If you are anything like me, or a woman at all, the three most solid, lasting and unbreakable relationships you will have as an adult are with your Stylist, your Therapist, and your Personal Trainer, in that order. If a crisis ensues one of the three will be there without fail, assess the damage, and get the train back on the track. Like the time I tried a home japanese straightening treatment, or when I ate half my bodyweight in buffet food on an ill-advised cruise, or when any number of personal neurosis reared their ugly heads at one time-I had my “Go To Gals” on speed dial, and knew, more than any other well-meaning friends or family, these women would never let me down. So when I packed up my life and finally said a long overdue sayonara to Hollywood to move full-time to Palm Beach Island and live out my Gilligan’s Island Murder She Wrote Cabot Cove Angela Lansbury dream, I left these three trusty companions behind, like jewelry left in a hotel vault in Europe. I would never forget them, would forever lament their loss, but had to accept the reality that I would never see them again.
Honestly, my first few months I didn’t even notice. I basked in the joie de vivre of life on the Island throwing on my Jack Rogers, oversized sunglasses, and a Lily Romper and giddily doing as the locals do on the lazy hazy quiet days of the Island’s summer. My days began with morning runs by the Ocean, writing my book or working on the site for several afternoon hours, and nights spent laughing Cheer’s style with the regulars at Happy Hour at Bice or Buccan. Not a worry in the world. I was officially a local and loving it. Then it happened! Newly completely self-sufficient, I proudly installed a new bathroom fixture myself, screwed in the environmentally friendly light bulbs, and flipped the switch on, and BAM! Staring back at me, not gray, not silver, but pure white, bright white 3/4 inch roots atop my perfect brown/black locks. Storm Troopers have invaded the Death Star, and my hair was under siege and losing. The contrast was jarring, embarrassing, unacceptable. Panic mode kicked in! What to do? I could not go out of the house looking like this. A personal crisis, and no “Go To Gals” to call. I ran to the computer, devastated that a ticket to Los Angeles would run me $800 minimum, and a cut and color at Chris McMillan would be half that if I could even get an appointment at all. Another idea, maybe my original Stylist from my early years in NYC would still be at Bumble and Bumble on East 56th. The Receptionist never heard of Diana! (which kinda made me smile, since my “Go to Gals” tend to be too genuine to sell out, and I knew in my heart the minute Bumble Products started landing on the shelves at CVS over a decade ago she would certainly have jumped ship.) Distraught, I grabbed my trusty Yankees hat, and took to Buccan for a few drinks to dwell in the shame.
From my usual corner stool I furiously texted every woman I knew in South Florida for suggestions, of course since one of my impulsive decisions when moving to paradise was to get a bicycle in lieu of a car my ability to travel is greatly limited. I snapped out of the frenzy to move over, and let what looked like an equally distraught Blonde in next to me. As Erica, my favorite Bartender in Town, poured her a glass of wine I saw her settle down, as I had just ten minutes prior. She grabbed the glass, raised it, and said,”Jubel!” To which I replied, “La Chaim!” and joined her. We both fell into a fit of mutually much-needed laughter, commiserating on how life is just a non-stop comedy of errors. We seemed to be in similar places, the same age, and shared a quick wit I rarely find in women friends. She loved that I was a writer living the Virginia Woolf “Room of One’s Own” dream, and I loved hearing about her online adventures to finally finding her Prince Charming and starting her multi-cultural Brady Bunch in Jupiter. Back on track, and a couple of drinks later, I knew I had to get home to try to get a few pages done before bed. Now, I believe you meet everyone for a reason, and God puts people in front of you when you need them most, or when you have a lesson to learn the perfect teacher will appear. She handed me her card, and it was like chimes rang above. The card read Jasmin Mueller Glassgold Senior Stylist at Salon Margrit on the corner of South County and Brazilian-just two blocks from my house. Kismet.
I arrived at the charming building situated on the high-profile corner of 165 Brazilian unsure what to expect. I had driven or ran past this corner many times always unclear if it was a store or a salon or what, but positive it was not for self-important hipsters like myself. I could not have been more shocked. The Salon is an oasis of perfection. Nooks and Crannies with gems, funky clothes, and hand-picked accessories for sale, modern white on white on white decor with chairs all filled by women of all ages and ilk. The staff was no different from that at Chris McMillan or Bumble, stylish, fun, and full of positive energy. Jasmin met me at the front, on a mission to save my doo. Jasmin is a statuesque, brilliant Blond who moved to the states from Germany when her Cousin from back in Bremerhaven, Margarit Bessenroth of Salon Margarit, invited her to work at the salon for a season and get to know Palm Beach while working on her craft. Now, I am not a huge fan of any business with an eponymous name, it usually strikes me as either the sign of a megalomania or lazy, but after meeting this amazing, chic Dynamo of Woman I was firmly convinced that there truly exists no other appropriate name for the Salon than Salon Margrit. Margrit is what the place is all about-the Woman and the Philosophy-heart, soul and spirit-Margrit period. I heard wickedly fun stories about the Island, got tip after tip of what only the locals know and rarely share with the part-time people, and fascinating stories from Salon Margrit’s 30 years on Palm Beach Island. She is clearly so much more than a Boss to her Team, she acts as a Mother and Mentor to every staffers I chatted with. You cannot not be touched by the genuine goodness and love the place exudes, sometimes a business just has that extra quality you can’t pinpoint but know and feel when you are there-Salon Margrit is one of them.
