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Gabe Crouch, Blades & Shades
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
Gabe Crouch, Blades & Shades

Open for Business: Blades & Shades

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Blades & Shades
Parkview High School student Gabe Crouch started his first business Jan. 7, opening Blades & Shades salon and spa at 1825 E. Cherry St. The 15-year-old founded Crouch Enterprises LLC, after purchasing the equipment and subleasing from his mother Jill’s recently shuttered cosmetology school, Touch Academy. She also operates Cottage Salon next door on Cherry Street. Darien Teeter owns the Blades & Shades property. Crouch said he employs five hair stylists, skin care specialists and nail technicians and has room for 15. The employees are paid a 50 percent commission, he said. A shampoo, cut and style runs $45 for women and $22 for men, Crouch said, while a full-face wax costs $25. When he’s not in school, Crouch manages the shop, and he’s hired Jill Moore to handle human resources and social media marketing. The new business is self-funded, Crouch said, noting he’s been managing his own mutual fund since he was 7 years old.
Hours: Noon-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Phone: (417) 202-2010

Avitus Technology Services
Montana-based Avitus Technology Services entered the Springfield market with its Sept. 29, 2017, purchase of information technology firm Layer 3 Technology for undisclosed terms. The companies offer computers, servers, software and phone systems to businesses. Layer 3 co-owner and President John Horton said he transitioned to director of technology sales, while co-owner and former vice president Ryan McCoy became director of technology services – reflecting the roles they already had in the business. Avitus Technology Services President Kirk Porter travels to Springfield monthly from Billings, Montana, for meetings, Horton said, noting parent company Avitus Group is based in Colorado. The merger allows the two companies to offer more brands and more easily cover help-desk calls across the U.S. times zones, he said. Horton said the 23-employee firm gradually will transition its brand to Avitus Technology Services.
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Phone: (417) 890-0116

Fiction, Facts & Fun
Tina Stevenson bought children’s educational center Fiction, Facts & Fun on Oct. 1, 2017, from founder Terri Johnson, for an undisclosed sum. Stevenson formed Please RSVP LLC and signed a new three-year lease through R.B. Murray Co. for the 1,000-square-foot unit in French Quarter, 1638 E. Republic Road. The single classroom holds classes and private tutoring sessions at various times for 3-year-olds up to fifth-graders, focusing on nontraditional instruction of science, reading and math. “It makes learning fun,” she said, “so that kids don’t know that they are learning.” Stevenson, formerly a teacher at Kids First Preschool, serves as the primary instructor, along with contracted assistants. Parents pay an average of $25 per 1.5-hour class, she said, and most students attend at least one class per week. Stevenson remodeled the classroom interior and is designing a new logo. Expenses have been self-funded, she said.
Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus special events
Phone: (417) 860-3361


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