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Silverdale spa is rated among top 200 salons
It takes a lot to start a business — organization, business acumen, and, of course, money. When Jen Horne started formulating her business plan years ago, she never thought $1,000 would bring her so far.
But that’s all she had when she decided to start her own business, Seaport Salon and Spa.
That was 13 years ago. She hasn’t looked back since.
“It’s somewhat of an American dream. It’s not just handed to you,” she said of establishing a business. “I’m very thankful.”
After working as a police officer for many years, Horne felt burnt out and ready for something different. She got her nail technician license, and then wanted to move on to a more challenging business adventure. Now, six days a week, she surrounds herself with 20-plus employees who specialize in everything spa from head-to-toe.
Customers come from as far south as Tacoma and as far north as Port Angeles to receive special treatment in a salon that uses environmentally-friendly products, including vegan nail polish.
On an average day, the salon services around 50 clients, which is why interested customers will need to book appointments at least two weeks out. Sometimes customers can be squeezed in if they happen to walk-in at just the right time, Horne said. The popularity of the salon, located on Washington Avenue in Old Town Silverdale, is one of the reasons she and her staff plan to offer spa memberships, which will be launched at their holiday party in December.
The lower level of the spa always seems to be bustling with customers perusing shelved Aveda products and chatty hairdressers styling in the back. Upstairs, however, is a more serene atmosphere, where a faux fireplace and dimmed lights welcome those prepared to be massaged into relaxation.
A busy spa is exactly where stylist Shawna Schofield feels most comfortable. On an average day, she assists four to seven clients, depending on their needs. After training in an Aveda Institute, she chose to stay with the brand and moved to the Silverdale location due to less competition. She said she can still remember her excitement when she saw the frosted bottles perched in the window of the Silverdale spa.
“I need to work there, that’s Aveda,” she remembered thinking to herself at the time. That was four years ago, and she still expresses a passion that would lead one to believe it were her first day on the job. Schofield said the staffs’ glow could be from the Aveda products they use, or it could be the fact that she and her coworkers are all so happy to work together.
“I just love the girls here,” she said. “It’s really hard to get this many girls under one roof with no drama. I always call it my Seaport family.”
Horne will be the first to admit that her staff gets along beautifully, and that it starts with the attitude of the management. In all she has four managers to keep things running smoothly, including herself.
“I’m no different than them,” she said, which is also why she calls herself a manager and not an owner. “I don’t throw the owner card, ever.”
As for settling on being an Aveda Concept Salon and Spa, Horne said the choice was an easy one. Upon opening her business, Horne’s specialty was nails, but she found that other nail shops quickly popped up in the area. Soon, other specialty service salons developed, and she found herself trying to compete by offering several lines of different hair brands and more services.
But the idea of an Aveda products-only spa struck her as the best way to run her salon. She personally knew others who loved the products, so establishing a brand wasn’t going to be a problem, she said.
“That branding has to have a seed set,” she said. “I realized I needed to do my own thing and not be in competition with anyone.”
The cleanliness and professionalism of the spa is the first thing anyone would notice upon walking through the doors. But Horne’s spa has been even further scrutinized by professionals, and as a result of running a tight ship, her spa was designated as one of the “Top 200 Salons” in 2013 by Salon Today, a publication aimed at salon owners.
To qualify, Horne was required to turn over three years’ worth of tax returns and write 14 essays on a variety of spa-related topics. It is one of Horne’s proudest business owner moments, and is why she has the print honor on a plaque sitting in the front of the salon. Horne believes it is her good business acumen that has made her business so successful. She will readily admit she has an accountant and lawyer on her staff, and that she is one of those people who likes to “do things by the book.”
In addition to beautifying the people in the community in which she lives, Horne also said she believes in karma, a reason she tries to give back. Every year, her salon participates in Aveda’s Earth Month, reserved to raise funds for clean water projects. She donates to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance,an environmental group that helps protect the Puget Sound from toxins and has given as much as $3,000 to the cause.
“I have a big thing about karma,” she said. “I feel like no matter how bad my day is that if I give back to people, every day can only get better.”
The spa is located at 9130 Washington Ave. NW in Silverdale. Call 360-698-0781 for more information or go to www.seaportsalonandspa.com.