|Cancer doesnt scare Gateway businesswoman
Wilsons experience with cancer strengthens her
THE MID COUNTY MEMO
But its not stopping her.
Wilson started The Colour Authority hair salon 19 years ago and hasnt looked back. The Colour Authority is located at 11121 N.E. Halsey St. in the midst of the Gateway business district.
And with over four decades in the hair styling and coloring world, Wilson knows the hair care business.
Learning how to cope with cancer has been an incredible education for Wilson, who shared her ordeal with the Memo in a recent interview.
Some background on Wilson would be appropriate.
Born June 11, 1942 here in the Rose City, Wilson attended and graduated from Portlands Jefferson High School in 1960.
Within months of graduating from Jefferson High, Wilson decided to attend beauty school to become a hair care expert. After nine months, she graduated in the summer of 1961 and went to work at her mother Ann Mumfords hair salon, Lipstick Beauty Salon in North Portland, near Jefferson High.
Her next stop was at the Dar-Den salon, where she worked for 10 years. After Dar-Den, she created Mandala for Hair, and grew that business into four locations in the Portland area in 10 years. Then, 19 years ago, she started The Colour Authority, in the same building Dar-Den was located.
The rest is hair styling history.
Wilson said one of her clients, an attorney, told her, You are such an authority on coloring. That was the germ of the idea for the name The Colour Authority.
I thought it would be a quiet studio of quality haircutting and hair coloring, the energetic Wilson said of The Colour Authority, when I began with an assistant and myself.
The 62-year-old Wilson lives with her husband Randy Wilson near Glendoveer Golf Course in Northeast Portland, just up the street from The Colour Authority.
I have worked with Wella, Sebastian and many other companies, Wilson said. It gave me connections and help in running the salon, giving her the experience and background she needed to continue being an authority on color.
Her son Patrick Hakola is a hairdresser who lives in Maui, Hawaii; hes 42 years old.
Daughter Denise Mahoney, 41, is now the owner of the business property and the business name; her husband Tom Mahoney is the business manager at The Colour Authority.
Denise Mahoney is running the salon now, meeting clients and vendors during her busy day, which also includes salon work. Wilson still works at the salon, on a limited basis.
In February 2002 Wilson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one of the most insidious forms of the disease. Its the same cancer that took the life of actor and Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner.
With the fantastic help of my staff, Wilson took six months off of work to undergo surgery and chemotherapy.
Since then, she said, in a positive tone, Ive been working with clients 15 hours a week.
Along with Denises experience in the hair salon business, Tom Mahoney has been The Colour Authoritys business manager for the past two years.
They really have a good knowledge of what it takes to help a salon succeed, Wilson said.
Wilson said shes been undergoing continual chemotherapy for the last two years.
Its really working right now, she said. She added that, You are a lot more tired, and spending a lot of time maintaining your health. I couldnt have done this without the staff.
Wilson said her daughter and son-in-law spent several months putting the sale together, Wilson said.
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