Barber, massage therapist open shop in RC

Long-time barber Debbie Donahue (standing) and licensed massage therapist Wilma Danson at their new business, 220 W. 5th St., in downtown Rush City. Photos by Jon Tatting

People in search of a fresh new trim, relief from muscle pain and good company can find it under one roof at Rush City’s newest place of business.

Debbie’s Barber Shop, owned by Debbie Donahue, and Wilma’s Therapeutic Massage, by Wilma Danson, opened July 22 at 220 W. 5th St. (across from the Quilt Shop and next to Rush Printing, Inc.) in the downtown area.

Many may know Donahue from Bob’s Barber Shop in North Branch, where she worked for 25 years before resigning in 2010. Prior to that, she barbered in Chisago City and Cambridge, so she’s been working professionally since 1983.

Debbie Donahue gives a hair cut to customer Mitch Haugrud at her new Rush City business, Debbie’s Barber Shop.

In her time away the last few years, she began to miss the rapport she had with customers who enjoyed her friendly demeanor and would even invite her to weddings, graduation open houses and other family events. She also received calls from former regulars who wanted her for their hair cuts.

“You develop relationships,” said Donahue of being a barber. “You kind of feel like a therapist. They are not just customers, they are friends.”

In June, Donahue and Danson got to talking about a joint business plan, and they decided on opening their businesses together under one roof.

At Debbie’s Barber Shop, regular style cuts are $13; beard trims, $3; shampoo style, $15; and the rate for seniors age 65 and older is $12. The shop is open on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays.

Available by appointment only is Danson, a licensed massage therapist whose massage table is the centerpiece inside a cozy room in the back of the business. Customers can feel like they’re in a log cabin while thinking about the south seas, she said of how her massage room is designed.

Thanks to her training, Danson can control pain, relax muscles, increase circulation and lymphatic drainage and remedy menstrual cramps through the following types of massage: Essalon, myofascial release, reflexology, Russian medical re-education of muscles, pressure point therapy, vinegar therapy and aroma therapy with the use of essential oils.

She also has been a nurse for 43 years and still works in that capacity in the area. Yet she finds massage therapy more rewarding, as it “helps people relax in this stressful world.”

“Massage is my passion,” said Danson. “I think I’ve helped more people with 10 years in massage than 40 years in nursing homes.”

For rates and appointments at Wilma’s Therapeutic Massage, call Danson at 320-279-1354 (Rush City) or 320-396-3375 (Braham).

Debbie’s Barber Shop can be reached at 320-279-1354 (shop) or 320-282-7824 (cell).

  • Kathleen Wessel

    I am so proud of my Aunt Debbie for opening her own shop. She is a wonderful Barber and an even better person!

up arrow