A Beautiful Place To Be

Daughter-mother team Jackie Lopez and Jeanette Huttger at Salon J. Amanda C. Gregg photos

Jeanette Huttger
Owner of Salon J

How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? I was born into the hair business – both my parents are hairdressers. I started doing hair when I was about 13, and went to beauty school years later. I was a hairdresser on the Mainland for eight years and have been a hairdresser here for 21 years.

I’m so excited about having just recently opened my own business in January. I’m working with my daughter Jackie as well, who does facials and massage, and my assistant Vicki. It’s such an exciting opportunity and I’m so grateful for it, and to every salon on the island which has given me the years of experience I can now offer at Salon J.

For those who may not understand what you do, please explain. We offer haircuts, hair color, blow dry, iron, consultations, massages and facials. We also offer great must-have hair products, including Moroccan Oil, Paul Mitchell, S-factor and Malie, among others.

Where are you from originally and what role does that play in your business? I’m from Southern California originally, a place that is known for having a lot to do with beauty, hair and style, and where how you look is really important. But I bring my own sense of style here, and give my clients a chance to find theirs as well.

Huttger’s specialties are color and haircuts

What is your specialty and who can benefit from it? My specialty is color and haircuts, and everyone can benefit from it, especially the woman who wants her hair to stay young and healthy and beautiful. Color in particular gets my attention – whenever I see styles and rich hair colors in fashion or in the movies I figure out a way to adapt for clients. I try to keep everyone’s hair updated in an easy-to-maintain way, and have kept upto-date with color techniques by trainings from Tony & Guy, Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sassoon. So I work to stay modern and I’m able to offer clients the best there is.

What sets your business apart? We are reliable and consistent, and really care about our clients. We want our customers to feel welcome and comfortable, and quite simply we just want to do a really good job. A lot of it is listening to the client and giving a good consultation. If you don’t learn about their lifestyle, for example, you might give them a hairdo that they can’t keep up with.

Why do you do what you do? I love the idea of hair. I think it’s beautiful, it’s natural, and I like to have my hair smooth enough so it is inviting and you just want to run your fingers through it. I love the way hair looks in the sun, the way it looks with color in it. I also just love being around people, and with my job I’m usually around happy people because I’m making them feel good and beautiful. So I get that instant gratification of working to please and then seeing them happy right then and there. It is fulfilling to me. It feels really good to make someone look good and feel good about the way they me?” That and, of course, thinking how happy will I get to make my clients.

Do you have a business motto or philosophy? Always moving forward and always trying to do the best job you can, and hoping to bring out the best in yourself and other people.

What is the most challenging aspect of your business? Getting tired, and not being able to always show how happy I am to see my husband as I wish, because sometimes I’ve given it all at the salon. Giving it all means not having time for family and friends. That, and getting hair and color on all my clothes.

What is your business plan for the future? We’re hoping to grow the staff further soon. Also, further building a good reputation to the point that we’re the place that’s talked about fondly, and where everyone says it’s the place to be because of the great work we do. Perhaps further down the road we’re the first thing people think of when they think of a high-end salon.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I would be a fighter pilot. Just kidding. I would be sewing clothes or working with clothes design. I love fabrics and textures. That, or becoming a downhill cyclist racer, or even just going to every restaurant in Italy I could possibly get to would be really fun. To be honest, though, being a grandmother is so wonderful, and spending time with my family is all I’d like to do. Keeping everyone very close is a priority.

Salon J
4-940 Kuhio Hwy.

(next to Kaua’i Cycle)