Love Letter to My Bosses, Redux

(This was originally posted  in July, 2014. I felt I had to edit, and share it again. Thank you for understanding.  Donna)

With two very brief exceptions, I have been a hairstylist my whole adult life. I got my licence in 1976 in New York and I find it hard to believe time has gone by so quickly! In all that time as a stylist, I’ve only had three bosses.

Dragon OrchidThe first demanded the very best of us and gave us the very best of everything in return. She provided a state-of-the-art salon and education for us,  both on a professional level, and a personal-growth level.  I owe much of who I’ve become to her. Though we didn’t part on the best of terms, I feel a profound love and gratitude for her strength and vision.  I see that her expectations of me, though grand, were nothing more than she asked of herself, and nothing I couldn’t have lived up to. I told her this a couple years ago, and we are now on good terms.

After her, I rented a studio from a sweet man for almost 14 years…he was kind, affable, and always in a good mood. All he wanted was for us to have a good life, have fun, and respect each other. He would have loved it if we had become one-big-happy-family.  He regularly pointed out how lucky we were to be self-employed stylists, and if you forgot what those reasons were,  he’d gladly recite them. He passed away a couple of years ago…and I am grateful that he knew how much I loved him.

I briefly had my second boss after him. It was not a good fit for either of us, and I left after a year. ‘Nough said.

I have had the good fortune to work part-time for my third boss, Josh, for three years now, although I have known him for many more. He is another salon owner that truly wanted his staff to be happy and successful. And for more than twenty years, he and Bella Salon have been a fixture on the Austin scene.

More orchids1The greeting above our front desk: Love All, Serve All says it all.

Josh found out that he had lung cancer shortly after I began. Three years later he is in Hospice care and will pass out of this world any day now.  My heart is breaking as I think about Bella Salon without Josh. He made sure we know everything will be okay, and he has worked, surrounded by his clients and his beautiful orchids, until it became impossible to do so.

Last week before he left he stood in the doorway of our room, hands in his pockets, and watched us with our clients. He smiled beatifically, taking it all in, as if to remember every bit of it. His presence there felt like a benediction.

Josh was passionate about his art – so much so that he’d rather be at the salon than almost anywhere else. I aspire to bring that kind of passion to everything I do. Bella will go on, we are professionals who also love what we do. We will follow Josh’s example and live up to the credo at our entrance.

Godspeed, my friend. Until we meet again.

XO Donna


It’s (not that) easy being green

Kermitthe Frog“…but green’s the color of Spring and green can be cool and friendly-like.”   Kermit the Frog

I have to say that I was really excited when PANTONE, the global authority on color and color standards for the design industry, chose 17-5641 EMERALD as Color of the Year forPantone Swatch 2013.  “This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors,” say Leatrice Eisman, executive directior of Pantone Color Institute.  It doesn’t stop with fashion and home though, SEPHORA+PANTONE have partnered to create their 2nd annual limited edition Color of the Year Beauty  Collection.  Emerald adds drama to all eye colors and compliments peach, rose, pink, red and even eggplant. It’s a color a woman of any age can wear well, and this vibrant green can be the finishing touch on your fingernails, not to mention polishing off a pedicure Kermit would be proud of!  PantoneSephora

Pantone said that jewel-toned Emerald promotes balance, insight and harmony. How right they are!  I always wondered how the color of the year was chosen, and found that in order to arrive at their selection, they comb the world looking for color influences that can include the entertainmanet industry, travelling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations, technology, even sports events that capture worldwide attention!

But…none of that is the reason that I was excited about emerald green.  I was happy because green is the color of the heart chakra. The fourth of our seven chakras, and the one that deals with social identity, trust, forgiveness, unconditional love and compassion.  I see it as a good thing that there will be more of this color out there in the worldchakraimage surrounding us with it’s energetic vibration – vibe, if you will!  The heart chakra is a transition point between our lower three chackras, and our upper three.  Betwen the instinct to survive and the desire for enlightment.  This is the meeting place for both. I think we’ve seen what unchecked “instinct to survive” looks like: greed, war, violence, selfishness, corruption. I think a heartier dose (pun intended) of the desire for enlightment would be a very welcomed change.  I am fortunate to see it around me all the time; generousity, compassion, service, inclusive-community, spirituality and creativity.  I want to believe that a new focus on green signals a trend in that direction on a larger scale!

What are some ways you can “green up” your life?  You can try some sexy new eyeshadow, eyeliner, or mascara. You can ask your nail stylist for a pedicure with a new shade of green FreshFrog by OPI(this is Fresh Frog, by OPI!).  You can buy a beautiful new blouse in emerald, it goes with so many colors –  there is even an article online from the fashion industry on how to wear the Color of the Year. (They love it because it works well in men’s fashion, too). St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, so it’s a great excuse to buy green. There are bath towels in Pantone Emerald available at JCPenney…what a delicious color to wrap yourself in after you’ve bathed!  Both lavendar and jasmine oils are Lavendar bundle supposed to stimulate your heart chakra (might explain my recent fascination with all things lavendar) and you could easily buy a large, luscious bar of soap in either scent. And last, but not least, yoga.  Yoga opens the heart center. I recently bought a yoga CD by Rodney Yee (thank you, Ron Maddox).  It’s easy, beginning yoga that only takes 20 minutes, and I do it when I come home from work. Makes my whole evening mellower. I know a glass of wine would be faster, of course, but I will appreciate it even more with an open heart!

XO Donna