She’s been through the flood, fires, and now a pandemic. Karen Gunnlaugson has also seen 40 years’ worth of Peachlanders’ hairstyles – and she can’t wait to get back.
“We look forward to seeing our people again,” she says.
Karen’s Place Hair and Body Works is at the very south end of Beach Ave. Since 2005, she’s been styling clients’ hair and offering professional esthetic services, with a personal and environmentally-friendly touch. In her four decades of experience, she says this is the longest she’s gone without cutting hair.
“Some of my clients are ones that I started with, I’m still doing their hair. And there’s always new people. It’s surprising, almost every day you get a call from someone who is new, and someone has recommended them to the salon. And then you get people coming in and saying ‘I never knew you were here until I was across the street at the park and I saw the sign.’ And we do rely on tourists as well. Especially for the spa part, they’ll decide to come in and have a pedicure or a haircut.”
A Peachlander since 1993, Gunnlaugson worked at another salon in town before deciding to open one of her own.
“There were a lot of ups and downs over the years but I’ve got a good staff and we’re like family – we get along and work well together,” she says of her staff of two (soon to be three) stylists, and a pair of part-time estheticians. And since their exclusive arrangement with Aveda three years ago, her clients have benefitted from their eco-minded, all-natural approach to hair and makeup.
“It’s been a really good business decision switching over to them,” Gunnlaugson said.
“They’re a giving back kind of company and there are a lot of people who like the Aveda products, with them being from all natural ingredients.”
The salon is also Green Circle certified. That means she saves hundreds of pounds of garbage from the dump every year, by sending excess hair colour, papers and plastics, and even cut hair, to be recycled.
I’ve been involved with them for about ten years,” Gunnlaugson says, adding she was also one of the first Beach Ave businesses to change completely to LED lighting.
“I just feel I’m at least doing my part as best I can at my place of employment by lessening my carbon footprint,” she says.
While she waits to open, Gunnlaugson says she’s looking forward to a grand reopening celebration of some kind, when the time is right.
“I’m really blessed to be able to work where I do, in the downtown part of Peachland. It would be a good idea to have a little block party or something,” she says.
People like to come down and get their hair done. They go next door for shopping, they’ll go for lunch – it’s a destination down there.”
Check out Karen’s Place Hair and Body Works (5884 Beach Ave) on Facebook. The salon number is (250) 767-0276.