When asked why she thought her salon deserved to be honored in the questionnaire portion of the Portland Fashion and Style Awards Best Salon in Southwest contest, Mascola's Salon owner Cheryl Mascola struggled to condense nearly 50 years of hairstyling experience and the merits of her salon into three paragraphs.
But she managed, and the final sentence summarizes her response. "That's what makes up Mascola's Salon: dedication, service and community," she wrote.
Apparently, her answer was convincing. The Lake Oswego-based salon received the designation as "Best Salon SW" during the sixth-annual awards ceremony on Nov. 5 at the Portland Art Museum.
Mascola's Salon was nominated for the award by an anonymous admirer. Then in the second round of the process, Mascola's clients called in to the Fashion and Style Awards team to express their appreciation for the salon. Because Mascola's clients called in droves, it was one of four finalists for the award.
In the final portion of the contest, Mascola described the salon in a written questionnaire. Among other things, she extolled the salon's community support, including contributions to programs like Dress for Success, the Making Memories Foundation and Locks of Love, as well as donations to the Lakewood Theatre Company and the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce.
"We've done a lot of giving back to the community," Mascola told The Review.
She also talked about her family. Mascola's great-great-grandfather worked in the industry, and her daughters Kristi Becker and Jennifer Williams currently work at her salon.
The three primary criterions for the award included location and niche, social media and community involvement. A panel of eight judges included fashion entrepreneur Sharon Blair, Portland Mercury Managing Editor Marjorie Skinner and other mainstays in the beauty and fashion world.
Following the win, Mascola and her employees yelled jubilantly and graced the stage before Mascola gave her speech.
"The first thing I said was, 'I'm overwhelmed.' And of course ,'Thank you for the honor.' I thanked everyone — the judges, the clients, the staff, the family. It's definitely a family-run business," Mascola said.
Mascola says there are a plethora of quality hairstylists in the Portland-Metro area, but the friendly atmosphere of her salon stands out from the rest.
"I think with all the different salons in the community, everybody is good. Of course we sent in before and after pictures of our work. I think that's important, that we're good artists and everyone that works here is seasoned. They are very experienced stylists. But there are a lot of really good stylists out there. My point for wanting to be the best salon is the total package," Mascola said.
"There's just heart in it. It's not people walking in the door and it feels cold. It feels warm when you come in here."
Mascola's Salon is located at 15154 Bangy Road in Lake Oswego. To learn more about its staff and the services they offer — including haircuts, hair coloring, styling, skin care and spa treatments — call 503-620-0631 or mascolassalon.com.