Having grown up in Germany, Jasmin has that unshakeable, confident energy I have noticed to be a personality staple in almost every German woman I have ever met. A sureness that she knows what she is doing, and can do it better than most. I have to admit, I admire my generation of Germans I have gotten to know in business over the years, they always seem to have grace under pressure and a palpable determination to succeed. To match her obvious confidence, she was whip smart, telling me about her early years when she went to beauty school, University, and worked full-time after graduating from high school to master a craft while getting an education. Her German parents respected that she wanted to be a lawyer, but being practical and having seen much along the way, they felt she must first find a trade that would always keep her stable and self-sufficient no matter what. Luckily beauty school proved a joy, and she committed fully to not just learning her trade, but perfecting it. Never one to slack, Jasmin got a job at one of the most selective salons in Germany, and took on a client load of double most, the more practice the closer to perfection mentality I share myself. When Margrit invited her young cousin twelve years ago to Palm Beach Island, Jasmin was ready. And when she got here, she loved the Town, and the Town loved her. In no time she was fully booked every day, while building an exciting new life stateside under the supportive roof of Salon Margrit.
Probing about the salon, and even more her philosophy, she explained that my assumption that Salon Margrit was some hoighty-toighty Palm Beach elitist haunt, was way off the mark. The Salon services a clientel of all ages, from all over South Florida, even some who fly in for the uncompromising quality cuts and colors of Margrit and her team. Their services are not cheap, but they are fair, and if a client is having a rough time financially, a discount is not out of the norm. Having learned from her Cousin the two unbreakable house rules of her Salon, “Never say No to a Client” and “always be smiling no matter what,” Jasmine honed both her english skills and her craft by doing both, a lot! She told me she still never says no, and if she doesn’t have the tools or means to make a customer’s desire a reality, she finds the right Team Member that does, and they work together to make it happen for the client. When it comes to service, Jasmin doesn’t believe in winging it, if someone is better at something, she says so and passes them on without question.
On top of all that, I love that Jasmin does her own shampoos explaining that the “good” shampoos that feel like heaven on the scalp at many fancy salons are actually anything but “good” for your hair. Regardless, her shampoo was excellent, as “good” as any I recall, but I didn’t tell her that. She taught me about hair color before getting started, explaining that my permanent color was too harsh and unnecessary for my hair type, and that a semi-permanent dye would leave a healthy sheen and last longer. She went on to tell me the product she used was Wella, a German Beauty Brand she trained with back in her early days, still swears by and she will forever be loyal to no matter what. As she began mixing my color, and paining it on my roots, we talked technique and hair products. I learned more about hair in 20 minutes, than I had in the last 37 years of my life. Being a total product junkie I probed her about her current go to hair products. After telling me she never forces products on people, and she was only sharing her opinion, She told me that Oribe Anti-Humidity Spray was a game changer, and his gel hair serum was a product line stand out she loved. I took both! Suddenly I realized we had talked straight through every phase of my appointment, and she was standing there done.
Jasmin grabbed a nice sized hand mirror, and spun my chair around so I could behold the outcome of the last hour and a half of her handiwork. When I say love at first sight, I mean like nothing I have ever seen before. My Hollywood Red Carpet, Manhattan elitist bloviating unravelled in seconds. My hair looked better, by far, than I remember it looking, color and health wise, since I began coloring in the 90s. A shimmering perfect shade of brown, a cut that gave me the Mary Tyler Moore lift at the ends I adore, and a noticeable light reflecting rose glow on my face from the perfectly matched hair color to my skin tone-like magic! My mouth agape for few extra seconds, I was simply blown away, literally and figuratively. I jumped up and impulsively hugged her, so thankful, impressed, grateful-all of it. Thinking I would never find a comparable stylist in Florida, let alone Palm Beach, to the obviously superior salons in Los Angeles or New York was clearly misguided, and I felt schooled in the truth-talent and perfection are everywhere-location aside. Bottom line a good hair cut is good, an excellent one is excellent, and Jasmin’s job was as close to perfect as I have ever seen. My first “Go To Girl” on Palm Beach Island…La Chaim! I can tell this will be a long, unbreakable relationship for many years to come.
Salon Margrit is open Monday – Saturday 9-5pm or by appointment. They offer full service salon services, as well as spa treatments, massage, manicures and pedicures, as well as cosmetic services and custom spray tans. They are located at 165 Brazillian right on the corner of South County Road, and can be reached at 561-655-3430. Please visit www,salonmargit.com or their Facebook page for more info.
Palm Beach, FL, 33480 USA