Citizen profiles: Sisters of Jades Salon
Sisters don’t always get along well enough to work together, but that’s not the case at Jades Salon, in Bethel. Jane Goddard and Deborah Luxton used the first two letters of their names to give their hair salon its’ name. That was 19 years ago.
Growing up in a family of three girls in Hanover and Andover, Debby, Cindy and Jane were close. Debby and Cindy went to the one-room schoolhouse in Andover where they were able to work with the younger kids when their own work was done. It was like tutoring, and the kids loved it, as did the older kids. “We also got to go home for lunch,” said Debby. By the time Jane went to school, hot lunches were provided.”
The girls all went to Rumford High School. Daughters to dad Ken, and mom, Gen Goddard, Dad worked in Oxford Paper Co., now NewPage. Gen was a head nurse for Dr. Royal’s office in Rumford, after working at the hospital and doing private nursing.
“Mom and Dad always made summers fun, campimg at Littlefield Beaches,” said Jane. “We would go over on Memorial Day and get set up, then we would move over as soon as school closed for summer vacation.” They did the ‘true’ camping, setting up a tent, using a gas stove and a propane tank. “We even had an icebox,” she said. We always were doing something as a family, whether it was camping, fishing or ice skating. “Mom and dad had a tent on one side of the platform that was used as the kitchen, then we girls had a tent on the other side of the platform.” Jane said.
“Our father’s mother, (Grammie Goddard), came to live with us for 10 years before passing. It enabled mom to go back to work,” said Jane. “Grammie always had friends over, so we had a love for older folks.”
“Mom was a seamstress and made all of our clothes,” said Jane. “ We had a dress code at school where if you wore a dress and it was cold, you wore a pair of pants underneath
where if you wore a dress and it was cold, you wore a pair of pants underneath until you got to school where you could take them off and hang them up. Our dresses could only be an inch and a half above the knee. If they were thought to be too short, we had to kneel on the floor, out came the ruler, and they measured how short it was from the floor. Boys could wear button-up shirts and nice pants.”
The girls weren’t big into dating. “They came and went,” said Jane. “We were such a tight group of friends, we went everywhere together, like brothers and sisters.
Debby was old enough that she had her own friends and they did their own thing. Jane hated school because she loved staying home with Grammie. She got to cook, and make lunch.”
“Grammie was one who would give you her teeth if she thought you needed them,” said Debby. “Jane is like that today, and I think she gets it from Grammie.”
The girls and their friends also checked out the drive-in movie theater once or twice a summer. The old drive-in was by Maine Made Products on Route 2.
On Sundays, they would visit different relatives. They had lots of cousins to play with.
Their dad worked long hours, but when he was home, ‘he was home’. He always attended the girls’ activities, whether it was sports or music. “Both parents are musical,” said Debby. “Dad was a stand-up bass player and was in a band called ‘The Stragglers’, in the 60’s and 70’s. He sang bass, and even sang with a Barbershop group.” Mom didn’t work when the girls were little, as there was no daycare. The girls had books to keep them company, and they all like to read today.
“Mom played the piano and sang,” said Debby. “We would put on shows for our parents, grandparents and their friends. I think a lot of kids used their imaginations in that way.”
As the girls graduated, Debby went to Alaska to marry her now husband, David Luxton. Cindy left to go in the Navy after mom struggled to put 20 pounds on her. Today, she is a nurse at a Veteran’s Clinic in Rumford.
Jane went to school full time at Mr. Bernard’s School of Cosmotology, in Lewiston. Debby had already been cutting hair after moving back home and graduating from Mansfield Beauty School in Portland, but when Jane finished, it was decided they would open a shop together.
‘We laughed when someone told us about this space being open. We had already decided on the name, but it was inside the shop, the word ‘Jade’ was on the thermostat. Coincidence? Who knows, but Jades Salon was born.
Jane has since taken extra classes to learn to do acryllics and fiberglass nails. She mostly does acryllic nails as they are more rugged than the fiberglass nails, and most people prefer them. “I have lost a lot of nail clients in the last three years,” said Jane. “It’s the economy. Most ladies had their nails done as a luxury, one they don’t seem to be able to afford anymore.”
“When I was in school, I typed on one of the old manual typerwriters,” said Deborah. I wanted to be a nurse or a teacher. I thought I would cut hair for a few years, then get married. I have been cutting hair for 41 years!”
It enabled her to have the kids at home and go to sporting events over the years.
“As long as I can make a living cutting hair, I’ll be here,” Jane said. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity for Deb and I, as sisters, friends and co-workers. We would never have spent this much time together otherwise. We have the same values, even though we are different people. I think that says a lot for our parents.”
Jane brings her mother-in-law to the shop and does her hair. “Everyone likes to feel pampered, and what better way to do it,” she said.
The sisters have found that their shop has been a vehicle to help others. People get talking, and find out someone needs an employee, and they happen to know someone who would “fit the bill.” If someone needs something the sisters can’t themselves provide, they will direct clients to someone else. Someone usually can help.
“It’s good to have connections,” said Jane. “You get what you give in life, and if you are willing to help someone today, who says that person won’t help you later in life if you need it.”
Jane said that ‘transient’ business in the summer is much better than in the winter. The ‘snowbirds’ come home, and the summer folks come and spend their money.
“Mothers didn’t use to work, but our generation had to,” said Jane. Everything is computerized these days. “When you can step into a booth and have a computerized haircut, then it will be time to hang up the scissors. Til then, I will be here at Jades Salon, hanging out with my sister.”