The History of Keene Beauty Academy

Keene Beauty Academy started out as a small school with just nine students and one instructor on Roxbury Street in downtown Keene. That small school was established in 1964, and was owned and operated successfully by Rutherford and Constance Trottier.

In the early days of hair coloring, a new technique was developed using tin foil to administer a variety of hair colors on one head at once. The creative Trottiers invented and patented a unique product to support this technique using snap close plastic see through sleeves called Color Shells. It was a huge accomplishment for a small New England school, and sales grew quickly as the Trottiers traveled to professional hair shows and demonstrated their groundbreaking technology.

KBA, as it grew, moved to Mechanic St., and in 1989 the school was sold to a former KBA graduate, Joanne Stark. The Trottiers retired to Florida with occasional visits back to this area. Joanne brought the school into a new, trendier educational style, and her creativity attracted hundreds of students to Keene Beauty Academy to attend and enter the exciting field of Cosmetology.

Keene Beauty Academy continued to grow and thrive, offering Cosmetology and Nail Technology programs to students in the Tri-State area and beyond. Clients received salon services such as cuts, perms, colors, waxes, etc. at reduced prices. The students learned theory and practical skills in the classroom on mannequins. They also practiced and perfected their skills in the student clinic on clients and each other. They received training in product knowledge in order to recommend the best shampoos and styling products from KBA’s retail lines. KBA was a strong supporter of locally grown business and sold Sukesha All Nutrient, a New Hampshire company, as its primary professional product line.

In 1994, Joanne Stark moved out of state and sold the school to Kathy Hammond, her office manager, and Cara Down, her evening class instructor. The school was relocated to 800 Park Avenue in Keene, where it gained more space, bigger classrooms with windows, and spacious free parking for students, staff, and clients. At this time, a high school program and Esthetics program was added, expanding KBA’s influence on the local educational community.

In 2009, Cara Down sold her half of the Beauty Academy to  Assistant Director, Jeanne Chappell.  In October of 2016 Kathy Hammond retired after 27 years of dedicated service resulting in Jeanne Chappell becoming sole owner of KBA  and the fifth era of evolution began!

Keene Beauty Academy has thrived and continues to advance and evolve with the industry, offering students and staff the best possible environment to learn and grow in the fields of Cosmetology, Esthetics and Nail Technology.

Keene Beauty Academy’s commitment to high level education is apparent in all aspects of our educational offerings. We maintain a high standard of continued education for our instructional staff, as well as inviting in local salon owners and national educators to present to students weekly. Students can expect to receive the latest trends and best practice skills to begin their career.

Keene Beauty Academy staff and administration prides itself on maintaining a low student to teacher ratio in order to provide the best attention to our students’ growing skills. Students enjoy constant availability of instructors, ensuring confidence and support in all aspects of their training with us.

We are happy to be celebrating 53 successful years in education, and will continue to provide the highest quality education to our students and service to our clients and the community well into our next 53 years and beyond.  Come in any time to share your KBA story with us.