Smoke from the fire Sept. 2 in Kent at the Wilder and Free Beauty Company at 522 Washington Ave. N. COURTESY PHOTO, GoFundMe.com

Smoke from the fire Sept. 2 in Kent at the Wilder and Free Beauty Company at 522 Washington Ave. N. COURTESY PHOTO, GoFundMe.com

Kent salon owner bounces back from shop’s building fire

Wilder and Free Beauty Company sustains damage in Sept. 2 fire; seeks temporary location

Stacy Love had just recently finished a full remodel at the Wilder and Free Beauty Company in Kent when fire struck the salon at 522 Washington Ave. N, south of West James Street.

The renamed and remodeled salon has only been at its current site since August 2022. Love merged William James Hair & Skin Studio, which she owned at Kent Station for six years, and purchased her friend’s salon, Salon Euphoria, which was at the current location.

Now Love is looking for temporary sites for the stylists as she said in an email it could take nine months to a year to reopen at the current site.

“I just finished a full remodel and had photos of our space and staff taken two weeks ago and before I even posted them we experienced a fire,” Love said. “Friday evening (Sept. 1) a fan in the ceiling malfunctioned and caused it to smolder overnight. The flames dropped from the attic shortly after my staffed arrived and opened the location.

“The fire department got everyone out in minutes before the flames billowed through the wall when they opened it up. It’s going to be a process to get open. But we’ve loved being a Kent business that supports our community and helps our guests to feel beautiful.”

The fire struck at about 8:38 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, according to an email from Puget Sound Fire spokesperson Pat Pawlak.

Seven fire department apparatus with 17 fire department personnel responded to the incident, Pawlak said. Firefighters extinguished the fire in approximately 30 minutes. Nobody was injured.

The salon employs 23, Love said. Most are stylists. Two of them are apprentices in beauty school. There are two aestheticians (skin care) and two front desk support and one social media marketing manager.

“The reality has set in of how much I truly lost in this fire, but not the people that make the company,” Love said in a Facebook post. “I’ve got a tribe of incredible coworkers and clients. I was not set up for enough coverage for everything I just built and I want to get my team and I back to work.”

Amy Wade, of Kent, started a GoFundMe.com page for Love and the salon.

“Luckily everyone got out in time, but there is some major damage,” Wade posted about the fire. “Because of the nature of their business it’s important for them to get up and operating in a temporary location which may force them to incur extra expenses beyond insurance coverage. My family helped Stacy and others with the full location remodel over the last year, aside from what she financially put in, I know all the elbow work that went into building this space. Final photos were done a week before the fire, and after meeting with restoration companies, the reality is due to smoke 95% of everything is not salvageable.

“So giving up is not an option but building into a temporary location is the new goal. If we can help Stacy, it will allow her to support her team, which we all know is her priority. I’d love to ask you in joining me in helping them with their losses and any other expenses that arise. They are an amazing group and family and I want to make sure that everyone makes it through this tough time.”

Love said the community support has been great.

“So many of you have been reaching out and I cannot believe the outpouring of love and support,” Love said on Facebook. “I have leads on temporary spaces to work from, and sorting out our best option to be able to stay together and keep the company.”


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Damage at Wilder and Free Beauty Company in Kent after a Sept. 2 fire. COURTESY PHOTO, Stacy Love

Damage at Wilder and Free Beauty Company in Kent after a Sept. 2 fire. COURTESY PHOTO, Stacy Love

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