Humboldt hairstylist following in mother’s footsteps

HUMBOLDT — Humboldt’s Studio 3:16 Fashion & Apparel is opening up to a new generation, with the owner Vicki Washburn’s daughter, Chianna Washburn, undertaking a mentorship and following in her mother’s footsteps.

The City of Humboldt passed a discretionary use application on June 28, for Studio 3:16 to convert a spare bedroom into one additional space and chair for hair and salon services to accommodate an additional employee that is a non-resident person on the site.

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 “It definitely has its days but it’s been really nice,” Chianna said. “Being that I am working under my mom I have a great opportunity to learn lots of business. So possibly in the future I can maybe one day open a salon, but as for now we’re just doing this and it’s been fun. There’s no real set plans yet.”

Vicki Washburn started as a hairdresser 25 years ago out of her house, then opened Humboldt’s Elite Salon and Spa in 2001. She ran the business for 17 years before selling to one of the stylists she mentored, and started a home-based operation to spend more time with her family.

Her daughter, Chianna, graduated from MC College for hairdressing, before working at The Cutting Café and Sunsera in Saskatoon. She would then work a year at Salon Beautiful in Warman before moving to Humboldt for a relationship. Chianna most recently finished stint as a stylist at The Elizabeth before COVID-19 occurred.

“I still felt like I needed more mentoring, so that’s kind of why me and my mom have been working together.”

Vicki said the mentorship’s benefit was discovered after Chianna was unable to work out of The Elizabeth due to the pandemic restrictions.

“She couldn’t operate with her clients at The Elizabeth, because obviously she couldn’t take outsiders in there,” Vicki said. “So she was working with some clients out of my house, and that’s where she discovered she really enjoyed being mentored by me and that’s where it all started.”

Vicki said she was surprised by Chianna’s decision to first go into the industry, recalling at one point growing up when Chianna wanted to be a nurse, although Chianna remembers early moments that made her want to go into the occupation. 

 “Honestly, I was playing with my mom’s mannequin heads from really early on,” Chianna said. “As long as I want to remember that’s what I wanted to be.”

Chianna said what she likes about the business is the people.

“I’ve gotten so many friendships out of it, and just making people feel happy. I just love the reactions when you do their hair and their face just lights up. It’s a rewarding industry to be in.”

As a mother and daughter team, Vicki said there are unique challenges, but also benefits through different experiences.

“It’s different having the different generations working together. I’m enjoying it because I’m learning more current things she is learning through her, but she finds she is learning the skill set that takes 25 years to grow through me.”

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