Leah McConville – owner/stylist

Tell us about yourself:

I am originally from Pella, IA. I have lived many different places but moved to Ames with my husband, Ben, and our 2 children eight years ago.

Why did you choose the cosmetology industry?

 I started doing hair 12 years ago because I loved the idea of working with people to enhance their natural beauty. I love where the industry has taken me. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and have the pleasure of taking care of many fabulous guests. Whether it is a soft or dramatic look; I look forward to it all!

Where will we find you when you are not working?

Running my kids around! Ha ha I enjoy spending time with my family at the lake and riding 4 wheelers.

How do you like to wear your hair?

Long with layers…. I tend to change my hair color with the seasons and wear it curly or straight depending on my mood.

Where would you go if you could travel to anywhere in the world?

I have always wanted to go on a mission trip. I hope this is something I can do with my husband and children someday.


Natalie Knudson – stylist

Why did you choose the cosmetology industry?

I have always loved fashion and style. Even when I was a two year old, just adopted from Russia, not speaking any english, I liked to tell random strangers they were pretty. I’ve always had an eye for pretty things, or I always noticed when people did something different with their hair. When I was growing up, I loved to play dress up, and changed my clothes at least 5 times a day.

As I got older, more into middle school and high school, I really wanted to reach people. To connect with people. I considered a psychology major, hoping to be a therapist or something along those lines.

After a lot of thought, I decided that a path in that career wasn’t for me.

Around that time I was writing a paper for school that was about a career appealing to me. I decided to write about cosmetology, and toured PCI Academy here in Ames. After that tour, I was sold. It was perfect. Fashion and people relationships, it couldn’t get any better than that. I have gained a huge passion for the industry, and I know for sure, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Where will we find you when you are not working?

 When I’m not working, you can find me at the various local coffee shops, enjoying an espresso containing beverage.

You can also find me playing guitar, working with my church, or spending time with friends, family, and building those relationships.

I also enjoy vintage browsing, and have started to collect various vintage things, like hats and such. :)

How do you like to wear your hair?

I loveeeeeeee accessories! Whether it be a flower, a headband, a giant bow, a hat (especially one of vintage nature). I love it all! I think a hair accessory brings an entire outfit together.

I also like to curl my hair for a fun easy style.

I get bored with my hair a lot, so I change up the style quite a bit, to keep it exciting. :)

Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?

 I would love to go to Europe. I love the culture and fashion there.

Also, I would love to visit Norway again, or even live there for a while. It’s such a beautiful country, and a cool culture as well.

I love love love to travel and see new places, try new things, and dive into new cultures.


Paige Spencer – Stylist - Esthetician

Tell us about yourself:

Born and raised in Story City, IA

Why did you choose the Cosmetology Industry?

I chose the cosmetology industry because everybody tried to talk me into it for years and I finally decided to listen.  I have always been into fashion and anything to do with the beauty industry.  I have always had a very unique style and I love helping people find their own unique style.

Where will we find you when you are not working?

You will find my hanging out with my son

How do you like to wear your hair?

Long and layered.  Always a bright fun color!

Julia Lanpher – Stylist

Tell us about yourself :

  I grew up in Eastern Iowa on a flower farm. I’m a total girly girl, however, being raised in the country has taught me how to be happy roughing it as well. I like getting glammed up just as much as the next girl, but I don’t mind kickin’ up some mud every once in a while too. I moved to Ames in August of 2010 to attend PCI Academy and I’ve been here ever since. I love animals. Especially dogs. I have four back home and miss them everyday. Here in Ames, I’m stuck with my cat, Ringo. He can be quite ornery, but I suppose I love him anyway.
Why did you choose the Cosmetology industry?
I’ve always been into hair and makeup. As a cheerleader in high school, I was always tasked with doing the girls’ hair before big games. I kind of always just had a knack for it. My big sister, Katie, always let me practice on her. I got to be pretty good at it, so going into hair and makeup just felt like the right thing to do after high school.
Where will we find you when you are not working?
You will find me with my family and friends! I am also a HUGE football fan. You might find me tailgating and cheering on the Cyclones as well as the Minnesota Vikings!
How do you wear your hair?
My hair is almost never straight. I like to wear it curly or up! My style changes all the time. I love experimenting and playing with color!
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?
I would go to a beach or somewhere tropical. While I love Iowa, I’ve never seen the ocean or been on a plane, so I think anything that would get me out of state for even just a little bit would make me happy!

Peyton Atwood

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in southeast Iowa and graduated from a small rural school. I have two sisters, Paige, the older one, who recently just got married and my younger sister, Beth, who is a senior in high school and a stud at sports. My mom, Missy is a registered nurse and my dad, Doug, is a certified welder. We have an adorable little beagle dog named MayBelle that loves to cuddle and pretend to protect the house. As for myself, most people would say I am rather shy, which is true, but watch out because once you get to know me, you will see my very loving and bubbly personality. I am always willing to give a helping hand and believe in hard work. After graduating from high school in 2014, I went straight to PCI Academy in Ames to pursue my dream in cosmetology! After many hours and hard work I’ve finally got my cosmetology license but that was just the first step, I’m now enrolled in massage therapy school and will finish in June.

Why did you chose the cosmetology industry?

It all started in middle school when I began to experiment with my hair and not long after I started getting into makeup. My two sisters were really into sports but I found the hair and make up stuff so fascinating. While I loved to experiment with the pretty colors you could put in your hair or the makeup you could put on your face, it was always something more special to me. I seemed to always get this feeling when I was practicing that made me feel so special and pretty. I thought if I felt this way, why not do this to others and help them feel just as beautiful and good about themselves!

Where will we find you when not at work?

When I am not at work you will probably find me studying for my massage classes or hanging out with my friends and family.

How do you like to wear your hair?

Currently, I’m in the process of growing my hair out so I’m having fun finding new ways to style it everyday. On a pretty normal day you will find me with straight hair and lots of volume! The color, well that is a different story. I’ve had my hair just about every color you could think of but I tend to lean more towards the purple and reds which I think are my current favorites.

Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?

I’ve never been out of the United States so I wouldn’t be too picky with my destination but two of the places on my bucket list are; Alaska to see the Northern Light and Africa to see all their culture and the amazing animals

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