I Opened My Salon During The Pandemic


I decided to open a salon during a pandemic. Not quite the best timing –– I know. But sometimes, opportunities arise that you have to dive headfirst into and hope you come out swimming. For as long as I can remember, working with hair and opening my own salon has been a dream, and I worked my (excuse my French) ass off to get where I am.

Throughout hair school, I clocked out at 3:53 pm and went to work at 4:00 as a waitress across the street. I also lived with my brother to make ends meet. In just 13 months, I graduated from hair school with every honor award possible. Then, I was offered a job at the Toni & Guy Salon on an hourly wage. After building my clientele, I worked my way into commission, then rental and always kept my drive to open my own salon!


Over the last year of my career, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and confidence in my work. With this growth, I became more motivated to create my own space to vibe in while helping others grow proudly along the way.

I never thought “Today’s the day to go for it.” Instead, I looked at buildings everyday online or while driving around, until I found something that I couldn’t pass up. That’s when I knew I was ready to jump. 

I wrote out lists upon lists of ideas, visions, price sheets, breakdowns and more to make sure I kept things in order. I’m constantly thinking of new and exciting things to bring forth to create the best space I possibly can!


My focus was never to make money or cram a bunch of stylists in to generate cash, but to have my own space, vibe and ability to help others grow along the way! That’s what’s most rewarding to me.

I knew I had to be in the correct mindset to give forth my heart and soul into the salon. I knew I never wanted the stylists working at my space to feel like they weren’t cared for, appreciated or heard. So, I set out to create a space to flourish, thrive and create beautiful hair.

As an introvert, I wanted my salon to be small. Plus, the pandemic pushed me to want a more secluded setting where I could focus solely on my craft (and my awesome guests). Finally, after seeing countless buildings, I found an older downtown location that had been a salon since the early 1900s –– and I had to have it.


We had two weeks to make the salon my own, from rebuilding walls, sinks, painting, etc. Although it was a hectic time, I’ve always spontaneously jumped into things when they felt right. We made it happen, and it was so worth it!

When it came to choosing a salon name, the process was harder than I ever would have imagined, because I was searching for something that felt unique, as well as had depth and meaning.

Then, I remembered: When we were kids, my dad opened a trucking company. He thought of naming it “Jet.” The “J” is for Josh. “E” is Elizabeth. And the “T” is for Tara. I always carried that with me, and I loved it.


My brother Josh is compassionate and generous (not to mention hard-headed). But, he will do ANYTHING for those he loves, he’s a role model and an awesome person. Although we are 10 years apart, we’ve grown so close over time. I would be lost without his guidance. 

Tara is my angel who I lost when I was 15. She’s given me the courage to be all that I can, and I miss her every single day. Although she’s not here to see the salon firsthand, I know she’s watching over me, feeling so proud.

So, I chose the name “JET | a studio salon” for my siblings and me. 


Salon ownership is challenging and humbling. Despite the difficult transition, I’m ecstatic to have grown the best little salon team ever. I hope to inspire those just starting to set forth into their hair dreams and never give up. You never know where you might be in five years! Strive for more than what’s within arm’s reach.

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Liz Fanopoulos

Liz Fanopoulos is an award-winning hairstylist, salon owner and educator based in Boise, Idaho.

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