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International salon group lands in Independence

INDEPENDENCE — Downtown Independence will soon be home to an international advanced training center for stylists, as well as a working salon.

Matthew Boulton, Logan McClanahan, Debbie Boulton, Marie Trucco and Dawn LaDuke bring SoJourn International’s headquarters to downtown Independence this year.

Photo by Emily Mentzer

Matthew Boulton, Logan McClanahan, Debbie Boulton, Marie Trucco and Dawn LaDuke bring SoJourn International’s headquarters to downtown Independence this year.

February 11, 2014

INDEPENDENCE — Downtown Independence will soon be home to an international advanced training center for stylists, as well as a working salon.

SoJourn International will move into the old JTE Carpet building at 240 S. Main St., hopefully by the start of summer, said Managing Director Matthew Boulton.

The company already has a warehouse on Highway 22 in West Salem, but needs to expand its offices. Boulton said Independence was the perfect location to do just that.

“I’m passionate about the fact that we’re an independent company,” he said. “Where better to locate than Independence, Oregon?”

The building will be the company’s headquarters, a working salon as well as a training facility for professional stylists.

“We want (stylists) to be successful,” Boulton said. Focusing on other people’s success helps him be successful, he added.

The center will have 20 to 60 people in trainings two or three days a week.

Shawn Irvine, Independence economic development director, said the city has been able to help the Boultons with resources to expand.

“It’s really one of those classic good partnerships between business and local government,” he said.

Irvine said the training center and salon will bring a lot of traffic downtown.

“They need someplace to stay, someplace to eat,” he said. “It’s going to be a boon to downtown.”

Boulton’s wife and business partner Debbie Boulton said the products — the Leyton House Professional hair color and SoJourn’s line of shampoo and hair care — are the newest technology when it comes to hair.

“It’s high quality,” she said of the hair color, manufactured in Italy and distributed nationwide through the warehouse in West Salem.

Usually, any chemical applied to the hair begins to impair the integrity of hair. But this product “actually repairs the hair and processes in half the time of other hair color,” Debbie said.

As for the shampoo products, they are “Ph Perfect, positive chemistry,” Debbie said.

“It balances the hair and keeps the cuticle closed, which keeps the hair healthy,” she said.

Matthew said the positive chemistry is found in more than just the hair products, but also describes how the company’s partners work.

He and Debbie have been in the beauty industry for many years, Matthew said.

He is from Chelmsford, Essex, England, and opened his first salon after he bought his first apartment. It came with retail space downstairs.

He met his wife at a conference. Over dinner, the two of them realized they worked for the same companies.

“We said imagine with who you know, and who I know, and if we had a good product, we would be able to supply the world,” Matthew said, reminiscing. “Be careful what you wish for.”

Now with launching Leyton House and taking SoJourn internationally, he and Debbie will have that opportunity, all based in Independence.

SoJourn International is a shampoo and hair care line manufactured in the United States and will be sold worldwide. Leyton House Professional hair color is manufactured in Italy and distributed nationally from Boulton’s warehouse on Highway 22.

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