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 19 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!

Sadie Riesselman – Stylist/Massage Therapist

Tell us about yourself :

 I was born and raised in Glidden, IA. I moved to Ames right out of high school and started my education at PCI Academy from 2014-2015 for cosmetology and went back in 2016 for the massage program.
Why did you choose the Cosmetology industry?
I chose to be in the cosmetology industry because I want to help people with their insecurities and make them feel beautiful. I love that I can help people look at themselves in the mirror with confidence, and educate them on how to achieve the look they want. I also love the creativity that goes along with cosmetology, the hair is our canvas, and we can create different colors and styles to fit our guests’ specific needs.
I chose to be in the massage industry because I have seen and felt the benefits of receiving massages. It decreases stress, helps with pain, increases blood flow and so much more. Massage rejuvenates the soul and helps with overall mood.
Where will we find you when you are not working?
My favorite place to be is outside. I love hiking, running, and paddle boarding. I also go home to visit my parents quite often. If you ever do see me outside of work, I will probably be with my significant other Drew outside somewhere or trying out new restaurants around town.
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?
I’ve never been anywhere out of the US, and I LOVE to travel and see new places and culture. If I could go anywhere, I would love to see Germany, most of my ancestors are German.

Want to Join Our Team?   Email your resume to info@esprit-salon.com or Stop on In!