I had the pleasure of first meeting Lisa Menzies back in my early 20′s, which seems like another lifetime ago. Both of our husbands (boyfriends at the time) were great friends — we hit it off right away. The two of us went through pregnancy together and even had the same midwives. Honestly, I don’t think there’s one person in the world who would have one bad thing to say about this Valley ‘momprenuer’ from Surrey, B.C. She is without a doubt, one of the most generous, upbeat and easy going people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Lisa is also a brilliant hair stylist — just ask her clients who come from all over the Fraser Valley and beyond to see her — including yours truly!
I volunteered my head to Lisa when she was just starting out at hair school — even back then, she knew her stuff. It was a win-win situation, really! I sported some fabulous foils and Lisa was able to get plenty of practice.Today, she’s the proud owner of the Wish Salon in Surrey and a busy mom of two little handsome boys, Kobe and Jett. I don’t know how she does it all, but that’s what we’re sitting down with Lisa over coffee to find out.
Q. Tell us about your career in hairdressing.
A. I knew I wasn’t made for college. I did one semester and that was enough, lol… I wanted to do something in the beauty industry.
In 2001, I went to makeup school and started working at a salon as an assistant and did wedding makeup as well. After just one day working at the salon I knew I wanted to be a hair stylist, so I signed up for school and did an apprenticeship. When I got my license I started out renting a chair in White Rock three-days-a-week and kept two other jobs just so I could pay bills while I built my clientele up.
Q. When did you open Wish Salon?
A. I opened the salon in June of 2007; I was just shy of turning 25. It was so crazy — I didn’t really take time to think about it. Usually, I am a person who likes to know what’s going on, am very organized and worry about everything. I would have never taken this risk, but after my best friend passed away I realized how short life is. She was a huge influence and a role model to me. She taught me to have no regrets and to follow my dreams and most importantly, my heart. I knew I was going to do what ever it takes to make it work.One of the funny thoughts I remember having was to make sure to wear earrings, because I always equated it to being a professional woman.
Q. Were you nervous about getting pregnant for the first time and running your business?
A. Yes for sure! I had only been in business for about a year and half — I had worked long and hard to build my clientele and all of a sudden, here I was just going to leave them to have a baby. Oh man! All l I knew was I couldn’t sit down. If I sat down I wasn’t getting back up. Honestly, I didn’t think much about it until I was 32 weeks along and I came home after a 12 hr work day and ended up in the hospital because I had started dilating. After a few days of bed rest I was allowed to work, but only short days. I slowed down a bit. The thing is, of course your baby comes first, but you do what you have to do to get everything done.
I have to say I work with the most fabulous and supportive women. They have been a huge help all the way through. They treat the salon as their own and when I’m not in the shop, I know it’s well cared for!
Q. As an entrepreneur you weren’t eligible for maternity leave, when did you go back to work?
A. I took six weeks off with both my boys then started back to work full time with my first and then part time with the second . I wanted to make sure to accommodate my clients:) The whole way through my first pregnancy I would say to my husband “I will take care of the dog and be the business woman and you take care of the kids… I never had that mothering instinct initially. I would never want to hold other people’s babies. I was always scared. One of my co-workers would hear me say this and tell me “Oh Lisa you just wait!’ And she couldn’t have been more right. I fell so in love, my world changed forever. So yes, I was a little jealous that my husband was at home while I was at work and having to pump milk like a cow, but he has an amazing bond with both the boys for it and I love that. I did get a visit every work day from Jett as he would not take a bottle. Jordon would drive him to the salon to nurse and my wonderful clients were so understanding when I would have to take a 10-minute break.
Q. How did you make it all work without losing your mind?
A. Oh I lost my mind years ago! I like to say I was sleep drunk for four years. With my first not sleeping and up every 45-minutes due to acid reflux and food sensitivities, which took over a year to detect, I was nursing and cuddling for the first 18 months all night. I felt crazy. I was crazy all the time, so crazy that we did it all again a second time and he wasn’t a great sleeper either till this past August. Needless to say, I love every minute of it and even with those crazy first few years.
I would say that they grow up so fast. Make sure to just take the time and enjoy it when you can get it, even if it’s 11:45 p.m.,12:30 a.m., 1 a.m. — you get the idea. And honestly, for the most part, I loved the one-on-one-time in the night that wasn’t interrupted by anything.
Our families have always been loving and so supportive with everything we have done. They all are great with offering to help with the kids or when they were babies they would come clean or bring meals over…how I miss those days!
Q. What do you enjoy most about parenthood?
A. Wow, this is a hard one! I keep saying this is my favourite age… no wait THIS is my favourite age. It’s ever changing. I really love it all. Yes, of course we could all do without the screaming temper tantrums or the days when they don’t want to listen or decide to get into everything. But oh man, how much I love my boys and how innocent and pure they are, they amaze me. I never get tired of all the hugs, kisses and I love you’s. It makes it all worth it.
Q. What do you enjoy most about hairdressing?
A. Everything….Being artistic, foils, cutting, the relationships, the schedule I decide to make, the social aspects and even as of recently setting up clients on dates. We’re one for one! The ladies I work with, the people that come in, I have to say my clients have turned into my friends and family.
They all have been so great and supportive with having my kids and coming back so fast after. I think over the years of having these amazing loyal clients we go through so much together. Whether it’s weddings, babies, divorce, or sickness, we are sharing our lives with each other. It’s not only the hair — I want my clients to know I care how they feel on the inside and out. I find giving head massage and putting in foils therapeutic for myself too.
Q. What would you say is your proudest moment?
A.Having the boys without question. But also the way Jordon and I have come together as parents and balancing a business, the trust in one another with how we want to be as parents, a family and the support I get from him on running the salon.
Q. Now with two busy boys to look after, how to you juggle motherhood, work and a social life?
A. I’m still learning this. It’s a lot of boys and work and lacking the social life that you are normally used to when you’re single and childless. With Jordon and I working opposite days and times so that we don’t have to do daycare for the boys, it doesn’t leave a lot of extra social time. Just family time for us these days.
I always wondered how women could juggle all these things, then I realized we all have different priorities and that’s ok! For me, I’m a ‘home body’ and because I work some late nights, I like to be at home for the other nights to put the kids to bed. Because I’m so social at work, I include work into social life. It’s always a process, really. I don’t think you can ever have a even balance — you have to do what works for you and your family.
A. I think to realize that “having it all” doesn’t always mean what you think it does. I think the new “all” is finding a balance that works for you. My all is being able to be a successful business owner, while not sacrificing the time that I cherish with my husband and kids. Making sure that the relationships that I develop at work are well nurtured. I find that making the salon an equal haven in relation to the sanctuary that is my homelife, keeps my life balanced, and therefore happy!
If you’d like to make an appointment with Lisa at Wish Salon, call 604-538-8030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The salon is located at 1-2336, King George Blvd. in Surrey, B.C. Find her on Facebook Here.