A Brief History of Roman Holiday Hair Design
Hi, everyone! I’m Jacque, and
I’d like to share with you the interesting story of our salon,
Roman Holiday Hair Design.
The story really begins in the early 1940’s when my mother,
Marjorie, found herself divorced and the sole provider for
herself and her baby boy. She wanted to earn her living as a
beautician, so she worked her way through beauty school by
cleaning the floors of the beauty school. After graduation,
she went to work at Meier & Frank in downtown Portland as a
hair dresser on the main floor. (Only men were allowed to
work as “stylists” upstairs, serving higher income clients and
receiving more pay for doing the same work with the same
qualifications as the ladies downstairs.)
Then the U.S. entered Word War II. With the men gone fighting
the war, Mom and some of her friends were promoted to stylist
and moved upstairs. That was when she met Ida Hanna and
Mom met and married my dad, Johnny John, in 1943. He had
joined the Navy, was shipped out to New Guinea, and returned
after two years.
When I was born in 1949, Mom stayed home from work to raise
me. When I was 12, she received a phone call from a former
client from her time at Meier & Frank, saying Ida and Shirley
were opening a salon in Menlo Park called Luxury Look and they
needed a receptionist. Mom didn’t last a year as receptionist
before she was back “behind the chair.” I spent many happy
hours in the salon as well, helping with small tasks and
learning “up close” about the beauty salon industry.
In 1965 Ida fell in love and moved to Seattle, Washington. The
next year, Shirley fulfilled her dream by opening Roman
Holiday Salon at NE 122nd and Halsey, then the largest salon
in east Portland. She was fascinated with the movie “ Roman
Holiday” and with ancient Rome. To promote this theme, she had
Roman pillars installed and required the stylists to wear
Roman togas and gold slippers.
Mom worked there until retiring in 1978. By that time I had
graduated from beauty school and had worked at Roman Holiday
since 1971. I felt the need to move on, ultimately forming my
own business, Hair Design by Jacque.
In 1979, Brenda Hoxsey, one of the stylists at Roman Holiday
Salon, bought it and changed the name slightly to Roman
Holiday Hair Design. In 1982, she offered to sell it to me,
and I said yes. I kept the name and am glad to have been the
owner ever since, both at our previous address on 122nd (until
1999) and at our current location.
Along my journey in this industry, I’ve enjoyed helping people
and making many friends of clients and co-workers alike.
I was also fortunate to be a part of the state and national
boards of cosmetology, helping to ensure our industry’s high
I hope you enjoy our salon!