Who Are We?

As The Refinery has grown, we have taken the road less travelled. Often the difficult, uphill and unpaved path to forge a new way for the salon industry.


This salon is so much more than a business to me, it represents the world I want to create, live in and leave behind for my children. I want to be the person that created it for them.


Here at The Refinery, we reflect on our Mission Statement and it’s 3 guiding principles to remain accountable to our clients and ourselves when moving this business forward.


With every decision I ask, “Is this Ethical? Is this Sustainable? Is this Transparent?” and if the answer is no, to any of them, then my answer is no too.

Ethical | Sustainable | Transparent


Ethical means different things to different people. To me, it means doing right by people. An honest wage for honest work, a fair price, and good service. I believe that if you are ethical in what you do and how you treat people, the rest will follow. Maybe that’s naive but it’s how I was raised.

Our clients want to pay a fair price, receive great services and enjoy their time at the salon. We also recognize that everyone has a budget, especially now! We budget for food, shelter, clothing, but do you budget for your hair or esthetics? At The Refinery, we respect your budget and stay within it. We don’t have the right to spend your money and your expectations may not align with your budget, but we can help reconcile your vision into reality. We want to work with you to achieve what you want within your “Beauty Budget”.

See our SERVICES page for more details


Everyone wants to do their part to be more environmentally friendly but there’s “talking the talk” and there’s “walking the walk”. And it’s hard, even inconvenient and expensive, but it’s worth it if we want to leave a planet behind for our kids, grandkids, and so on.

Waste is a major issue in the salon industry. Thousands of pounds of foils, hair, and chemicals go to the landfill or down the drain every year. We utilize a locally-owned company, Style Recycling, to recycle these items for us, as well as our plastics, hair tools, and aerosol cans. They even turn hair into compostable garden grow mats containing 6x more nutrients than manure.

In Addition, we only use and sell products that align with our beliefs. They must be PETA certified, sustainably made, and be free from harmful ingredients to make it into our salon. We continue to improve as new products and services become available. That is our promise!


We want our clients to understand what they are paying for when they visit the salon. Hair services can be expensive and there can be reasons for that. Here are the top 3 expenses for any business, not just salons:

  1. Commercial rent varies dramatically depending on location. Downtown and trendy neighborhoods can be much more expensive than a residential area. Additionally, we selected a 2nd Floor location to pay lower rental costs.

  2. Management fees, property taxes, operating costs, and insurance can be equally as high as the cost of the businesses base rent. Check out the list below to see what other costs are incurred by a salon like ours.

  3. Wages, salaries & commissions can vary wildly depending on the business. We have a combination of all three and the busier we are, the higher the expense.

  • Base Rent (2023)


  • Operating Costs (2023)


  • Property Taxes (2023)


  • Management Fee - 5% (2023)

    $ 361.66

  • Signage (2023)

    $ 250.00

  • GST (On Above Listed Rental Costs)

    $ 379.74

  • Insurance

    $ 232.79

  • IT Department

    $ 251.88

  • Salon Recycling Program

    $ 246.75

  • Beverages Services

    $ 274.27

  • Salon Software

    $ 324.50

  • Accounting

    $ 433.70

  • Marketing/Social Media


  • Group Health Benefits Premium


  • In-Salon Products (Shampoo, Conditioner, Hairspray etc)

    $ 500.00

  • Total

    $13,749.34 per month

This is equal to approximately $70.00 in profit that the salon requires every hour that we are open for business.


  • Hourly Rate for Services (Journeyman Stylist)


  • Minus, Stylist Commission (50-55%)

    $40.00 - $44.00

  • Total

  • Profit to Salon

    $36.00 - $40.00 per hour, per stylist


This means, we must service 2 clients every single hour that the salon is open just to pay the bills and keep the doors open.

I want my stylists to learn and grow in their careers, to have goals that they achieve through education and mentorship. Stylists have invested tens-of-thousands of dollars and years of ongoing training into their careers, and, like any Journeyman trade, they deserve the respect and recognition as a trained specialists. That is why our Journeymen Stylists earn a minimum of 50% commission on the services they provide, because it’s their talent and time.

Jennifer Trace

Owner, Journeyman Stylist

Jennifer Trace

Owner, Journeyman Stylist

  • Enjoys both the artistic nature of being a stylist and the analytical nature of running her own business.

  • 30+ years in sales and customer service and 15 years as a Stylist.

  • Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Mount Royal University.

  • Certificates in both Leadership and Power Communication from Rapport Leadership International.

Cecilia Shannon

Manager, Journeyman Stylist

  • Cecilia has worked hard to become a leader among her fellow stylists.

  • Master Extensionist with Babe Hair.

  • Session Stylist with Kevin Murphy.

  • Passion for complex colour formulations and stunning blondes.

Amy Grabowski

Journeyman Stylist

  • Amy has over 15 years of experience as a hairstylist.

  • She strives to bring out the natural beauty of every client that sits in her chair.

  • An excellent listener, she pays close attention to detail.

  • Amy has confident with short and textured hair types.

Allie Chinski

Journeyman Stylist

  • Allie possesses 12 years of experience as a hairstylist and 15 years as a makeup artist.

  • She loves doing bold, fun colours and funky cuts for her clients.

  • Her love of art continues in her spare time as she enjoys painting and drawing.

  • Allie also spends time making memories on adventures with her daughter.

Lauren Cleveland

Journeyman Stylist

  • Lauren has been doing hair for over 20 years and from the beginning she has enjoyed the process of helping a woman to find her own beauty.

  • As a colour educator, she is passionate about creating custom colours, especially reds, for her clients.

  • In her time off she is busy with family and a house full of dogs.

Jessica O’Krane

Apprentice Stylist

  • Jessica is joining The Refinery team as an Apprentice Stylist following her graduation from MC College earlier in 2021.

  • Having been placed with us for a 3 week practicum, Jessica felt like a natural part of the family from day one.

  • She is confident in her skills and has a willingness to learn and ask for guidance when needed.

  • You are in good hands with Jessica!

Haeli Straarup

Journeyman Stylist

  • Haeli is a welcome addition to the Refinery family, joining us with more than 15 years of experience.

  • She has a passion for creating striking blondes and dynamic brunettes that are personalized for every client, so they feel their absolute best.

  • Haeli is also a spin instructor at YYC Cycle in her off-time and loves "Rockin' it out" on that bike!


Emotional Enhancement Specialist

  • Bruno is an expert at vibration lap massage and warming.

  • He possesses 7 years of experience in both snoozing and cuddles.

  • As an avid pescatarian he is also a certified Tim Bit connoisseur.


Heath & Wellness Manager

  • Lulu is an expert at client vetting and owner locating.

  • As an 11 year Scritches recipient, she can deftly melt to the floor without injury.

  • She also has a keen nose that will uncover any hidden snacks or alternate pet presence.


Scritches Quality Control Supervisor

  • Lacy is a thorough inspector of new clients and deftly assess their petting abilities.

  • Sunbathing and aids in her lap warming duties and is gratefull for all the natural sunlight that floods the salon.