The Columbia Street salon, whose name is pronounced buh-bomb-shell, opened in 2014 with the goal of creating a unique destination for geeks, gamers, nerds and quirky folks of all kinds. But that initial niche has grown over the years into a deep commitment to inclusivity and acceptance—a place where people of all stripes will feel safe and comfortable, says owner Ryan Paul.
“Everyone and anyone is welcome here,” he says. “My goal is that everyone who comes here feels understood, feels heard, feels beautiful, and has a lot of fun.”
The full-service salon offers the traditional spectrum of hairstyling services, but they’ve also built a reputation for their incredible colour work, with a portfolio that’s jam-packed with mermaid blues, neon greens, fiery reds, blushing pinks, and just about everything in between.
“We have a great time here—we’re always doing new things, which makes it interesting—but it’s also just the environment. It’s just a happy place, and a safe space,” says Paul.
The original team of four has grown to 18 in the intervening years, and new clients come through the door all the time, many by word-of-mouth recommendation. Even with the challenge presented by COVID-19 this year, the team has managed to hold their own and are poised for continued growth in the coming months and years.
“We were very lucky in that we had a lot of systems in place before shutdown that were above and beyond the normal recommendations to begin with, so that really allowed us to be up and running quickly with new protocols in place when we re-opened. We take this very seriously—I want my staff to be safe and we want our clients to be safe,” he says.
So far, they’ve kept busy despite the new measures, and Paul says that’s due in part to the community. “We looked everywhere when we were deciding where to open, and New Westminster just hit every mark on the checklist,” says Ryan, noting that he fell in love with the area so much, he moved here himself. “It’s an amazing community, such a strong sense of connection.”
And while Paul keeps the needs of his clients top of mind, the needs of his staff hold equal priority. That means making sure they have a safe work environment, are well compensated for their work, and feel supported and encouraged.
“For me as a boss, I want the same thing for my staff as I want for customers: treat people like human beings,” he says. “It might not sound that exciting but that’s really the heart of it. Take care of people, treat them well. It shouldn’t be a radical concept but sometimes it seems like it is these days. That’s what I focus on.”
B-Bombshell was already named New Westminster’s best salon in the local A List business awards three years running, and Ryan says he’s excited to see that reputation continue to bloom—in every colour of the rainbow—for many years to come.
“My goal is that everyone who comes here feels understood, feels heard, feels beautiful, and has a lot of fun.”
For more information, visit www.bbombshellsalon.com.