From Promises to Action: La Luma Salon and Academy Origin Story


Students often ask me how La Luma Salon and Academy came into existence. I like to start with a little attention grabber like “Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away.” Or, “it was a dark and stormy night.....”  In reality, it was my desire to contribute to the beauty industry and the next generation of stylists that drove me to open my own salon and academy. On top of that though, I gave my word. I entered into an agreement with a mentor. The agreement was that if I was mentored that I would give it away. So this is exactly what I have done for the last twelve years.

I find it interesting that life really begins to work in our favour when we honour our word—when our speech, our actions and our thoughts align. This is called integrity, and the workability of our lives increases immensely when we lean into it. 

At first, I was not totally convinced that I should go through the arduous process of opening a private college in Ontario. It was on a trip to California for a friend's wedding that I committed to making my final decision.

After the wedding, my girlfriend and I were driving up the coastal highway from San Diego to San Francisco. On the way, we stopped for the night in the town of Carmel. The next morning we were walking along the beach with Starbucks in hand, deliberating the pros and cons of starting a whole new adventure—and, of course, were we going to do it together? As we walked along the beach and the waves washed up over our feet, I kept being distracted by the seals rolling and popping up in the surf. It seemed like an ideal mental distraction to avoid making a decision, and of course, fulfilling my word.

Ocean viewPhoto by Bella White from Pexels

It was at that very moment that I turned away from the ocean view and began to lean into a brisk walk that I noticed someone marching down the beach coming toward us. As this tall, tanned man with a presence approached us, he looked familiar. As we passed our gaze met and with a nod of the head we greeted each other with a good morning!

It wasn't until a few seconds later that I realized who I had the interaction with. It was none other than Clint Eastwood!

In that walk along the beach, I began to realize that I was brought to my Dirty Harry moment. I was having my personal “make my day” or, more crudely, my f*** it moment.

So that fateful day I made my decision to move forward into the unknown and risk it all in opening La Luma. I can say confidently and unequivocally that it was one of the best decisions of my life—along with choosing to marry that beautiful lady that I was walking on the beach with. Not only do I get to live a life of integrity, service, and creativity. I also am passing on a legacy started by a man that trusted and shared a lifetime of experience with me. 

As my mentor, Don Bewley would say "here we go." Here we are creating the next chapter.