It's been ten years since Mary Burrell of Jim Thorpe opened her hair design shop on Pine Street in Tamaqua. Her only regret is that she didn't do it sooner.

After earning her cosmetology operator/teacher license upon completion of the course at the Carbon County Vocational Technical School, Mary worked with other stylists at the Holiday Hair Salon and the Happy Day Beauty Salon, both in Hometown, for more than 20 years. During that time, she was named manager at the Happy Day Salon, but often spoke with her husband, David, about striking out on her own. The timing just never seemed right. That is, until her children, David and Rachel, graduated from high school and moved out on their own.

Only then did she embark upon her dream of owning her own shop and found the perfect location at 217 Pine St. in Tamaqua. Her dream shop turned out to be much different from managing a shop with multiple stylists. While it took a little time to become used to a slower pace and quieter atmosphere, the concept never changed. "Working as a stylist is very personal," offers Mary. "One of the nice things about being on my own is the opportunity to craft friendships with my customers. They have become my extended family. I enjoy working with people. I'm one of the lucky ones who can say I actually like my job." She also gives a lot of credit to her husband, "who has supported me every step of the way."

Mary's Hair Designs offers customers a warm, friendly waiting area, two styling stations and a waxing station. Hours are Monday, noon to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and appointments are required, although Mary does try to fit in last minute requests. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (570) 668-6480.