LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – The Le Mars Beauty School has been in the Anderson family for more than half a century, after years of developing aspiring hairstylists, the school is closing permanently and one former student said she’s heartbroken.

“Well, it’s bitter sweet,” said Todd Anderson.

After 52 years of showing young hairstylists the ropes, the Le Mars Beauty School is no more.

“Unfortunately, COVID put a big hit on us. It pretty much put our last June class out of commission and then our September class only had a few students interested,” said Anderson.

The interest, from aspiring hairstylists, just wasn’t enough to keep the business running. Todd Anderson took over the school, from his father.

“I mean, I grew up here. I’ve had a lot of students reach out to me saying they’re very sad that the school is closing and they’ve had a lot of good memories going to school here,” Anderson.

Like Amanda Small, who attended the Le Mars Beauty School under Todd’s parents, Rod and Sheila Anderson. These days, small owns her own salon.

“Rod was a blast, they always just made everyday fun. Every day was a different experience and he just had a good personality and just kept everybody smiling,” said Small.

She said she feels lucky to have learned from such an amazing couple.

“It’s sad but I know Todd works too much and this will be good for him to spend some more time with his family,” said Small.

“I’m just hoping somebody can make or utilize this space for something very nice because the building is quite magnificent,” said Anderson.

Anderson said he plans to shift his focus to his own salon, right across the street from the school.