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A new salon offers more than hair care
When she was 6, Sarah Lake St. Germain recalled, she got in trouble for cutting someone’s hair and charging for it.
But if it put a crimp in her aspirations, it certainly hasn’t limited her as an adult. Today, St. Germain is a licensed cosmetologist and the owner of a new salon, Uninhibited Ink in Vashon Village.
With the addition of three other women, the small shop across the street from the Vashon Library offers tattoos and massage in addition to a full range of hair styling and coloring services.
Many people on the Island know St. Germain as a former owner of Curves and as the mother of three active boys. She is also recognizable for her spirited sense of style.
“When people look at me, they worry,” she said, sporting an asymmetrical haircut with streaks of purple. “But I’m very good at the very normal. … When they are ready for a change, I am good at that too.”
She opened on Oct. 1 at the former site of the Chamber of Commerce, transforming the interior with bright pink walls and zebra stripes. The colorful interior fits in with her business goal, she said: She wants to build a business that will be comfortable to people of all ages, especially teens. So far, St. Germain noted, she has had clients ranging in age from 6 to 85.
Both St. Germain and Sarah Browne, the other stylist working in the salon, were trained at the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute in Seattle. The training was rigorous and instilled in them a focus on customer service, St. Germain said, so that people feel well cared for while there and leave with a style that is the look they want and fits their lifestyle.
She noted that she keeps flexible hours, offering appointments on Sundays and as late as 8 p.m. during the week.
In addition to owning Curves, St. Germain has also been a chemical dependency counselor.
“It’s a really cool thing for me to be 42 and doing what my heart really wants to do,” she said.
Joining St. Germain and Browne are Kristin Baron, one of the former owners of Gusto Girls, now a licensed massage therapist, and Kate Kibler, a tattoo artist.
Browne, the daughter of Islander Marie Browne and the most recent addition to the salon, hopes to be settled in this week. “I love doing it all,” she said. “But I most enjoy men’s haircuts.”
Baron, whose business is called Blossombodywork, said she has been interested in massage therapy since she was 18, but her love of the restaurant industry prevented her from pursuing that path until recently.
She graduated from Renton Tech-nical College in June and is also practicing in Fremont. She is available on Vashon on Sundays and Mondays and offers 90-minute appointments on a sliding scale. Baron said she provides integrative massage with a variety of techniques, including deep tissue massage, reflexology and Swedish methods. She specializes in women’s concerns, including treatment of fibromyalgia, reproductive issues, pregnancy and postpartum massage.
Kibler, owner of Mojo Rio Tattoo, said she has always been captivated by tattoos and is drawn to light-hearted, whimsical designs. To become a skilled tattoo artist, she interned for a year with Doc Elsea, who owns the Leavenworth Tattoo & Piercing Haus. She has been a tattoo artist now for three years.
“I always feel like it’s such an honor to be able to tattoo someone,” she said. “It’s so personal to them. For them to come to me and ask me to be part of that, it’s very humbling.”
Noting that she is the second tattoo artist on Vashon, she said, “I think our clients are really different. Between our two styles, we’ll be able to satisfy a lot of different people.”
To reach Sarah Lake St. Germain, call 455-5284. To reach Sarah Browne, call 550-8975. To reach Kate Kibler, call 953-0685. And to reach Kristin Baron, call 850-9139.