An Unblemished Vision: Treat

Megan Fisher knew she was meant for the beauty industry since she was a teenager. Five years ago, she made her dream of owning her own salon into a reality and started Treat in Portland, Oregon, offering waxing and skin care treatments in a cooperative workspace for passionate estheticians.

How did Treat get started?
The vision of Treat started years before actually taking the leap. In 2011, I was brainstorming with an old friend about cute salon names when Treat popped into my head. I blurted it out, she agreed that it was a good one and we put it on the list. We split the cost and purchased in hopes that we would, one day, open the doors to a salon space. Three years later, I felt very motivated to do things my own way and my friend was on her own path at the time so I bought her share of the domain name.

I met up for tea with an old coworker (we worked together for many years at a waxing salon) and we began making plans to share the space together. She wanted to do skincare and I had already been waxing for six years at that point, so the search for space began! The funny thing is, I had already contacted my current landlord months prior about a space he had available but I chickened out at the last minute. Bridget and I looked at many studios but weren’t feeling very inspired. In fact, we were in negotiations with a building owner down the road until one day I was driving, called my current landlord to see if he had any new spaces available and he said that he had a studio space upstairs in Suite 203. That’s where Treat still is today!

What is the experience clients can expect from Treat?
We operate in a very non-traditional way. I have three gals who rent from me and carry their own products. Even though we are separate entities, we like to consider ourselves a family or a co-op and collectively curate the space. Leanna is our plant gal and Lindsay makes aftercare kits for her clients with an array of products she finds effective for post-waxing. I carry products that I use myself. I don’t like pushing products on people in general, especially products that I don’t believe in, so all that you see on the shelves at Treat are recommendations that we all use at home.

What is the process you use to curate inventory?
Honestly, I am the furthest from a product junkie. I fall in love with products that are recommended by people who I trust. I’ve become more aware of environmental toxins in the beauty industry through a friend of mine, Lara Adler, who specializes in that field. That made a huge shift in how I choose product lines to carry. I am interested in useful products that are as nontoxic and environmentally friendly as possible, but I’m still learning, and am not toxin-free in my day-to-day life. It’s tough out there!

All of us buy and sell our own products but if something works well, then we all carry it. I loved it when Leanna mentioned she wanted to sell plants at Treat. Since we were already obsessed with plants and were starting our own small jungle at the salon, why not go full-on “Jumanji”? It’s been an awesome addition to our retail space. If clients want to buy plants we charge it to Leanna; she waters them and we all move things around when we want to spice up the shelves. That’s how things work for us! We sample products we like and we purchase small batches of the ones that we believe in.

Where do you gain inspiration?
I have to be real when I explain my view of the beauty industry. I’ve been an esthetician for a decade and even before that, I was involved in the salon world. I’ve known it was a passion of mine since I was 15 years old, but that passion has gradually changed over the years. I suppose the best way to describe it is that I was originally interested in the world of beauty, and then with age and experience have become much more interested in the world of wellness. I really like that beauty and wellness go hand-in-hand, especially in a place like Portland. My focus has shifted. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup, I don’t care much for what’s flash trending. I just like products that work, are affordable, and make sense.

What is your favorite timeless beauty trend?
I’m really into a
matte lip stain. Is that still a trend? Anyway, I like it because it makes my morning routine quick while still looking presentable. That’s important to me. A lash lift is great too! Lauren is one of the gals at Treat who provides lash services. The lash lift and lash tint are awesome. The lift is basically a lash perm and the tint helps with my very blonde lashes. Together, this service lasts weeks and it looks like I have mascara on and have curled my lashes. I don’t have the patience for lash extensions, so this is the next best thing. It how I have a 10-minute maximum makeup routine.

What is something you’re currently excited about?
I am actually excited about a product I sampled through Opal Avenue from Cleo&Coco! Their lavender vanilla dry shampoo powder is really great. I have been looking for a good, natural dry shampoo for some time to stray away from aerosol versions. I think it works wonders and smells nice too.

What are you most proud of so far in this journey?
I’m really pleased with how my business has remained down to earth since day one. I am not trying to become a major chain. All of the girls who work or who have worked at Treat also know what it’s like to work for a company that loses touch with their values. As soon as you go down that road, the level of quality goes down significantly and it really sucks to work in that type of environment. I love what I do and I appreciate the clients who support that, so I don’t want to lose sight of it. All of the girls who rent at Treat share the same outlook. I believe we’ve created the golden ticket to success! I wanted Treat to be a second home where work/life balance was a requirement, clients could feel comfortable and want to come back forever and we could rearrange the space to feed our creative side. That wasn’t possible when working for someone else, so avoiding a sterile, generic environment was a priority. I am approaching five years into the business and I think we are still doing a great job maintaining that vision for Treat.