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Lemongrass Salon sends customers off 'in style'

Lemongrass Salon staff includes front, from left, Darla Daniels, who brings 13 years' experience to her role; Paula Rude Eberhardt, owner; and back, Krista Norquist, a recent graduate of Park Avenue School of Cosmetology, and Samanth Kleen, who previously worked in the Jon English Minneapolis salon. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Lemongrass Salon has emerged in the Bruhn Optical Building, "cleverly tucked on the west side of the building," entry gained via a doorway exclusive to the salon.

Paula Rude Eberhardt is owner of the full service salon, named for the natural, refreshing herb.

The mother of two, who owned Aveda salons in Fargo, moved back to Park Rapids after the death of her husband. He died at 40 of a heart attack.

She asked daughters Kayley, now 9, and Kensie, 5, where they wanted to live. "We'll go anywhere in the world," she told her grieving children.

The girls chose Park Rapids, home to the late Richard and Helen Rude, their grandparents.

The family arrived about a year ago, Rude Eberhardt working in a salon, initially thinking she didn't want the responsibility of ownership.

"That lasted five months," she said. "I love running a salon. And I love Aveda products."

Rude Eberhardt, originally heading to school to study architecture and interior design, became a hairdresser "out of necessity."

"I was the client from hell," she said of returning after a cut to ask for more trimming, going home and restyling.

"I understand color and structure," she said of her architecture and interior design training. "That's huge in hair."

Initially, she planned to use her cosmetology degree to augment her income while in school. But she switched gears, and began working in a salon full time.

Three hairdressers "with top notch training" are employed at Lemongrass Salon, offering color, cuts, perms, eco friendly acrylic nails, waxing, manicures and pedicures.

The atmosphere, Rude Eberhardt said, is professional. "We are raising the bar on service delivery."

The colors are 97 to 99 percent naturally derived, she said. "Aveda is the Cadillac of hair care."

And all client records are computerized, the former six-state Aveda hair color instructor said of color formulas, service, allergies and other info.

"The industry is constantly changing. Just because we live in Park Rapids doesn't mean we can't be up to date in fashion.

"There's a niche here for high end, friendly, professional service," she said.

Current hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to add evening and Saturday hours as the business grows.