Robin Snyder fought the idea at first.
It would be weird, she said, to set up her own hair salon inside North Bend Automotive, the business owned and operated by her friends and clients, the Dennis family.
"I woke up one morning and thought, 'Why does it have to be weird?'" said Snyder. "It suits my personality, anyway: Different."
Snyder is the hair artist and sole owner at Hair Ink, located inside North Bend Automotive.
Snyder describes her look as modern, maybe even eccentric. This place is her creation, from the lighting and layout to the quote on the wall and the floral arrangements that echo the peacock feather in her hair.
"I was starting it by myself," says Snyder, who is stylist, receptionist and clean-up crew, all in one. "My goal was to build it from the ground up."
As a child, "I was always into art. I used to draw, paint anything you can imagine," she says. "I was always doing something creative."
Hair and beauty was meant to be a stepping stone to something else, but instead it became her career for eight years and counting.
She opened this place a year and a half ago. The combined salon and auto repair shop may well complement each other.
Snyder said she's well booked and is looking to add a stylist to staff her second chair.
"I don't want a spitting image of me—I want us to be a little… off-set," says Snyder, who wants someone creative and motivated."
For prospective stylists, Snyder explains that it's all about relationships.
She's always learning and striving for more, but also maintains strong connections to her clients. She loves the client interaction.
"I like to create people's look, from start to finish. I want you to feel good, from the inside out, and a lot of that is what you look like in the mirror."
"If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to work, You, yourself, have to look put together. You have to make sure you're educated, and stay educated. And be willing to be step into uncomfortable zones."
She's not afraid to walk up to someone, compliment their hair, then hand them a card and say, "I'd love to work with you."
Outside of work, Snyder says people might be surprised to learn that she's very grounded—spending time with her child, taking hikes, going fishing."
Look past the colored hair, the feather and tattoo of flowers, shears and a Mexican sugar skull, and you'll find someone who's into nature: "I want to go for a hike, I want to relax, I want to read my book."
Long-term, Snyder is exploring her next career opportunity, doing freelance makeup for movies, photo shoots and weddings.
"I'm ready to be out and about," she says.