For the Walters, business is a family affair. As of last month, the family affair encompasses both of America's youngest states.
"We love Alaska, and we wanted to be here so we would enjoy both worlds," said Bruce Walter, who bought Cuts On Line with his wife, Addy Walter, on Oct. 15.
Jo Anne Bell-Graves, who started the salon six years ago, will stay in Juneau and operate a new business.
The Walters own a salon and a restaurant on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. One of their daughters runs the salon, another the restaurant, and a son will move to Juneau this month to help with Cuts On Line, Bruce Walter said.
Bell-Graves met Addy Walter this summer in Petersburg. The Walters were thinking of purchasing a salon in Petersburg, but changed their mind when Walter visited Cuts On Line here in July.
"We just really hit it off here," said Bruce Walter.
Bell-Graves, who had not advertised her salon as being for sale, said her meeting Addy Walter was "fate." Both women were visiting family in Petersburg, and the Walters were interested in buying while Bell-Graves was thinking of selling.
All three of the Walter's businesses will be managed from Juneau, where they'll live with their 13-year-old son. In the future, Bruce and Addy Walter will travel between Hawaii and Alaska.
"We're used to a small-town environment," Bruce Walter said. "The fact that you can only drive so many miles from one end to the other doesn't bother us at all. Quite frankly, the rain and the cold and the snow is exciting to us."
The Walters have no immediate plans for changes to Cuts On Line, but they do plan to introduce new styles and techniques to Juneau.
"In the future I'm hoping to bring in more fashion shows, very well educated stylists and just future education for operators," said Addy Walter, who has been a stylist for 18 years. "We'll be updating the fashion for the public."
Although operating a business in Juneau is not that different from operating one in Hawaii, the styles of Juneau residents are a little behind the times, said Bruce Walter.
The family hopes to change the decor of the downtown salon to reflect the family's Hawaiian background, he said.
"We might change the decor to tropical," he said. "You're in Alaska, it might be kind of cool to walk into a place that's full of palms and makes you feel like you're in the tropics."
Bell-Graves recently acquired a license and a machine to provide advanced laser skin care. She plans to travel in Alaska and California providing skin care to individual clients and holding clinics in salons and spas.
The machine uses noninvasive cold lasers to remove wrinkles and treat broken capillaries and spider veins, Bell-Graves said. The license to use the machine designates her as a medical esthetician.
Christine Schmid can be reached at email@example.com.
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