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the road to serenity

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James Howell's Story

Twelve years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Every few years I take a trip to one place or another specifically to reflect and realign spiritually. At that time in 1998 I was at a place in my career, and life in general, where I sensed it was time to take some type of step forward professionally. I was at that age, too, when my dues had been paid, so to speak, and the experience I had gained in different work environments had shaped my idea of what qualities I wanted my professional life to imbue and what hopes I had for my career.

Seeking a Connection

So, all of this was the dialogue and backstory stowed away somewhere deep in my metaphorical carry-on luggage as I boarded the plane, Bosnia-bound. The days in Medjugorje afforded a lot of time to forget about phones and schedules and bills and all of those necessary distractions that can clutter everyday life. Instead I spent hours immersed in nature's quiet, hiking through the countryside. One evening in particular I was walking home, having spent the day as I've just described and thinking about the dreams and ambitions that had been marinating in my imagination. It was during that walk I just put it out there – to the universe, to the forest creatures, and to anything else that happened to be within proximity.


What do you want me to do with my life, my career, and all of these “what ifs” that follow me around as the possible next right step? Is it the right time to step out on my own and pursue my own vision for a business? I really want to get this right. If that is the step to take I need to know...  and, if so, I need help to make it happen.

Serenity Found

I went on to voice the qualities I had dog-eared over the years as foundational to any business I might ever start. Focus on the client first, a positive environment – such that would draw stylists who shared the same values, a salon culture that was peaceful and harmonious and as far removed as possible from the occupational hazards of stress and drama. I had even learned this beautiful new word, Mir, which means peace in the native language and that is what I believed the name should be. In reality, Salon Mir started somewhere along that walk home. Before that trip was over I experienced another occasion, significant and personal, that solidified for me in exactly the way I needed that, yes, it was time to pursue my own business.

​​Shortly after returning home I did strike out on my own. Four years later, the doors of Salon Mir opened in the same space it is today.