca Institute in Vancouver, B.C., where she participated in their yearlong Makeup Program. During her training she had the opportunity to build her portfolio and challenge her artistic ability on BCIT students who were filming a zombie movie. Examples of her work can be found at their new salon. She also had a part-time summer job at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) airbrushing tattoos. Ashley was also schooled in hairstyling at the Loxx Academy of Hair Design Inc. in Prince George, B.C., which offers a 10-month cosmetology program that is delivered through scientific step-by-step hands on learning.
“I started pursuing a career in teaching, but decided I was too artistic to be doing that,” said Ashley with amusement. “I always wanted
to have my own business.” She says the idea for the business came about last year when they decided, “we are going to do this.”
Jennette received her esthetician training in Prince George, B.C. at Ms. Lorea’s College of Esthetics & Nail Technology Inc. “Since everyone found out we were opening we’ve had unbelievable support,” said Jennette. “It’s been a little humbling.” She says the idea for the business was born from wanting to do “something” in McBride.
“I’ve lived here since I was three. I’ve always had a vision of doing something in McBride for a few years,” said Jennette. At first she considered massage therapy, but didn’t feel three years of going to school would fit in with her plans. When Ashley decided to go into hairdressing, it was suggested she take esthetics, the business became the logical next step for both talented entrepreneurs. “It just kinda fell into place,” admits Jennette.
Having just started the business, plans for the future will be considered based on need. Currently there are plans for a massage therapist to visit twice a week. Down the road, they are considering a reflexologist as well as ear piercings. “We will expand if we feel there is a need,” said Jennette.
Country Chic Beauty Salon is located at 411 Main Street at the former Balcaen Electronics building, which has received spectacular new renovations. They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For an appointment please call (250) 569 2344.