She’s gonna kill me, this picture of Stephanie from my Hollyween party is the only one I could find! As you can see , she is extremely talented! My good friend Stephanie James has decided to buy the salon from me. She’s been a stylist in town for at least as long as myself and used to work at the salon next door. For almost as long as I’ve known her she has aspired to have her own salon. I know she has looked high and low for a location but has not ever had any luck. She told me that she always wished she could work in my salon but the opportunity just never arose . When the situation changed here I immediately thought of Stephanie but I thought she was already involved in a partnership at the salon she is currently working in. I sent her a text just to let her know that the situation had changed and she told me she had not officially made that commitment and was re-thinking her decision. My timing was perfect! She and I got together to chat about my thoughts and plans about the salon. We then set up a time to meet at the salon one evening when no one was working and she brought her husband , Kevin, along to check it out . That night we four decided to grab dinner together and just talk while sharing a glass of wine. It was so great to hear her talk about how much she loves my salon and has always wished she could work there. It feels so right to hear her enthusiasm about taking over and making it her own. I’m sure she has ideas of ways she can tweak the decor to make it reflect her without totally changing the unique design . Natalie and Elisabeth are also thrilled to have Stephanie join them here. I know the three of them will be a great combination and although it will be different with a new person I have a good feeling that she’s a great fit here. She is very excited and that just makes me smile! Stephanie and I have both had meetings with the landlord and he is very supportive and is agreeable having Stephanie take over the lease of the building. I have only to submit notice of my intention to discontinue my lease then the two of them can establish the new terms between themselves. This is the last big hurdle concerning the salon and then it should be smooth sailing . Whew! This is a hard one!
As I’ve talked about many times in the past, selling my salon is another bittersweet part of our preparations for our new life. The first person I wanted to offer the opportunity to buy my salon was, of course, my dear colleague Natalie. She has worked along side me in my business for ten years and I would never have even considered offering it to anyone else before she had the opportunity to consider if it was something she wanted to undertake. Owning a business and being responsible for all it takes to make sure it runs smoothly is not a dream everyone has. There is much backstage work that goes into running a successful business, even one as small as mine. Many of the maintenance and the daily worries that go along with owning a business are not something every person considers worthwhile . There is much to be said for just being responsible for yourself and for your own personal business on a day to day basis, and being a successful stylist has its own challenges, believe me, it’s not easy work. So When Natalie and I talked this last weekend about her feelings about taking over the salon I was very supportive of her decision not to take it on. She spent a good deal of time struggling with what was best for her and for her future and decided that for her , the thought of owning a business on top of being a busy stylist was going to add too much stress to her already very comfortable life. In the end what is best for my dear friend is most important to me. Plan B will reveal itself and life will go on .( Big Smile!) Everyone is happy and there are absolutely no hard feelings between myself and Natalie. I have many other options and will do my best to find the person who is the best fit to continue running the salon. It’s a very desirable business in our little community of hair salons and I already have a great candidate who I am talking to at the moment. This Adventure of ours is proving to be an Adventure for many people around us as well as for us! I have very optimistic outlook on the future of One Eighty Four Plaza South and I just know that change is good, hard , but good. I’m really proud of Natalie and the courage it took for her to do what is best for herself! She’s an amazing woman and will always be one of my best friends!
I wanted to take a snapshot of some of the decorative things that help make my salon distinctive . To me, One Eighty Four Plaza South is a unique environment where I’ve felt blessed to have spent the past twenty years doing what I love to do. Given the fact that we all spend so much of our life at our place of work, don’t you think that place should be a place where you feel happy, creative and inspired and most importantly, comfortable? In a perfect world everybody would get to create their own unique workspace so that they would find pleasure throughout their workday and look forward to going to work. Not unlike my home, my salon is a reflection of me . I’ve always hoped that when people enter my salon they feel enveloped in welcoming comfort, that they feel relaxed and at home. It’s not pretentious , stuffy or trendy and most definitely, not institutional. In twenty years of being in business I’ve never felt that the design of my salon has become dated or needed remodeling, it’s a timeless style. I’ve never tired of it, just the opposite, I’ve grown to love it even more with each passing year. As you can imagine , leaving it will be hard. But having created such a place, a place I’m proud of and a place I value greatly, I know beyond a doubt I can do it again! This time I’ll do it with my devoted partner Scott! It won’t be a hair salon but it will be a life . One that both Scott and I have planned for and worked hard to create. I’m sure it will be a life that reflects who we are and we will be proud of our choices and hopefully, if we’re lucky each day we will look around at the artifacts of our life and feel peaceful , satisfied and eager to continue making it great!
This beautiful piece of art is very special to me because it was a gift from one of my dearest friends, Lauretta. (Lauretta is not only a friend but my former sister in law, so my daughters Aunt) It is a collection of old paintings done on tin. They were collected and framed by Lauretta’s mother who is deceased. Her mother collected them when the family lived in Mexico City when Lauretta was a young child. I have always loved it and so Lauretta very generously gifted it to me and long ago it hung in my home . When I designed my salon I realized it would look great there and then it would be appreciated by many people. I learned that the pictures are known as ‘retablos ‘, they were a gift of thanks to the church from parishioners for answered prayers. I’m not a particularly religious person but I love the sentiment of gratefulness they represent. I also love the sentiment of generosity from my loving friend, Lauretta. I will be bringing this with me to someday hang in my home in Boquete and it will make me think of Lauretta every time I look at it.
Every November I buy my new appointment book for the approaching year. Thus begins the tedious but necessary task of setting up my calendar of appointments for several hundred very loyal and very organized clients. Some people schedule a haircut every four or five weeks, others have cut/color every three, four or five weeks. Then there are my once a week folks who just have a wash and blow dry on a regular weekly basis.