By Starrla Cray
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Living in Lester Prairie for the past three decades has been “shear” delight for Jim and Jan Moller, who own Moller’s Barber and Beauty Shop at 210 Central Avenue.
The couple was recently honored as the 2010 grand marshals in the Prairie Days parade.
“They love me,” Jan laughed. She was joking, but it’s hard to deny the truth in her statement.
The Mollers moved to town in 1977, and since then, they’ve gotten to know quite a few people in the community.
At one point, both Jim and Jan were in the hair cutting business. Jan retired a few years ago, but Jim decided to keep working.
“I’m here most days,” he said. “I tell people, if I don’t answer the phone, check the obituaries. If I’m not there, I’ll be back in a day or two.”
The light-hearted conversations he has with his customers are what Jim enjoys most about his profession.
“That’s the whole reason I’m still cutting hair,” he said.
Jim hadn’t always planned on being a barber, but he’s happy he chose that path. He grew up in Eagle Bend, about 120 miles north of Lester Prairie.
“We went to my 55th class reunion last weekend,” Jim said. “There were only a couple of us still working.”
After high school graduation, Jim spent some time in the Navy, and later went to work at 3M.
It was during that time that he met Jan.
“Her mother worked at 3M, and Jan came along to a company picnic,” Jim said. “A friend of mine introduced us.”
For Jan, who grew up in Hutchinson, hairstyling was a passion that she’d had since high school.
She got Jim interested in the hair cutting industry, as well, and Jim enrolled in barber school in 1965.
Jan had done all types of styles, but Jim mainly focuses on men’s haircuts.
“I do a few ladies, but not very many,” he said.
As far as the type of men’s cuts he’ll do, Jim said, “I like to think I’m pretty flexible for an old guy.”
During his early days, Jim seldom took a vacation, but now that he’s in his 70s, he’s slowed his pace a little.
“I used to tell people, 20 haircuts was a good day,” he said. “Now, I say, 10 is a better day, and six to eight is even better.”
Jim said he enjoys having more leisure time to spend with his dogs, Trish and Fritz.
“We raise puppies,” he said. “We had a litter that just went out last week.”
Jim is also active in the community. He is a charter member of the Lester Prairie Lions Club, and is involved in the Knights of Columbus and American Legion.
Jim and Jan are also members of Holy Trinity Church in Winsted.
The Mollers enjoy going to Prairie Days every year.
“We eat there,” Jim laughed, adding that his favorite is the burgers.
Jim and Jan have three adult children and one grandchild.
“We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary June 20,” Jim added.