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Pandemic Restrictions Didn't Stop Success of Local Entrepreneur

IMG_3763 Miguel Rosas customer barber academy.jpg
Michelle O'Neill
Miguel Rosas uses Wahl clippers to cut a customers hair at New Style Hair Academy in Moline.

A Quad Cities business owner expanded during the pandemic and did it without taking a dime from the government.

Michelle O'Neill reports Rock Island native Miguel Rosas says the difference in COVID-19 restrictions between Illinois and Iowa helped his new salon in Davenport thrive.

Miguel Rosas taught himself to cut hair as a kid when his mother failed to meet his high standards. And as a teen, his services were in high demand long before he attended the Illinois Quad City Barber and Hairstyling College and got licensed.

IMG_3796 New Style Barbershop moline.jpg
Michelle O'Neill
New Style Barbershop "on the ones" in Moline

Thirteen years ago, Rosas opened the New Style Barbershop in Moline's Floraciente neighborhood, then several years ago started New Style Hair Academy on the Avenue of the Cities.

Rosas entered the Iowa Quad Cities market with a shop at North Park Mall. But the entrepreneur ended his lease right before COVID-19 hit, with plans to open New Styles Hair Salon on 53rd Street in Davenport. He says it was scary paying rent on the new location without having any idea when it could be open.

Rosas learned sound money management from his parents and had saved a lot of money. That helped him make it through the shutdown. And the Wahl Clipper Corporation paid him well to produce six videos during the pandemic.

Wahl is based in Sterling. And Rosas is famous in the industry as a member of its Education and Artistic Team. He speaks at conventions and trade shows, working hard to show off Wahl products and his extraordinary hair portrait skills.

The New Style Barbershop and the academy were closed from March through mid-June. Rosas absorbed the cost of shutting down, and gave his barbers a break by not charging them rent on their chairs. "It was dead here [New Style Barber Academy] and down at the barbershop."

When Iowa reopened for business earlier than Illinois, he opened New Styles Hair Salon. Rosas says it was crazy how busy the stylists were on opening day. And last month, the salon celebrated its first anniversary (below).

Rosas w New Styles Hair Salon artists stylists.jpg
New Style Hair Salon Facebook page
Rosas and stylists celebrate the first anniversary of the salon on 53rd Street in Davenport