Trowbridge and Basinger settle in at Wispies Salon
Shannon Basinger brings back Jackie Lott's hair and asks what kind of hairstyle she would like. Basinger has worked at Wispies Beauty Salon for six months.
There are two new faces working at Wispies Beauty Salon at 112 North Jefferson St. in Medical Lake Sharon Basinger has been renting a space and working at Wispies for the past six months while Jennifer Trowbridge has been there since February.
Basinger, who is from Southern California, became interested in cosmetology at the age of 15 after she cut her hair and donated it to Locks of Love. She studied cosmetology at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif. At 19, she started working as an assistant for a stylist while honing her skills on her own clients.
Basinger eventually met her husband, who works in the military, and took some time off to start a family. She said she missed working and asked Wispies' owner Agnes Hargrove if she could rent a space in the salon. She currently works in the evenings and on Saturdays.
For Basinger, being a stylist allows her to learn about her clients' lives.
"I've learned about their stories and their backgrounds," Basinger said. "It's not just going in and getting your hair done. It's more personal than people think."
Trowbridge, who is from Medical Lake, began her cosmetology career when she started studying at the Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design. After she graduated in 2003, Trowbridge worked at a couple different salons and at one point was doing clients' hair from out of her own house.
She took some time off from styling, "bouncing from job to job" until she decided she wanted to start working with hair again.
In addition to working at the salon, Trowbridge attends classes at beauty supply stores to learn different coloring techniques and updated hairstyles.
"Some of the older, late '70s styles are coming back," Trowbridge said. "You're updating your classes all the time. Some clients will bring in a picture and I'll see if I can match it, but then I'll add a little flare of my own."
Like Basinger, Trowbridge enjoys meeting new people. She also sees old friends and parents she knew from high school.
"It's just awesome learning people's life stories," Trowbridge said. "I used to bartend and it's a similar atmosphere, except without the alcohol."
For Trowbridge, the salon also provides a professional atmosphere for her to work in and allows her to pamper her clients.
Trowbridge currently works Tuesdays and Wednesdays with 2-3 clients a day. She would eventually like to work at the salon five days a week.
"I would like to support my family on it," Trowbridge said. "I know it can be done."
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.