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  • Courtney Jette

All Dolled Up And Not Going Anywhere

May, 2020

Have you ever seen someone out in Tri-Cities and thought they were looking so good and stylish they must be from out-of-town? Not just a good pair of shoes and outfit, like… next level. Admit it, we don’t have a huge metro area, and so we don’t often end up with a certain dress code. To see someone dressed to the nines in platform heels, hot outfit, and full makeup, in broad daylight, is not a usual sight for me.

Which is why it makes me appreciate this next owner, a lot.

Always on the next level, and killing it, Sydney Swaggart, owner over at the The Dollhouse Salon & Spa, is always on it. There is not one time that I’ve seen this girl less than 100% on outfit, hair, makeup, nails, sass. If her moxie isn’t enough to blow you away, her lashes will… every time she blinked, I thought I’d have to grab a chair to be kept from blowing out the doors of her closed shop. So, it’s no wonder that this confident go getter also broke off on her own and opened her own shop. I met Sydney a few years back because she was the hairstylist of a friend of mine. Fast forward a bit, and here I am in her own salon! Unfortunately, Sydney is one of the owners I met that opened her location in the last year.

Lights off as a lash room waits for its clients to return after the pandemic.

*What do you feel has been the hardest obstacle to overcome in building your own business?

“The hardest obstacles to overcome in owning my own business, so far, have been finding a work/life balance, because I love what I do so much; almost to the unhealthy point. Having a wonderful home life, with my doggies & fiancé, has helped me focus on things other than just work.”

Sydney filled me in on what had been going on since I last saw her. And even though I wasn’t sitting in a salon chair having my hair done, I still got some salon chatter and details about her personal life. And seriously…as she’s telling me these stories, I think I’m listening to the story line of a rom com.

If she wasn’t fantastic at what she does, then her stories and life events would be enough to get people in her chair.

*Are there other business owners in your family, or are you the first one to take the leap?

“My father was a business owner and I watched him create the American Dream, as I grew up. I believe that was a big inspiration to take the leap to open my own business.”

And she really did. To recently opening shop, to moving close to her salon, she’s going all in. We talked a bit about the financial side of things, and like a few places I’ve spoken with, the infancy year of business is a rough time to be shut down. All l I can say is, support your ladies who support you. Shop on their online stores, and buy gift cards for your next appointment. Let them know you are going to still be there.

“Have patience, wait to get your roots done by your stylist.”

Almost every salon owner I’ve talked to has applied, unsuccessfully, for assistance. So, if you’re hoping to get your touchups after this is all over, you best be taking action now.

“We are a very strong group of women, and we will get through this together. We have so many exciting things to share with our community, and we can’t wait to get back to making women feel fabulous after this crazy time.”

Oh, and believe me…they will.

The photos I took can’t even begin to describe Sydney’s shop. So, you will have to go in for yourself; it’s like a rockabilly dollhouse meets a girly carnival in there.

A Lash room sleeps, waiting to wake after the covid19 pandemic

Even though the shop is bright, clean, and shockingly fun (even with the lights off and closed doors), and Sydney isn’t one to let things derail her, I know the confidence she shows is just the beginning of her fighting attitude.

I was wondering what may be worrying her the most.

*What about this shutdown has you most worried?

“The current shut down came out of nowhere for me. The shock was the hardest part to overcome. After the shock set in, I was able to enjoy this time at home and use this time wisely to expand on other talents and behind the scenes salon projects.”

If anyone can spin this in their favor, it's her; and speaking of spin, the chairs in her shop aren’t the only thing I want to take one in.

She also had a cotton candy kart. Need I say more?

Instead of feeling out of place (makeup less, bun-head, yoga pants, sneakers… you get the point) in the glowing Dollhouse, I didn’t. I imagine I could see myself getting glammed in the near future. Inclusive yet so niche, the Dollhouse is a little portal into something like hanging out in a bubble gum bubble. And I loved it. That’s right, tomboy Magee over here, loved it. So, I will be visiting the Dollhouse again, and you should to, if only to meet the gals and see this little piece of glam heaven. You will go in a queen, and leave a fabulous one. Sydney, thank you for giving the people of Tri the perfect place to come touch up their glamorous sides, and for making your space perfect for anyone and everyone. See you soon.

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