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Salon Beautifies Downtown Building

July 5, 2023

Tangles Salon in Keokuk is a finalist in Iowa's 2023 Open 4 Business Contest competing for a $20,000 grant to support business expansion.

Tarla Price, Owner of Tangles Salon
Tarla Price’s salon, Tangles in Keokuk, is more than just a business. 

Tarla and her stylists see their clients through almost every stage and major event in life, including proms and weddings. 

“I get to be a part of their life all throughout,” Tarla said. “Then it’s seeing their babies – their first haircut. And the next the thing you know, they are graduating.” 

And it all started with a dream to style women’s hair while just a little girl. 

“I had an aunt that went to beauty school, and she would do our hair,” Tarla said. “She taught me how to French braid my Barbie’s hair.” 

Tarla opened her first salon across the street from her house when her kids were little. And in 1998, she opened in her hometown of Keokuk. 

Tarla currently employs three stylists and one aesthetician, and she’s expanding. 

She recently purchased a historic two-story building in the historic main street district. Rich with history, this building was once home to Schouten’s Bakery, which sold butter nut bread for 10 cents a loaf. It later became a sewing shop and furniture store – and it even survived a fire. 

After a renovation, the newly exposed rafters and brick interior now bring the building’s historic charm to life. Tarla has added four treatment rooms in the back for facials, microdermabrasion, massages and other services. The front of the refurbished building will house her stylists – with plans to add four to six more due to demand. 

“We are seeing 20-25 new guests a month,” Tarla said. “We are turning away a minimum of 15 new guests a month. It hurts my heart.” 

Tarla has a passion for styling hair – but she also has a passion for empowering women. She wants to help make dreams a reality by giving them tools and knowledge. She loves seeing her stylists buy a new car, support their family and purchase their first house. 

“It’s all about giving these girls their dreams and making money doing what they love,” Tarla said. 

The new Tangles will also house a boutique in the building’s storefront, which Tarla plans on stocking with hard-to-find goods in Keokuk, including home décor, baby items and women’s clothing.

“I want to make sure the inventory is always changing and fresh,” she added, which will help increase foot traffic in downtown Keokuk. 

Competing in Iowa's Open 4 Business Pitch Contest
Tangles is among five finalists competing for a $20,000 grant in the 2023 Open 4 Business Pitch Contest. The Open 4 Business contest, hosted by Main Street Iowa, is a statewide entrepreneurial contest that provides funding for business expansion projects to small businesses located within a designated main street district in Iowa. The winner will be named after the pitch contest, taking place in Sioux City on August 1 and held in conjunction with the Iowa Downtown Conference. The event is a celebration of small businesses and includes short business pitches, business videos and check presentations to the winners. The five finalists were selected in June by a panel of judges after interviews with all applicants.

If named winner of the 2023 Open 4 Business Pitch Contest, Tarla plans to use the funds to purchase salon equipment, including LED lamps, HydraFacial machines, LED beds and foot massagers. She would also use the funds to purchase items for the new boutique, including clothing, home goods, security cameras and furniture.