For Plymouth salon owner Jude Cady, horses are her muse. As a professional horse jockey in her early years, her life has been fueled by her passions. To launch her unconventional career, this Minneapolis native moved to Texas in her 20s to work at a dude ranch—a type of ranch that’s geared toward tourists or visitors. It was there she developed a passion for riding and caring for animals.
Near the ranch, there was also a breed and training farm for 2-year old thoroughbred racehorses owned by American oil company executive Nelson Bunker Hunt. Bringing in 200 colts and fillies at a time, the farm was the place where Cady got more familiar with riding both young and mature racehorses, but it wasn’t easy going.
Practicing riding on young, inexperienced horses can be tricky, and Cady had higher aspirations. Wanting to ride on the oval, the close-circuit racetrack where jockeys ride professionally, Cady says she began to seek more mature options for horses that, “weren’t full of games.”
After learning the ropes, Cady eventually competed in her first race at Harare’s Louisiana Downs. Gaining traction in her career, she continued to search for new opportunities to learn, work and train with horses. Her travels brought her to the East Coast, but Cady says she didn’t like the cool weather that came with it.
With no plan in mind and her riding gear in hand, Cady moved out west to California and began working and training under Triple Crown winning trainer for 35 years, Laz Barrera, who is also her father-in-law. Learning from the best, she became one of the greatest female jockeys of her generation. “It was very rare for a female to be riding and have a Hispanic father-in-law,” she says. “It was really unheard of, but I was quiet on the horse, and he really appreciated the ability that I brought to the stable.”
After becoming pregnant with her first child, Cady traded her saddle for a pair of sheers. Inspired by her dad, who was a barber, she brought her secondary passion to life and began training as a hair stylist. “I always knew I wanted to do hair,” she says. “I had a lot of sisters (five to be exact) that would run from the barber and have me do it. I would just start cutting by nature.”
Studying and working in Los Angeles, she learned the ins and outs from professionals and eventually landed a role assisting celebrity stylist Kit Rogers in Minneapolis. Training under his wing, Cady says he made a huge impact on her life. “It was memorable forever because he is no longer with us … I really learned everything from him,” she says.
After working alongside Rogers for four years, Cady decided to open her own salon, the Alibi, out of the North Loop near downtown Minneapolis. It was this decision that solidified her career in the Twin Cities community. Practically raising her kids out of her salon for nine years, she eventually had to fold up shop and move due to COVID-19. Searching for a new location, her daughter and now business partner Alicia Barrera found a new studio suite space in Plymouth.
Together mother and daughter specialize in all things hair, from cut and color to weddings. However, Cady’s true specialty is custom extensions. With experience in styling wigs, she learned that there was a stronger need for custom hair and wanted to be the resource to provide these desired looks.
Using extensions to add depth and length, Cady found that she would help many, especially those suffering from alopecia, regain their confidence. “We can make it enough to make them feel fresh … to a happy-go-lucky person that can brush their hair and not worry about anything,” she says about the power of a makeover. “It is [shockingly] true: if you look good, you feel good. It is life changing.”
Alibi the Salon, 4190 Vinewood Lane N. Suite 102;