Stensrud returns to Ellsworth as stylist
The Ford Motor Company's loss is Ellsworth Studio Hair and Tanning's gain.
That's because Leah Stensrud has returned as a stylist for the business located at 355 West Main St.
Stensrud started at the business Oct. 1 after spending nearly eight years as a factory/laborer worker in the company's St. Paul plant.
"It's like I never left," she said. "I feel very comfortable here, which was very important."
Stensrud explained workers started hearing about Ford's plans to close the plant around the middle of last year.
"It was shocking and surprising," she said. "It was a reality check because who knows how long you'd stay unemployed."
Fortunately for Stensrud, she had something to fall back onto. For 10 years, including the last three as stylist (1996-1999), she worked at A Cut Above, when that location was under different ownership.
"I did it before and liked doing it," she said.
Therefore, it was her first choice when seeking another job.
"I have a passion for being a stylist and making it a career," she said, plus being friends with current owner Jenni Hines previously made returning a perfect fit.
Another determining factor for returning was the flexibility it gave in seeing her two children, Madison, age 10, and Kennedy, eight, who attend school in Ellsworth. Leah, who was born and raised in Ellsworth, the daughter of Judy Peskar, presently lives in Wilson with husband Brian, who is a glazer for Eagan Companies in the Twin Cities. The two were married on Valentine's Day this year in Orlando, Fla.
"The hours are very beneficial," she said.