For three generations, members of the Volmer family of Idaho Falls have been getting their hair cut by Bethia Messenger.
“My mom got her hair cut by Bethia and she always took me to her when I was growing up,” Sandy Volmer said. “Now, I take my kids to her. She is really great at what she does.”
Messenger, 46, has been a beautician for more than 20 years, working at several shops in Idaho and Oregon before opening Bethia’s Beauty Boutique in Ammon.
“We’ve been here for three years,” Messenger said. “I wanted to open my own place so that I could set my own hours. I wanted to have time for my family.”
The boutique has two employees, Messenger and her daughter, Brittany, a nail technician. Messenger said the boutique offers hair cuts, styling and hair dying, for men and women. The boutique also does permanent waves for women. Messenger’s daughter does manicures and pedicures.
“We don’t really have a focus on one type of customer, some places will focus on women, or men, but I’ll handle pretty much anyone that comes through the door, ” Messenger said. “I have customers who are men, women, kids, everything. I think the most unique customer I’ve had was an 82-year-old man, who wanted me to dye his hair bright orange.”
Messenger said working with her daughter is a fun experience, but wasn’t sure if Brittany would be interested in taking the business over some day.
Becoming a beautician wasn’t something Messenger planned on, until a meeting with her high school counselor at Bonneville High School before graduation in 1986.
“My counselor called me in and said, ‘I can get you a scholarship, if you want it. It’s at a cosmetology school.’ I stared at her and said. ‘What the heck is cosmetology?’ But I decided to do it because it was only a year long and I had a scholarship. Once I got there, I just realized it was something I loved. I guess my counselor knew me better than I did.”
For Messenger, the best part of the job is meeting people.
“I’m a people person,” she said. “I love the feeling of being able to make them happy. Whether it’s seeing the look of a kid who gets his first haircut, or making an older woman feel beautiful.”
Messenger said business has been good since opening the boutique.
“I stay pretty busy,” Messenger said. “I have some customers who I’ve been working with since I started cutting hair. I also get new customers pretty regularly; those mostly come from referrals.”
For Volmer, visits to Bethia’s Beauty Boutique are something special and involve more than a hair cut.
“Bethia is not only great at what she does, she’s also a friend,” Volmer said. “She is someone who cares about how I’m doing and what’s going on in my life.”