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The decision to leave college and start a business was not an easy one for Claire Maycunich.
As a high school student, Maycunich was dead set on becoming a nurse and attending Arkansas State University.
She worked hard as a student, joining clubs like Mountain Home High School’s FBLA Chapter. That work paid off, earning her a spot in Arkansas State’s nursing program in Jonesboro.
Yet, college life wasn’t what it was all cracked up to be. What started as an exciting new experience quickly became challenging as the school’s rules for attending classes during the COVID-19 pandemic began to challenge Maycunich’s personal beliefs.
As Maycunich entered her second semester, her mind was made up. Her decision? To stick to her beliefs and move onto a new path in life.
“I was bound and determined to go to nursing school and be in the medical field,” Maycunich said. “I felt like that’s where God was leading me at the time, and I was full fledge on that. After high school, I got accepted into the nursing program through A-State Jonesboro and went straight into that. Then life happened, and COVID happened. And it was brought to light that I was not where I needed to be. So God gave me the vision of opening a business.”
After hearing her new calling, Maycunich returned to Mountain Home and began looking into business ideas.
She said she hails from a family of entrepreneurs and that both of her parents own their own respective businesses. Her father, David Maycunich, owns Southern Tag & Label Co. in Mountain Home, and her mother, Daphne Maycunich, owns Roots Salon.
“I have grown up with both my parents having the flexibility to be extremely involved in my life,” Maycunich said. “It was such a blessing to have parents who could be at all my school events, and I knew I wanted to be that same way with my children. Although owning your own business means a lot of stress and a lot of sleepless nights, it also means being your own boss and having the flexibility to be involved with your family and children. I am so thankful that these businesses will, someday, allow me to do exactly what my momma and dad did for me.”
In her quest to start a business, Maycunich eventually settled on becoming an esthetician and would begin attending an esthetician program at the New Beginnings School of Cosmetology in Harrison, Arkansas.
New Beginnings School of Cosmetology has been in business since January of 2004 and is owned and operated by Jerree Winn. Winn has been living her passion since graduating from Lyles college of Cosmetology in Fresno, California, in 1981.
The cosmetology school offers full-time and part-time courses that can take as much as 18 months to complete. The school’s esthetician course runs for about six months.
“So, with nursing, I was wanting to go into aesthetic nursing,” Maycunich said. “And that was going to be botox and all of that. And my goal was to open up an aesthetic nursing facility and do that. So, I knew I wanted to do something like that.”
With her training completed, Maycunich launched her two businesses, The Vanity Esthetics and Claire + Co at the Vanity, in April of 2022.
The Vanity Esthetics is a spa service that provides clients with waxings, lashes, facials, skin treatments, body contouring lipo laser, and tinting/lifting treatments.
Maycunich’s spa also offers head massages, oxygen infusions, light therapy, and both radio and high-frequency treatments.
The spa service is by appointment only.
At the front of her storefront, Maycunich offers Claire + Co, a fully faith-based boutique for Mountain Home residents. Here, Maycunich sells clothing and jewelry with Christian-based themes. Claire + Co also offers its website service for those looking to purchase clothing at home. The website can be found at shopclaireandco.com.
Claire + Co at the Vanity is open Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“My main goal is to bring out this inner beauty in people and have them leave my shop feeling confident in their skin and continue a beautiful regimen at home,” Maycunich said. “But with this building, I knew I wanted something more. I’m never satisfied. I always want more of my businesses, and I love Jesus, and I’m heavily involved in the church at Real Life Church here in Mountain Home. So, I’m trying to think about what Mountain Home doesn’t have. They have a lot of boutiques, but we don’t have a whole lot of Christian-based places to go and get gifts and shirts. So I was like, why don’t I open a faith-based boutique.”
With her business now open, Maycunich has focused on growing her new endeavors while also trying to give back to her community by donating money to Mountain Home High Schools FBLA Chapter earlier this year.
She also has advice for young adults that are still working to figure out life.
“If I could advise young adults on one thing, it would be to lean into God and really pray about what he has called you to do,” she said. “There is so much pressure on students to ‘have it all figured out,’ but I would encourage them to take the time to really figure themselves out. What has God called you to do? What are you passionate about? What is important to you? Don’t do what you think others want you to do. Find what sets your soul on fire and chase after it. It’s okay not to get it right. It’s okay to change direction. Don’t be afraid to ‘jump’ if God is calling you to ‘jump.’ Take it from me, and it’ll be well worth it.”
The Vanity Esthetics and Claire + Co can be found at 802 S. College Street in Mountain Home, Arkansas. For more information, please call (870) 405-2829.