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Making people beautiful, inside and out

"Six months into operation, Carson City's Fusion Salon and Spa is going strong, a benchmark of success for manager Melissa Peden.

But that hasn't always been the case for Peden, who found herself a single mother with no prospects for income after her divorce.

Then three years ago, she was referred to Carson City Circles, a program aimed at helping people rise out of poverty.

"Circles really guided me and gave me the tools to be confident in myself," she explained.

While working at a day care, she enrolled in beauty school to fulfill her high school dream of becoming a cosmetologist.

"I love cosmetology," she said. "I feel like I'm giving back, giving people a sense of joy in their lives."

After graduating, Peden went on to work as a cosmetologist at Paradigm Salon. When that salon changed ownership and became Fusion Salon and Spa, now owned by Matt Fischer, she was promoted to manager.

"It's a challenge," she said. "But I like customer service skills. I like being able to make every customer who comes through the door happy."

To stay in touch with her creative side, she still administers spray tans.

In addition to tanning, the salon offers hair and nail services, eyelash extensions, massage therapy, Botox, bridal packages and more.

"It's a nice, relaxing place," Peden said. "They all have separate rooms, which makes it quiet and calming."

Esthetician Nancy Morris offers a wide variety of procedures including facials, body wraps, Brazilian waxes and even eyelash perming.

"Anything that's going to make you beautiful," she said.

She said taking time to take care of yourself is essential.

"It's going to put years back on your life to not be so stressed," she said. "It's not a luxury anymore."

Peden said the strength of the salon is the expertise of its employees in their specific fields.

"They all specialize in different things," she said.

The salon is still looking for employees in all the different areas as well, she said.

As Peden's professional life continues to be successful, so does her personal life, she said, raising her two children Layton, 4, and Makayla, 7."

This article was first published on nevadaappeal.com.