West Seattle salon known for giving back robbed of $25,000

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 5:48 PM

The stylists at West Seattle’s Ola Salon are all about making people look good on the outside, and feel good on the inside. Cutting hair is their business, but helping people is their passion.

“So, it's sad to have a business that's about feeling good be violated in such a way,” said stylist KC Law. “It's heart breaking.”

Sometime Wednesday night, burglars broke in and stole more than $25,000 in cash, computers and equipment. They took shears that can run up to $500 a pair, shelves full of hair products and other salon-centric things that make workers wonder whether the thieves are someone they know, especially given how polite they appeared.

“They pushed drawers back in. They even locked the door on the way out,” said Breanna Swain, who discovered the break-in. “You'd think they'd just throw things on the ground, but everything was put back in place like they cared about it, which creeped us out a little bit more.”

Ola is a staple in West Seattle. It’s a company committed to caring for its community. Few know that better than Christine Smith, who came to the salon shortly after finishing chemotherapy 12 years ago. She was hoping for a new look, but found much more. She found inspiration to start Northwest Hope & Healing to help breast cancer survivors.

“It was born here,” said Smith, hugging workers as she walked in.

Ola has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Smith’s charity and many others over the years.

“Coming here was more than getting your hair done,” she said. “It was bonding with people who really wanted to make their community better.”

In fact, Ola is in the midst of another fundraising drive right now. This one’s goal is to raise $10,000 for a West Seattle organization called Transitional Resources, which helps the mentally ill with housing and therapy. Despite their setback, the women of Ola are holding firm to that commitment.

“You just put your lipstick on and get back out there,” said Law.
 

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