Jagoda Hall has been a hairstylist for 20 years, although her first client was her own cousin when she was just eight years old.
From that moment on she knew what she wanted to do with her life, even if not everyone was thrilled with the idea at the time.
“My parents weren’t happy about the choice, they wanted me to be more than just a hairdresser,” she explains. “I’ve always wanted to do this, to do what I love. I’m very fortunate in that way. Making people feel beautiful is the best thing you can do.”
Jagoda, who is originally from Poland, came to London some 22 years ago. Without knowing English, she decided to put off jumping into university and so, she went back to her passion for hairstyling.
Always a self-described team player, Jagoda was happy in her career, but eventually decided to build her own team.
So, six years ago (as of this coming September), she opened Salon Cyan at 115 Dundas St.
“I wanted a place all kinds of people could walk in and feel comfortable. That feeling comes from this whole team I have here,” she said. “Everyone is very compassionate and giving, a lot of other places are as well, but it was important to me to be genuine and kind and welcoming to all kinds of people. My clients tell me all the time they feel very welcome and that’s my success right there.”
Ironically, when she first came to London, she didn’t really feel a part of the community and often thought she would leave one day.
Then she got married, started a family (her daughter turns 16, also this September), and decided she wanted to do something to make the downtown better.
“I figured if I didn’t do something about the things I didn’t like, then I couldn’t complain about it,” she said. “It was a great investment . . . but also, I wanted to change people’s thinking. I wanted them to see what I saw in downtown, which was interesting people, different cultures, kind people, united businesses. People think of downtown as all grey, but it’s much more colourful. I just think it’s beautiful.”
Jagoda, who half-jokingly says, “I’m basically living here,” is quick to admit running a business can be time consuming, particularly when in the midst of her own expansion plans.
Salon Cyan is adding more stylists on the second floor, as well as a private room for those requiring privacy for cultural or personal reasons.
Even with all that in mind, she acknowledges finding time away is important.
Jagoda enjoys visiting and going out with friends to take in the neighbouring bars, shops and restaurants, but when she does have some alone time, she likes to stay active, whether its exercising or yoga.
With a family and a business to run, Jagoda said it isn’t easy to get away from the daily pressures, but that’s OK given her excitement for the future of not only Salon Cyan, but downtown London as well.
“I know some people complain about the construction, but I think it’s been going well, the workers have been fantastic, but also it puts more light on the downtown. Everyone is talking about it and I think that’s a good thing,” she said. “I don’t see this as a negative, but a positive. I see this as real change that is much-needed in the downtown. It’s going to be great.”