March: Blue Alley Salon and Gift Shop

An Interview with

Ann Wayne

March 08, 2021

Is it possible to be a hairstylist and support small businesses? The short answer is - Yes! When I still lived in the Philippines, the top 3 career choices were - Nursing, Medicine, and Law. If you're not in any of these professions, you're not successful or you're working a job that is deemed unsustainable or not worth bragging about. The dignity of working a blue collar job/trade is looked down upon in Asia because it doesn't bring enough money or prestige. When I came to America, I've come to see a different culture where you can live a vibrant life, not be a doctor, find fulfillment despite being a hairstylist, and create avenues to support artists who need that initial boost.

Reconnecting with Ann

I've known Ann for a while now because of Ivan. Ivan (my husband) used to rent their basement before he studied Music Therapy in Marylhurst University. I've only ever known of Ann as one of Ivan's few close friends that he considers family. She loves music, art, and dogs. But I've never really explored the side of her that supports her local community through her business and her being a beautician (cosmetologist/aesthetician/hairstylist/hair designer). When we moved back to Portland, OR, we had a hard time reconnecting with friends because of the pandemic. But in October 2020, we were given the opportunity to reconnect as Ann opened her Salon and Gift shop officially in the historic city of downtown Aurora, OR.

Around that time, I was looking for something to do. I didn't quite want to return to the 9-5 life because I wanted to take a break from working. My husband also doesn't have a company car like he used to, so using our vehicle to commute for work is not an option. I also figured that daycare or early schooling will be tricky for Gale because of the pandemic and the new surroundings. Gale was having some home sickness for the first few weeks. I started knitting and posted my work on Facebook with the hopes that someone will take interest and purchase them from me. When Matt (Ann's husband) saw my knitting, he suggested that I show it to Ann and work something out with her. I initially thought that I'd only be making stuff that she can sell at her salon and we'll share the proceeds. Little did I know that I'll be creating a website, expanding my social media, and pretty much take the deep dive in the world of "Small businesses".


Getting to Know Ann

Ann is a hair stylist for 35 years now. She's a mom of two lovely people (Halle and Gunner) and wife of Matt (owner of Be Good Monster). She started beauty school when she was 16 and became an official hair stylist when she was 18. She has been taking courses on cosmetology and expanding her business from hair styling to barbering, facials, being an aesthetician, and she wants to explore more facets of beautifying people by also organizing wardrobes.