WRITTEN BY DEBRA LYNN
Since the Salon Wild opened for business on Jan. 2, owner Angela Makela has barely had a moment to catch her breath!
Between clients who have followed her from places like Port Hardy and Coal Harbour and Port Alice residents fed up with their COVID hair, she was 85 per cent booked for January shortly after opening.
On her first day she had three scheduled customers and six walk-ins for a total of nine haircuts, and is already booked well into February, with only limited spaces available.
Makela arrived in Port Alice from Chemainus in 2004. After embarking on a road trip with a friend, she met and fell in love with a logger, Andy Makela, who works at the Quatsino Dryland Log Sort. After helping him raise his two children, who are now adults, they are raising a daughter, Riylah, now 5. Until now, Makela has been working in Port Hardy for the last 16 years, at Beach Hair, Salon Safari and Julia & Brittany’s (now Coastal Roots). She says, “The pandemic helped me make the choice to get closer to home… Riylah needed me to be closer and slow life down a bit.”
Makela graduated from the Vancouver Island Professional School of Hair and Esthetics in Duncan in 2002. She was mentored as a junior stylist at Urban Legends in Chemainus in 2002/03. She has attended an eight-week advanced cutting workshop at Paul Mitchell Systems in San Diego in 2004.
Makela hadn’t been planning to open the salon for very long. She says, “I wasn’t going to open until the spring, but decided to jump in with both feet.” With the help of Bill Faeder and several other community members, she was able to get the salon ready in record time: only four months. She adds, “This little village needed something and I’m hoping it fuels more people to open up some businesses and give people a reason to want to be here.”
Located in the Port Alice Plaza, between the Pizza Place and the post office, Makela hopes to capitalize on location. It provides her with high visibility and is a good draw to potential customers who regularly pick up their mail.
In keeping with the wild theme, she has sourced local artists and artisans to decorate her salon. Special features include a pine shelf from Reagan Hickling, a live edge shelf by Sean Watson, a front desk built by her brother-in-law, John Mountain, and nature photography by Darrell McIntosh.
Her specialty is corrective colour, in particular, for blondes whose hair has to be done in stages to prevent damage. Right now, she offers full-service hair care that includes cuts, colour, custom colouring, texture services, barbering, as well as full service waxing and tinting. She intends to hire an esthetician, so there will be spa services in the coming months. She has recently hired a receptionist/apprentice to help keep up with the demand.
Makela is always accepting new clientele. Because of the high volume of customers, she advises them to book ahead. Walk-in spots and same day appointments may not be available. Salon Wild is open 10-5 Tuesday to Saturday and two Sundays per month from 12-4. She is closed all statutory holidays. You can follow @salonwildportalice on Facebook for news, updates and some her client’s before and after photos. To book an appointment call 250-209-2666, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by the salon at Unit 3, 1071 Marine Drive.
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