Coleen Pedro always wanted to be a hairstylist, but there was one small thing preventing her from becoming one: she didnt have a high school diploma.
Pedro, the owner of Coleens A Cut Above on Main Street in Echo, dropped out of Umatilla High School midway through her senior year after having a child two decades ago.
As a single mom, she worked as a waitress at Sharis to make ends meet.
It was there that she met her future husband.
She went on to quit her job at Sharis, and became a stay-at-home mom to three kids. But as time wore on, she grew antsy to start up something of her own.
I was a mommy, which I loved, but I always knew I liked hair, Pedro said. I was friends with the lady who used to own the grocery store here in Echo, and there was a little hole in the wall next door a vacant space. I decided I wanted to open a beauty shop.
As a mom of three kids, you need a flexible schedule. So it was perfect.
To open a beauty shop, shed have to go to beauty school. To go to beauty school, shed have to get her General Educational Development degree something she had been avoiding.
I remember always being so scared, I thought itd be a horrible experience, Pedro said. But it was a piece of cake. I regretted not doing it earlier.
She obtained her GED, went to beauty school and after putting in $14,000 of her own money to remodel the shop opened up business on June 12, 2002.
Pedro runs the shop entirely by herself.
Its a lot of work, but I like it that way, she said.
Considering the business lived to see its 10th anniversary which was celebrated this past month Pedro must be doing something right.
She credits the supports shes received and the number of frequent, returning customers her business thrives off of.
Ive gotten a ton of support, Pedro said. At times I felt like giving up, but I didnt. Im certainly glad I didnt.