Up Close With Lisa Houser

Current job: Master hair stylist and colorist for 31 years/owner of Utopia Salon & Day Spa for 13 years.

Proudest professional moment: After years of admiring those elite salons in the Top 200 in the Nation, finding out that I made it into the group I admired so much was amazing; seeing all the hard work and passion pay off. I would say that ties with seeing each clients face when they fall in love with their new look.

First job: My first job was babysitting on weekends and working in a shoe store assembling the shoe lace bells that go on toddlers shoes (totally dating myself). First hair stylist job was in a small beauty shop with rollers and blue hair ladies, where they could smoke while they sprayed aerosol hair lacquer. Thank goodness those days are gone.

Fun fact: My husband and I love rock concerts and charity so much we turned our wedding into an 80s rock concert complete with spandex, big hair and 400 strangers, and raised over $5,000 for Relay for Life four years ago.

Favorite spot on a Saturday night: At this stage in my life, home with my family, movies and a fire.

Favorite movie: Oh … So many, depends on the mood. My cousin Vinny, Elf, The Notebook, The Shack, to name a few.

Music of choice: I will forever be a big hair 80s & 90s hair band rocker, I also love me some old school hip hop.

Favorite place to eat: My mom’s, of course, but when I am not in New York my favorite places are Fogo de Chao, Cest la Vie in Hazel Dell and nothing beats a Wahlbugers in Vegas or any burger for that matter.

Motto/Inspirational quote: “Be the change you want to see.” –Gandhi

“I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.” – Charles F. Haanel



Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.