Mobile hair salon rolls into Fraser Valley

Jenny Squires cuts her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires is the woman behind Prime Real Estate Salon, a mobile hair studio in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires washes her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires fetches a towel after washing her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires cuts her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires cuts her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires sweeps up hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires says she hands out business cards every day to potential clients when they see her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Jenny Squires is the woman behind Prime Real Estate Salon, a mobile hair studio in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Jenny Squires has made getting a haircut as convenient as possible.

The hairdresser and her family recently moved to Chilliwack and on the journey with them came Big Bertha, a mobile hair salon.

“It’s a full-functioning salon. I offer all services,” Squires said of her business, Prime Real Estate Salon.

Her hairdressing services take place entirely inside the 22-year-old GMC step van. It’s the same type of vehicle commonly used for mail delivery, but Big Bertha looks nothing like a courier truck.

It’s a vibrant, aqua-coloured vehicle with a rainbow of abstract shapes painted on the driver’s side.

Step inside through the roll-up door at the back and you’ll find a more muted, but equally fun interior of wood panelling, white salon chairs and splashes of bright colours in the decor.

“I love things that are unique and different. I wanted as much of me in here as possible,” she said.

Underneath the truck are two water tanks, one for clean water and one for grey water. The clean water tank has a pump, filter and heater attached to it. Bolted to the front of Big Bertha is a generator which powers all the lights and outlets.

(Story continues below photo)

Jenny Squires cuts her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Inside are two hair stations, a hair-washing sink, a small hand-washing sink (crafted out of a piece of old countertop and a square bread pan), and even a waiting area at the front made from an old bus seat re-upholstered in aqua and purple.

Everything is bolted in place or “glued really, really well,” said her husband Chris Squires.

It took a lot of work to get Big Bertha to where she is today.

Squires saw the truck for sale on the side of the road back in Kingston, Ont. where she and her family used to live.

“I just knew that was my girl. I had to have her. She was just empty waiting for me,” Squires recalled.

So she bought it and over several months, she and her husband, along with a friend turned Big Bertha into the mobile hair salon it is now.

“She’s an older lady,” Squires said with a laugh. “But we love her, we go slow.”

Squires offers haircuts, colour, kids cuts and more. She can come to someone’s place of work, their house or meet in a public space. There is a $10 travel fee when Big Bertha comes to a client, but if someone sees the truck parked and wants a haircut on the spot that travel fee doesn’t apply.

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A hairbrush is wedged underneath plugs outside the generator of Prime Real Estate Salon to prevent them from jostling loose while the machine is running. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

“Self-care gets pushed to the side so often and I wanted to be the easiest thing for everyone – people who have a hard time leaving their house, a one-stop-shop for the whole family.”

She said she wants to make hair cutting “as fast and convenient” as possible and at the same time “a fun experience for everybody.”

Due to the pandemic, her service is even more convenient since she can go directly to people’s homes.

Squires sanitizes everything after each client. And with the entire back door of the truck rolled up, along with passenger side door open, it’s almost like being right outside.

The truck does a lot of its own advertising – every time she goes out, she gets more people calling to book an appointment.

Wherever she goes, people wave as she drives by and they stop to have a peek inside when it’s parked.

“Most of the time people are amazed, they’ve never seen anything like it.”

But she has had some different reactions.

“I’ve been asked for ice cream, I’ve been asked for french fries,” she said with a laugh.

Squires has taken Big Bertha through the mountains, along the side of the river and onto farms where she’s been surrounded by animals.

“That is why my name is Prime Real Estate Salon, because everywhere I go is prime real estate.”

Big Bertha was in service in Ontario for about a year before the Squires family moved back to their home province of B.C.

(Story continues below photo)

Jenny Squires cuts her husband Chris Squires’ hair on Sept. 25, 2020 in her mobile hair studio called Prime Real Estate Salon. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The truck came in quite handy for the move. In August, they packed Big Bertha full of all their belongings and had her shipped across Canada on a flatbed truck.

“She was too big for a train,” Squires said.

Originally, their plan was to move back to Vancouver, but when they first arrived in B.C. and stopped in Chilliwack to stay with family, they didn’t go any further west.

“We fell in love with Chilliwack,” she said. “Chilliwack has been so welcoming to me, so supportive. This is perfect for us, perfect for our family, and perfect for Big Bertha.”

For more info, or to book an appointment, go to primerealestatesalon.com or call 778-989-7312.

Jenny Squires is the woman behind Prime Real Estate Salon, a mobile hair studio in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

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