Downtown Camas salon gets revamp, new digs

Moonlight Salon, formerly Salon Magnolia, moves into new, larger space in mixed-use ‘Clara Flats’ building at 303 N.E. Sixth Ave.

Moonlight Salon owner Megan Strand stands near a display of Aveda hair products inside her downtown Camas salon on June 11, 2021.

Clients who visit Moonlight Salon in downtown Camas, located in the Clara Flats mixed-use building off Northeast Sixth Avenue, can relax in the salon's well-lit waiting area.

Jacqui Patton, a licensed esthetician, offers facials and hair removal services at Beauty by Freyja, located inside the Moonlight Salon in downtown Camas at 303 N.E. Sixth Ave.

Camas salon owner Megan Strand is good at finding silver linings.

In 2016, when her boss decided to sell Salon Magnolia, the downtown Camas salon Strand managed, the then 24-year-old took the news in stride — and found a way to purchase the business herself.

Less than five years later, when a global pandemic forced her to close her Fourth Avenue salon to protect her employees and customers, Strand found her optimistic spirit challenged yet again.

A 2010 Stevenson High School graduate, Strand, 29, had completed cosmetology school, moved to Washougal in 2014, been a hair stylist for nearly 10 years, owned Salon Magnolia for four years, married and became a mother by the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced her to close her salon in March 2020.

Being forced to close Salon Magnolia for during the early days of the pandemic was tough, especially since she had employees to take care of, but the downtime gave Strand more time with her daughter, then a 2-year-old, and a chance to think about what she really wanted to do with the salon she’d taken over in 2016.

By the time Salon Magnolia reopened in June 2020, Strand knew it was time for a change.

“It just didn’t feel like it was mine,” Strand said of the former Salon Magnolia. “I wanted to put my own spin on it.”

When she discovered an opportunity to build out her own salon space in the recently opened Clara Flats mixed-use building on Northeast Sixth Avenue — just a few blocks from Salon Magnolia’s Northeast Fourth Avenue location — Strand jumped at the chance to expand her salon and finally make the business feel like her own.

Over the next year she planned a complete reboot. Salon Magnolia would become Moonlight Salon, get revamped marketing materials, new signage, an updated website Strand built herself, modern stations for the hair stylists, private rooms to bring in other services such as facials and waxing, and a lovely space in the front of the sunlit salon where clients could relax while waiting for their appointments.

Strand also took the opportunity to change the salon’s pricing in a way that put clients on equal footing, no matter their gender. As Strand wrote on her business’ website: “Say goodbye to outdated practices, and hello to logistics. There’s no reason to be pricing men’s and women’s cuts based on gender rather than time and technique.” Instead, the salon’s pricing is now based on the level of education and skill level of the hair stylist, with more experienced stylists able to charge a bit more for their time and abilities.

Another change that was close to Strand’s heart was the addition of a private room where her sister, Jacqui Patton, a licensed esthetician, could offer facials and hair removal services under her own business name, Beauty by Freyja.

“I have been in the beauty industry for over 10 years and in customer service for (more than) 15 years,” Patton wrote on her Beauty by Freyja website. “In 2020, I decided to go back to school to get my esthetics license. This has been the most fulfilling decision of my life. It has brought me so much joy helping people on their journey to a more confident self.”

But while there are many new and exciting things happening at Strand’s Moonlight Salon, a few pieces of Salon Magnolia — including the stylists, their loyal customers, Strand’s dedication to the business and the salon’s array of Aveda products — remain intact.

Something else Strand has worked hard to keep the same is the salon’s ability to put clients at ease and make them feel completely comfortable when they come into the new Moonlight Salon.

“We have clients who have been coming here for years. Everyone knows each other and gets along,” Strand said. “That’s what I love about being in downtown Camas.”

Strand opened the new Moonlight Salon Aveda in late April 2021– on her 29th birthday — and the Downtown Camas Association celebrated the business opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony during its First Friday event in June.

The salon is located at 303 N.E. Sixth Ave., in downtown Camas, on the first floor of the Clara Flats Apartments building. For more information, visit moonlightsaloncamas.com, email info@moonli ghtsaloncamas.com or call 360-844-6018.