It’s a busy Friday at Jolie Salon, a popular destination for a new ‘do the past nine years. All stations are occupied, the hairdressers are clipping, washing or coloring a client’s hair, while in another area of the salon, a customer is enjoying a manicure. The shop is abuzz with chatter and congeniality.
Is it always this bustling?
“Most of the time it is,” owner Annette Rockenbrant said with a slight smile, indicating it can get hectic.
“I am looking to hire one more stylist.”
Being the owner of the salon is a new role for Rockenbrant, who purchased the business a few months ago. Many who knew the previous owners — Angie Stipe and her mother Bonnie Fergeson — said good-bye when the two decided it was time for a change and relocated to Arizona.
Rockenbrant, a long-time cosmetologist, rented a station at Jolie for the past three years. Prior to that she worked at other salons in the area. She never really considered buying her own salon … that is, until Stipe and Ferguson gave her the opportunity to buy the business.
“I just didn’t know at first,” Rockenbrant, a cheerful and caring woman who doesn’t let the pressure of a lively business get in her way of concentrating on a customer in her chair.
“I asked my husband, and he was all for it, so here I am.”
Once the deal was sealed Rockenbrant and her husband set about giving the shop a new look.
“Don remodeled everything and had a good time doing it,” Rockenbrant said of the remodel. “He did a lot of creative things.”
Indeed, the shop has new flooring, five updated stations, a separate and cozy corner for manicures and pedicures and a welcoming openness.
Rockenbrant chose to keep the name Jolie — which translates to beautiful in French — because it is a well-established business and customers are familiar with the name. “When clients come in they notice all the changes right away.”
Rockenbrant is a rarity in that she was born and raised in Sequim, and has remained her entire life. Her mother graduated from Port Townsend High School, while her father came from Wagner, South Dakota.
His aunt and uncle lived in Sequim, and after his time serving in the Korean War, he decided to check out Sequim. It stuck, he met Rockenbrant’s mother and the rest is history.
“This is home to me,” she noted. “The weather is great, I like small towns and everyone’s here.”
By everyone, she means her large, extended family that includes her mother (her father died about a year ago), two grown children, three grandchildren, three sisters and one brother and their families, and the list goes on. While her son and daughter-in-law live in Hawaii, but that gives her a fun place to visit and vacation.
As long as she can remember, Rockenbrant wanted to be a hairstylist. But life got in the way — having children and whatnot. But she held on to the dream, so after the children were old enough, Don surprised her with a cosmetology book and tuition for the course at a beauty school in Port Angeles.
As of now there are three stylists and one manicurist — all licensed cosmetologists — working with Rockenbrant. Each rents a station and work independently. Manicurist Donna Knobloch and stylist Debbie Weinheimer have worked at Jolie for some time.
Newcomer Joanne Beres, a California transplant, joined the salon May and is a best bet for a last minute appointment, not yet having a full clientele.
All say they enjoy the camaraderie at the shop and are happy Rockenbrant bought the salon.
“They were one of the reasons I bought Jolie,” Rockenbrant said. “I didn’t want them to have to find another place to work.”
All agree with Rockenbrant’s perception of their working environment.
“There’s never a dull moment,” she mused. “We meet people everyday, it’s never the same thing over and over.”
To make an appointment with one of the stylists, call Jolie Salon at 360-683-6943.