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  • Courtney Jette

Vintage goes young

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

"I'm hoping everybody does their part and we can get back to business. It's like a big group project." If the exterior and location of the Vintage Hair Boutique isn't enough to make you fall in love with its little corner of the Tri-Cities, and the gal who runs it, then just wait... there's still time. It's tucked away in the very back of a little village of small, cute shops that set along Keene Road in Richland.

But it's not all about looks. As I enter the boutique it's like I'm transported into a cozy, comforting spa where someone can just take care of me. It made me (a tomboy, who uses the wrong shampoo) consider all sorts of treatments when this shutdown is over. Ashley Fletcher, the owner and hairstylist who started Vintage, is down-to-earth and straight to business. I have no doubt she's going to find a way to make this lockdown work for her; good thing she has a chair available. So, if you are looking for your next spot to practice trendy hair... check-in with Ashley at Vintage, once her doors open back up. I could talk about the space forever... but I'll just let you go check it out for yourselves. I got to sit down with Ashley for a few questions; ordinarily I don't think that would be possible as her salon averages 5 -7 customers per chair a day. The math on that could be over 40 customers a day, and that's just for hair. They also offer lashes and microblading.

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

"My husband owns his family's business, so his dad was also a business owner, and my grandfather was a small business owner as well."

* Do you think you have more freedom now, or more freedom before you became a business owner?

"Yes and no. I have more freedom with control over my environment. Less freedom in the sense that you can't ever stop thinking of your business."

Since she and her husband own small businesses, I'm sure it's an art form of balance.

"I work behind a chair and I own the salon, I'm working in here and I'm also the owner, so it's complicated."

Eventually, she hopes to phase out her time behind the chair and move into spending most her work hours running the salon.

"At home I set aside a specific time to work on business."  And believe me, she gets things done! Which I imagine can be tough since she and her family get to call a farm in Mesa home-sweet-home.

* Are you more scared now, or when you were starting your business?

"I'm not more scared now. I am very comfortable with where I am right now. I tend to be fearless when going for what I want and going after it. I'm a dreamer and I figure the plan out later."

If she had a fear, it could be:

"That I wouldn't hold up to my own expectations, and that I'd overwhelm myself and step back, by getting in my own head."

Well, that definitely has not happened. And I'll take bets that it won't. Ashley, who has been in the stylist business for 11 years, first opened her own place five years ago.

She purchased her new location TWO WEEKS before the shutdown.

And went straight into a whirlwind remodel. Move ahead a week or two... and she's forced to close her minutes old location.

Moving to the Tri-Cities around 2011 as a transplant, she has already made a lot of progress in this town that used to, seemingly, crush small businesses before they had a chance.

She hopes people can get down to business themselves and get this shutdown behind us.

"I'm hoping everybody does their part and we can get back to business. It's like a big group project."

So there you have it; do your part so we can get stuff done. When I thought about that, there in her salon, I sorta chuckled. I was imagining stubborn, independent Americans in a children's classroom, around a table of school supplies, tasked with a group project and being forced to work together. Well, I know Fletcher is doing her part... and hopefully yours, (puns :D) as soon as her resort... I mean salon, is back open, and she has an appointment available. Maybe I'll see you there, I'll be the first in line for a vacation.

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