Kocan's career path takes unexpected turn: barbering

Jamie Theesfeld
Molly Kocan clips Gary Brock’s hair while doing an interview at Ron’s Cuts recently. Kocan, a Galva native, joined the shop in April.

There’s a new face behind one of the barber chairs at Ron’s Cuts in Galva.

Molly (Underwood) Kocan, a 1994 Galva High School graduate, began working full-time at the shop in April.

Kocan, her husband Chris and three children, moved back to Galva in 2006 after living for 11 years in Chicago.

Kocan, who has an Elementary Education degree, became interested in barbering after her husband got a haircut at Ron’s Cuts. During the visit, owner Ron Hepner mentioned he was looking for someone to fill in for him.

“My husband told me you should be a barber,” Molly said. “I thought about it for three or four months. I talked to my aunt Carolyn (Cromien), who is a beautician and another beautician. They both said I would love it so I decided to do it.”

Kocan then completed a nine-month, 1,500 hour course at Peoria Barber College and began observing at Ron’s Cuts last August.

“I’m loving it,” said Kocan. “At first, I wondered if the guys would accept me. But they did and have been so nice.

“It’s fun, not stressful and I am really enjoying it,” she added. “I know I made the right decision.”

Both Hepner and Kocan said the arrangement is working out.

“We like the flexibility,” said Hepner, who’s owned the shop 16 years. “It’s nice to know you can take off when you want.”

In the future, the shop will offer hair coloring, pedicures and manicures, and women are always welcome.