By SARA MILLER
Kitsap News Group
“Calibre” (pronounced caliber): The quality of someone’s character or ability.
When Christy Sheppard saw that word online, she knew it perfectly embodied her and her co-workers at the salon they were about to open last November in Port Orchard.
Calibre, a full-service salon, was opened Nov. 30 by Sheppard, her two sisters and co-owner Nichole Slone. All four worked at Cafe Soleil on Sedgwick until it closed its doors in October.
“We were without a home,” Sheppard said. “We had to move, and it forced us to take the next step.”
So Sheppard and Slone began searching. They drove around Port Orchard, scoured Craigslist and talked to friends about available spaces until finally discovering their current location at 510 Dekalb St.
“I drove by this place with my sister and said, ‘I would love that location,’” Sheppard said.
“And the next day, I saw it was for sale on Craigslist.”
Soon afterward, they began the renovation phase toward creating their vision of Calibre.
“We did a 100-percent renovation,” Slone said.
“It took us about five weeks, so it got done pretty quickly.”
The salon features an open space with wood floors and gray walls to highlight the elegance the salon stands for.
Sheppard said every stylist works to a high standard and every part of Calibre represents who they are.
“It’s a home away from home for us,” she said.
Since opening their doors in November, every stylist has been fully booked. And since transitioning from Cafe Soleil, they haven’t lost a single client.
“We have a very full clientele,” Slone said.
“We were very established prior to coming here, and all of our clients followed us over here.”
Because of that, Sheppard said they have been keeping a somewhat low profile until they bring in new stylists in April.
“We have been keeping it on the down-low because we don’t want our phones blowing up while we are this full,” Sheppard said.
“But we have two new girls coming soon, and we’ll be taking new clients then.”
Calibre offers cut, color, balayage, facial waxing, extensions and high-fashion color. The stylists do everything except perms because they prefer not to have that accompanying acrid chemical smell.
“I think our clients are thankful for that,” Slone said.
Slone and Sheppard had worked together at Cafe Soleil for three-and-a-half years before it closed, so it was natural that they decided to go into business together.
The two other stylists working at Calibre are Sheppard’s sisters.
“Everyone thinks I’m the fourth,” Slone said.
“I’m always like, ‘Nope, it’s just the three.’ Although, it feels like I’m the fourth now. It’s awesome.”
All stylists at Calibre are independent contractors and operate as individual business owners. However, they all work as a team.
“The morale here is very high,” Sheppard said.
“We all work really well as a team.”
Calibre is by appointment only. For more information, call 360-519-3860.
“If anyone is wondering where those girls from Cafe Soleil are, we’re here,” Sheppard said.
“It was really imporatnt we came together and built this together. We all take care of each other.”