Meet Lisabella Ibarra — master stylist with 25 years of experience, former Special Education teacher, and owner of Mint Salon and Spa in Historic Downtown Issaquah, Washington. Lisabella, who’s originally from Puerto Rico, took over as the owner of Mint Salon in March 2020 but had to close just eight days after opening due to the pandemic. Two months later, Lisabella opened Mint Salon’s doors once again to an excited community that she and her expert team of stylists love to serve.
Get to know Lisabella in this week’s Q&A as she talks about what it takes to run her salon, her community in Downtown Issaquah, and some of her favorite places to #SpendLikeItMatters.
The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
They may not know the struggles, the different leaps of faith, and the challenges I’ve had to overcome in order to be here. As a minority and as a female, it’s very hard to prove yourself — in teaching and also [at Mint Salon]. I think people see everything as so lively — we have a beautiful vibe — but they don’t know how hard we work behind the scenes. We’re not just hairdressers. We are professionals because we study ingredients, we study chemical reactions, and not just anybody can be as good as we are.
What’s your favorite part about the community Mint Salon is in and why?
We are in a historical, beautiful place in Downtown Issaquah, and I love it because people here are so nice. We have so many little shops and businesses of everything you can think of. I just like the way the entrepreneurs here in the downtown area, especially on Front Street, have all come together during this difficult and trying time. And we are just helping each other. I don’t sense competition — I have another salon a block away from me, and we’ve been communicating all this time, like what things are working and what things are not. And I think that’s the beauty of this place. I am blessed in the place I have this business because people have been so supportive.
Who is on your Intentional List right now?
Lucky You is woman-owned, and she is amazing and has such good taste. All the clothes and jewelry she brings are in good taste and reasonable. It’s a little bit of a boutique concept, but when you look at the prices, it’s totally reasonable. Pinto Portrait is one of my favorites because she’s constantly sharing action moments of the people of Downtown Issaquah. The faces of people speak volumes, and that’s another place I highly recommend. Erica Wood at [Naturopathic Clinic of Issaquah] is a young, brilliant woman who has a son. I think she does an amazing job in balancing life and parenting.