Stylist Linda Winter Has Brought Colorful Care to Greeley for 50 years 

If there’s one thing Linda Winter knows best, it’s entrepreneurship: she’s been self-employed for more than 50 years.

“I’ve never been employed by anyone. I only know how to see the world through creative, colorful, and entrepreneurial glasses.”

Creative and colorful, she says, because the second thing Linda knows best is style.

Linda is a professional hair and makeup stylist and owner of the downtown Greeley boutique Accessories With a Flair! …And Hair (801 8th Avenue), which has served as Greeley’s go-to spot for fashionable Western wear for decades.

A Greeley Love Story

It all started just after Linda graduated high school in Longmont. Less than a week after she received her diploma, she packed her bags and headed northeast to Greeley to enroll in beauty school. At the time, our then-small town was supposed to serve as merely a pitstop on her way to New York City, where she planned to launch her career.

But after a successful first date with a handsome fourth generation farmer named Richard (a classic Greeley story!), she never left. Linda and Richard got married, and she’s been balancing her styling career with tractor driving, field chores, and muck boots ever since. As she puts it, she now lives in the “Western world.”

Decades of Community Care

In the early years, Linda operated her salon out of her home. It allowed her to be on-hand for farmwork and her children while still leaving precious time to volunteer and pursue her philanthropic passions. Eventually, she opened her boutique and expanded her services from salon to styling with accessories and clothing. 

“I started with just three pieces of jewelry. And it turned into this,” she says as she gestures around the salon and shop. 

One of the ways she’s used the business to give back to the community over the years is through wig styling, especially for clients experiencing chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Linda says people often underestimate how a well-suited wig can impact someone’s treatment experience. For many people, hair and identity are connected. When people lose their hair, it can add even more pain to an already traumatic event.  

“But when you look good, you feel better. I try to make my clients’ lives better just by helping them feel better about themselves.” 

Clients can make an appointment with Linda, and she’ll help them select a baseline wig from her inventory. Then, she’ll fit, trim, and style the wig to their liking. There are very few opportunities for this level of service in our region, which is why clients sometimes come from across state lines for her help. It’s a much-needed service, she says, and one that can provide comfort and healing at one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. 

“I’ve had clients stand up and tell me I saved their life. You don’t know who you’ll touch and in what way and why.” 

Bringing Color to Miss Rodeo Colorado 

Another of Linda’s passions is sponsoring Miss Rodeo Colorado, a statewide beauty pageant that is judged right here in Greeley, Colorado, at the Union Colony Civic Center. You’ve probably seen her selection of cowgirl clients around town, as each year Miss Rodeo Colorado serves as spokesperson for the Greeley Stampede. 

As part of the Miss Rodeo clinic leading up to the pageant, Linda teaches a color matching class to contestants. We all have certain hues and shades that work better with the undertones of our skin—I have a winter palette, she assures me—so understanding what works best for your unique self is key to looking and feeling your best.  

During the class, Linda holds various drapes up to the women as they look in the mirror, showing them which colors make their skin glow so they can style to their strengths for the pageant. 

When it’s time to put their lessons to work onstage during the pageant, Linda gives out the Appearance Award, plus a $2,500 gift certificate to Miss Rodeo Colorado for use at the boutique. Some queens use it on extensions for competitions, others on accessories or hair products. Some use it to stock up on the custom skincare line Linda designed and sells in-store, Star Natural Skin Care. 

It’s a collaboration that is part of Linda’s mission to support the community that has supported her for so many years. 

“The Stampede is a big part of the economy in Greeley and in Weld County—and for me.” 

The American Dream in Greeley 

Custom client appointments, teaching, designing skincare formulas, farming and family… how does Linda manage it all? She believes the key to successful entrepreneurship is being willing to do whatever it takes.

“I work six days a week… and I have for 50 years.”

Linda has seen a lot of changes take place in downtown Greeley over the years, and she’s endured while other businesses have come and gone. It’s largely in part because of her commitment to hard work, but she’s also had a secret weapon: the downtown Greeley community. 

“To be successful here, you have to join in with others. There are resources here to help you, like the Chamber of Commerce, the DDA and our merchant’s association. You know, we’re a destination here in downtown Greeley, and we have lots of events and things going on. Don’t fight the groundwork that’s been laid down before you. Congregate and work together.”

What’s your story about establishing roots and creating a community in Greeley? Share it with us here.

Featured image courtesy of Greeley Lifestyle Magazine