It’s a bright place, a colorful place. It feels friendly, and smells like shampoo.
According to Della, who’s been working here off and on since 2003, “Our mission reflects our values. We want to make sure that people are welcome, that they feel at home.” The feeling of home comes right from the center. Della continues, “We have a very good team. In my work experience, this is the first place that my bosses are actually part of. They help us feel comfortable with ourselves and with other people. It really feels like home. We’re all different. We have our agreements and disagreements but we always work things out.” When the Salon opened in the Forest Park Center, it was a homecoming of sorts for co-owner Douglas Carl. But he didn’t return alone. Janiece Hoggatt, his partner in business and life, is the practical visionary of the team. She joined forces with Douglas because of his big heart and commitment to service.
The Salon is an Apprenticeship Salon, one of the few in Washington State. After apprentices finish, they are prepared to take state boards and start their professional careers. Some of their team are professionals who have immigrated. Their employment at A Better Day Salon has helped them get credentialed in the United States For a nine person operation, it’s a very international place.
Della: “One woman is from Romania. When she started, she barely spoke English. I’m Vietnamese. One of our people is Iranian. A former staff person was Japanese.” Some of the team have signed the Charter for Compassion, and they all take their responsibility for compassionate service very seriously.
The salon supports literacy in the local elementary schools, providing dictionaries for every 4th grader. They sell handmade jewelry made by a Fair Trade artists coop in Africa, as well as cards by local artists. Last year the salon was named an outstanding community-minded local business by the Lake Forest Park Rotary. Men women and children are loyal customers. Della: “Our oldest customer was over 100. We used to go to her place to do her hair. Our customers’ ages range from infants on up. We have very loyal clients.” Not surprising for a place that is practicing compassionate action, every day, to make your day a better day.