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Colorful New Beginning for Salon Owner

 •  6 min read



Annette Griffus

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Lizze Tinsman opened PNW Color Collective in Old Town Silverdale in October

Lizze Tinsman, left, laughs with friend Emily Pence of Emily Lynne Esthetics, at Tinsman’s salon, PNW Color Collective in Old Town Silverdale. Tinsman worked with broker Gary Gartin of Bradley Scott Commercial Real Estate this summer to open her salon, and found the perfect location at 3594 NW Byron Street. (Annette Griffus/Bradley Scott)

SILVERDALE – Lizze Tinsman has been through tough times before, so venturing into the small business world during a public health crisis wasn’t her first true challenge in life. It’s turning into her biggest adventure instead.

Tinsman, owner of PNW Color Collective, located at 3594 Byron Street Suite 204 in Old Town Silverdale, started the process of finding a space in June. Despite many setbacks and hiccups in attaining permits and the on-off again construction industry, she was able to open her doors four months later.

The 2007 Central Kitsap High School graduate does not take the fall-out of the pandemic and its ongoing hardships lightly, but Tinsman is one of the few who have found a way to move forward. Tinsman was working at a salon that left her concerned about its safety toward its staff and clientele. Tinsman qualified for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan under the Small Business Administration.

“I took the money and did this,” Tinsman said, waving her hand around the chic, modern salon that has a peek-a-boo view of Dyes Inlet. The salon has an upper-class feel, yet is warm and inviting, a place where clients would feel comfortable spending an hour or two.

Tinsman came across the suite at the Byron Street building and called Bradley Scott Commercial Real Estate broker Gary Gartin this summer. Tinsman wasn’t sure she needed to have her own realtor, but after learning Gartin’s wife had been a hairdresser, she knew she was in capable hands.

“He really understood what I was looking for and what I needed and that was super beneficial to me,” she said.

Gartin helped Tinsman write a lease that was favorable to her and the building owner, Kerri Morkert.

“I think we both got a really good deal at the end of the day,” she said.

Morkert credits Tinsman’s tenacity in not only working with the county’s permit process but communicated with her regarding tenant improvements.

“I like Lizze,” Morkert said. “She seems really organized and really on top of things. I’m really happy that it’s worked out for her. I think she’s going to be a great tenant.”

Tinsman has always wanted to be a salon owner and surround herself with a family-oriented clientele and co-workers.

“I think we all, in our careers, have experienced negative work environments,” Tinsman said.

It’s why she was thrilled to welcome her friend Emily Pence of Emily Lynne Esthetics to her salon as the pair worked together previously. Pence rents space at the salon for her clients, which she sometimes shares with Tinsman. PNW Color Collective will soon be renting another chair to a friend and fellow hairdresser in January.

“I never want to have an employee situation,” Tinsman said. “I would rather have someone come in and enjoy coming in here and we all enjoy working together and share customers if necessary.”

It’s been a joy to come to the salon each day, which Tinsman finds herself doing as she rarely takes a day off. Tinsman admittedly made poor decisions in high school and her early 20s that led to a life dependent on artificial substances.

“I was a hard-core drug and alcoholic during my teen and early 20s,” Tinsman said, “and this year I’m 10 years clean and sober. I’m not shy about that. It’s an accolade. I’m proud of that.”

When Timsman decided to “renavigate” her life, she went to the Salon Professional Academy in Tacoma – graduating at the top of her class.

She worked a year at a chain salon, then a commission-based salon (where she met Pence) for a little over four years, to eventually leasing her own chair for two years. Then the pandemic hit and Tinsman found her pearl in an oyster bed.

“I think it’s amazing,” Pence said of Tinsman opening her salon. “I think what she’s done and the time and money she’s put into it – all remaining herself. She’s very modest about all her accomplishments … she’s just the type of person that’s dedicated and driven.”

Tinsman, who was named a 2020 Best of Kitsap her her category, said her clients are her extended family now. She is often invited to birthday parties and family dinners.

“We cater to the normal, working-class people around here,” she said. “We are just as humble to have them and learn about them and their families as much as they are in return for us.”

Tinsman said her clients have been very understanding, patient and enthusiastic despite having to shuffle schedules around to meet ever-changing county guidelines. PNW Color Collective remains fully open as they don’t count against the 25 percent-occupancy threshold because they are two people.

Timsman and Pence have also learned how essential their business is to Kitsap’s residents.

“Sometimes you think you’re just doing a service and somebody will say to you that what you do is important,” Pence said. “It shows that self-care is essential. They make you feel better and you walk out, you feel great, and especially in times like these – you just do better.”

Tinsman said some of their clients’ only social contact is coming to the salon.

“At the end of the day it’s not the service, it’s the relationship you build with the customer,” Tinsman said.

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