By Joanne McQuarrie

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Longtime hairstylist , Christine Johansen, of Christine’s Hair Design, loves her new space.

Johansen set up shop at 240, 3rd Ave, Suite 4 (the former Panache building) in September and said,  “I couldn’t be happier.”

Johansen has worked in various salons throughout the valley over the years.  “I had all the perks of being my own boss but didn’t have to deal with all that goes with running a physical salon,” she said. Yet, a change was in the (h)air.

“It was just time to have my own salon,” Johansen said. “This amazing spot was available, and it worked for me. The pieces all fell into place; it came together, felt right. I can do my own pricing, my own scheduling, my own services and the difference now, is  I have 100 per cent control of my business.”

Johansen has been a licensed cosmetologist since 1987. She specializes in mature women’s hair care, and also provides a wide range of services beyond that in hair cutting, colour, perms, ear piercing, facial waxing, eyebrow and eyelash tinting.

Johansen tailored the salon to her style. The interior is grey and white with a touch of black and lavender accents. Items that are connected to her family are part of the decor. And , considering the season, Johansen incorporated a ‘Christmasy’ feel too; she collects Christmas trees of many designs and shapes, and a few from her collection adorn shelves and counters in the salon.

Getting into the profession of hairstyling, Johansen said, “was a fluke. When I was 16, I had the opportunity to do some training. I didn’t now what I wanted to do. A family friends’ daughter was attending hairdressing school – so I thought that would be interesting. I went to Burnaby to the Moller School of Hairdressing; I graduated in 1986. Then I went back to Golden and did a year’s apprenticeship. I stayed at that salon for years after that.” 

Johansen moved to Invermere and for the next 31 years worked in various salons. For over 20 of those years, after opening her own business, she rented space at the salons.

When Johansen knew she’d be moving in to her own space, she “contacted every single client, then advertised, handed cards out, bought advertising at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena above the players’ benches”.

“I find it’s fun here. There’s less stress; it’s way more work, but less stress. I love it!”