Face to Face: Tracy Bennett
Born: Grinnell, Iowa. Bennett spent much of her childhood in Tama, Iowa, but also lived in Ohio and Kansas.
Family: Husband, Kevin, three adult children and two grandchildren
Education: After graduating from Lawrence High School. Bennett went to Kansas State University for a year before attending Crum’s Beauty School in Manhattan. Hobbies: Bennett said she and her husband participate in many motorcycle benefit rides for children, such as Toys for Tots, to honor their grandson, who was a premature baby. “He weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces when he was born. He just got leg braces and is learning to walk with them. He’s now 5, going on 6.” Career: Bennett owns Simply Style, the Family Hair Center, at 109 U.S. Highway 56. She’s been there since April 2001. It was part of the Maple Leaf Motel her father-in-law Everett Bennett owned, she said. After opening the salon, she found she liked being her own boss. “It’s nice being able to run your own business and talk to your customers. I liked being able to be involved with my children when they were still in school. I like being able to run home to eat and let my dogs out. I’m glad I don’t have to drive 20 to 25 miles to work.”
Digging deeper: Bennett said she and her husband moved in 1996 to Baldwin City from Lawrence. She wanted to move from Lawrence, having spent most of her childhood in smaller towns. She’s enjoyed watching the town open a new swimming pool, upgrade its parks and put a traffic light on the highway that passes in front of her store, she said. “I just enjoy watching the slow and steady growth. There’s been a lot of changes.”