The Orange County Register
September 26, 2003

Views from the saddle is written by Cathy Breese

Valley residents earn style points

People move around a lot. The average family stays in their home 4.5 years, but for Marc and Jan Thompson, not only have they lived in their home in the Mission Viejo area for the past 22 years, they are also celebrating owning a business in Lake Forest for 25 years!

Prompted by an Oprah special on how to age gracefully, I decided to return to my old friend and hairdresser Marc Thompson for a new "do." I was surprised at the change in Marc's shop, which has recently undergone a renovation costing nearly $300,000! Now that isn't chump change in a remodel of a business, and owning that Marc and Jan have spent the better part of 25 years in the Saddleback Valley making men and women look better, the renovation was well-deserved.

We don't have to look to Newport Beach to find a salon with innovative surroundings and experienced stylists to boot. Marc and Jan have a salon so full of high tech that I thought I had entered a contemporary Soho loft, which is just exactly how they describe the style of their salon.

No understated colors at Marc and Company, electric blue and lime green niches adorn the walls as well as art to die for. Jan has a place picked out for a Jackson Pollock print, and the art that decorates one wall in the waiting room is the work of a client/designer.

Don't look for little black brooms and dustpans in this salon as one of the features of the clean-line look is a central vacuum system that scoops up the remnants of a haircut.

Clean and sleek with stations featuring tech salon chairs complete with hydraulics, the light maple colored Pergo floor complements the "work stations" which feature large 6-foot mirrors and up-lighted cabinetry which highlights the art glass sitting on top of them. A new feature of the salon is the addition of an apparatus called the "roller-ball" that cuts the time for color and perm processes up to one third.

Marc and Jan have not only created a salon which is family friendly, they do men, women, and children's hair, but it is also a family affair. Daughter Ashley is a gifted colorist, and son Seth, who attends San Marcos College, has cleaned the shop since he was a little guy. Marc and Jan are down to earth people and enjoy the benefits of living in a community such as Saddleback Valley that Marc says has a small-town flavor to it. They enjoy traveling to Cambria and walking in Dana Point Harbor and are actively involved in their church.

Marc believes in our community, and it is evident as the salon has had some of the same clients for over 25 years and they have always been located along El Toro Road. Commitment to the community is evident with the salon recently donating services to the Orange County Coalition for Youth.

I asked Marc if he was going to have a grand opening and he demurred, but it is no doubt that this hair salon has a lot going for it and deserves a look over. It is so high tech that it is being nominated for the best salon remodel design in 2003.

I did note that Marc's many trophies for first place in hair competitions have been removed and when I asked him what he did with them he said he threw them away. "You are not the result of awards you win,"

Marc responded, "The awards are a result of who you are." Marc and Jan Thompson believe in our Saddleback Valley and they are here to stay.

Congratulations Marc and Company for 25 years of making people beautiful!