by Stella Shepard
As a young girl, Ashley Martin had an imaginary hair salon, giving her Barbie dolls amazing hairstyles and cuts. Later, she became popular with friends in need of a hairstyle.
With a longtime passion for the trade, it was a natural fit for Ashley to choose a career as a hairstylist. She took a leap of faith and opened The Blue Door Beauty Bar at 574 Main Street, Montague, in 2019.
The full-service salon for women, men, and children includes hair services, aesthetics, waxing, manicures, pedicures, tanning services, massage, and retail.
“It’s a dream come true to be an owner,” says Ashley. “Since opening, business has been amazing. We recently relocated to a more spacious place and the business continues to grow.”
Staff names and titles
- Ashley Martin: Owner, Master Hairstylist
- Sonya Duffy: Esthetician
- Nicole Victor: Master Hairstylist
- Heather Macintyre: Registered Massage Therapist
- Alisha Budgel: Certified Eyelash Technician and Hair Extension Specialist
- Annette Smith: Receptionist
- Kaydence Mackay: Receptionist
“There are seven full-time employees,” says Ashley. “We would love to expand in the future by adding a certified nail technician to our team and possibly another hairstylist.”
Community Business Development Corporation East (CBDC) located at the Rural Action Centre on Main Street in Montague assists in creating small businesses and in expanding and modernizing existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs. Services target entrepreneurs who require customized financing not ordinarily available from traditional sources.
CBDC East is staffed by Martina MacDonald, Director, Helen Antle, CBDC Officer, and Terri Taylor, Accounts Officer.
Ashley met Helen Antle by chance through a hair appointment at a salon she was working at. In conversation with Helen, she learned about the services CBDC East offers.
“I wasn’t happy working as an employee and I wanted my own business,” says Ashley. “The conversation with Helen inspired me to consider opening my own salon.”
She contacted CBDC East and met with the staff. Ashley was eligible for a loan offered through CBDC East in her journey to self-employment. “The many business-related programs they offer helped with expanding my business.
“This is a phenomenal organization to reach out to if you are looking to start a business or expand. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and willing to help, and they keep you updated on programs to help your business.
“As well, I am grateful for the continuing support of the community.”
Advice for anyone considering self-employment
“As terrifying as it may be, and no matter what people may say, just do it,” says Ashley. “It’s worth it in the end.”