Aryn Smith, owner

Sassy Salon and Spa

2793 Hwy 101 Unit #20, Seaside

503-717-3175

Hair cuts and color, perms, pedicures, manicures, facial waxing

When did you start the business?

I opened the business in December 2013. It’s been good. This was a garage before I got it and so I was doing hair in the front, so we’ve been slowly remodeling and doing everything. It’s all paid for, no credit or anything. Slowly everything is getting done, but it’s probably 80 percent of the way.

What made you want to start a salon?

I owned a salon back home in the Vegas area, and I sold that. I met my husband so I moved up here. I worked at another salon and then decided that I’m ready to go out on my own, so here I am.

What’s different about owning a salon here as opposed to one in Las Vegas?

It is very different. It’s a lot more laid back. It’s more seasonal up here, during the summertime it’s busier. It’s slower in the winter.

Most of my clientele are locals, so it is steady with locals, but I do see a difference in the summer time. It’s mainly locals here.

What was your biggest challenge initially?

Getting it going. Getting the name out and getting it all built up.

How did you manage to do that?

Marketing to the locals, word of mouth is great. When one person likes their hair they’ll tell everybody. Then they’ll come in and they’ll tell everybody.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in a small town outside of Las Vegas, and then I lived in Vegas for about 10 years before I moved up here. I worked in the Stratosphere for a little bit, did hair in there and got to meet people from all over the world. It was fun.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from running your past salon?

Patience. You’re not going to be busy right off the bat. It takes patiences and you have to work for it. You have to work for your work.

Any interesting stories from Vegas?

I got tipped $100 for doing a mullet. That was fun.

We’d get people from all over the world to get married in Vegas and it’s like, ‘you come to the armpit of the country and you’re getting married in Las Vegas,’ but to each their own.

What sets your salon apart from others in the area?

I do a little bit of everything. People can come in and get their hair done but if they want to get a pedicure done they can get it done that day. I can get them in really quickly.

Have you seen growth since you’ve been open?

I’ve seen it grow quite a bit. That’s when word of mouth comes in handy.

Have you thought about hiring?

It’s just me right now so until I get my business built and I’m too busy then I’ll start hiring but it’s hard to find people that you can trust and that you can rely on. It’s a hard area up here to find people to work with. You walk down Broadway and everybody has “Help Wanted” signs. It’s like nobody wants to work.

How do you keep up with trends in the hairstyling industry?

Go to hair shows. Keeping up with classes. They’ve got classes online that you can keep up with the up-to-date haircuts and colors and all that stuff.

In June they’ve got a big, huge (show) in Vegas that I try to get to, and those are fun. They do wild stuff, but fun stuff.

What’s the trend now?

I’ve seen up here is the bright-colored hair, the streaks and crazy hair. It’s different in each area. It just depends.

What do you when you have an unhappy client?

I try to ask them, what can I do to make them happy? “What can I do to fix it if you’re not liking it?” I’ve had clients that they’ll get their color done or get a perm and they just don’t like it, so I would rather them come back to me than them going to a store and putting a color on it or going somewhere else. I’d rather they come back, let me fix it how they want it and help them feel better about it so they can leave happy.

There’s a difference between giving them a couple of days or a week or two to figure it out than them coming back a month or two later and saying they didn’t like it. You can’t do that.

What’s your greatest current challenge?

It’s just staying afloat, just getting the word out that I’m here. I’ve put the signage up on the building and I’m going to all the hotels. It’s probably just getting known in the area.

Do you have plans to expand?

Not anytime soon. I would have to be booked out a couple months in advance and hiring more people here and, when they get too busy, then expand. Right now I can handle all the work.

Where do you get your hair cut?

I have cut my own hair and I usually get my hair cut back home in Vegas.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have a seven-month-old baby. She keeps me busy. Before that I’d go hiking, and my husband tries to get me to go fishing. I don’t want to go fishing, I’m not into fishing. I’d rather go to the theater.

What’s your favorite part of the business?

My favorite part is the people. I love meeting new people. I get to be like a part of a family. I get to hear about people’s family, what’s going on, everything. I’m their therapist. I love the business, I’ve been doing it for 16 years.

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