Third generation of Grondins prepare to
join the business launched in Dryden
TRI-CITY AREA — Susie Grondin Kage, former Human Resources Director for Grondin’s Hair Center for more than 20 years, credits family matriarch Elizabeth “Liz” Grondin for sparking her family’s interest in the hair industry.
The mother of ten started with a stool in the kitchen, an old pair of scissors and used clippers. She taught her boys about clipper cuts and the girls were taught how to do roller sets, pin curls, finger waves, and back combing. In later years, the kids returned the favor and taught her about blow drying and curling irons.
From this kitchen in downtown Dryden, six of the 10 Grondin children and ten of the grandchildren have become licensed hairdressers and barbers and nine of the 10 children have worked at one time or another in the Grondin hair business. Flash forward to 2021 and the legacy continues.
Every school year, junior and senior Lapeer County Ed Tech students
enroll at Grondin’s College of Cosmetology in downtown Lapeer, hoping to someday become licensed cosmetologists. Anyone who’s been to a Grondin’s Hair Center or studied at the
cosmetology school, knows that the Grondin family has a vested interest in making every
customer and student feel like a part of the Grondin’s family.
While not every member of the family currently works in the business, Stacey Town, Advertising Director and daughter of owner, Paul Grondin, says many have worked at some point throughout the business’s 45 year history.
“Paul and Carl Grondin, the owners, have had siblings, nieces, nephews, grandkids and more work in the home office, the salons, the warehouse and school. It has literally been a family affair,” Town said.
This year in particular is a unique and proud year for the Grondin family, as four grandchildren have chosen to become licensed cosmetologists and continue that legacy at Grondin’s College of Cosmetology. Ethan Huffaker, Chris Schenkel, Kyle Grondin and Avery Grondin are all enrolled in the school this year.
While visiting Grondin’s College of Cosmetology, all four grandchildren mentioned how they want to be a part of their family hair business in one way or another.
Ethan Huffaker, Paul’s grandson, is eager to help grow the family business.
“Family has always been paramount in my life. Growing up it was my grandfather Paul who was the pillar of our family and his business. Grondin’s Hair Centers has and will continue to be one of the best family businesses you will ever see. I want to help maintain my grandfather’s legacy that family should be at the center of
our lives, but also help Grondin’s grow to new heights and fill a market need in local communities.”
Chris Schenkel, Carl’s grandson, also plans to work for the family business in the near future.
He shared, “I will be graduating very soon and plan to first take a couple weeks off to study for my state boards and take that in mid-April. After passing and becoming a licensed cosmetologist I will most likely be working at the Grondin’s Hair Salon in Davison.”
Kyle Grondin, Carl’s grandson, says, “My plans will be to work wherever I am needed behind the chair. After gaining experience inside the shops as a hairstylist, I hope to grow the company by building more salons and improving the existing ones. Hopefully one day I will help achieve the goal of my grandfather Carl Grondin, who is one of my greatest heroes, to build 100 salons. But in the end, the true goal is to have an impact in the company where I will be able to not only help provide for my family but also continue to create well-paying jobs for stylists that love the company they work with.”
Avery Grondin, granddaughter of Carl, says she is looking forward to opening her own salon in the future.
“What I want to do in the future is to work toward a business and management degree and then be able to have my own salon,” she said.
While the third generation of Grondins are all finding their place in the family business, long time employee Marianne McNary, Administrator of Grondin’s College of Cosmetology, has loved to see the legacy continue. Marianne started cutting hair alongside Paul Grondin in his first Grondin’s salon in Imlay City after graduating from Hairacy—Grondin’s College
original name—nearly 40 years ago. She is excited to see the grandchildren following in their grandfather’s footsteps.
Grondin’s Hair Centers started out with two brothers cutting hair in Dryden in 1969. Carl and Paul Grondin have since grown the company from their small town barbershop into a business that includes around 40 salons throughout Michigan and the College of Cosmetology in
The grandchildren are proud to continue the dream of their two grandfathers who started their passion for the hair industry in that small kitchen. Family members know Liz would
be so proud.