Professional Hairstylist (Chair Rental)

Lorna Stewart emigrated to Canada from her native Jamaica when she was in her early 20’s, and has been a top-level hair stylist in New Westminster for the whole of her career in Canada.

Lorna started out her Canadian career at Raymond Salons in the old Woodwards department store at 6th and 6th in New Westminster. Raymond’s Salon had some of the best hair stylists in the city in those days. Lorna quickly developed a reputation for great work and built up a clientele, some of whom are still with her today.

In 1986, Lorna opened up her own place, Essence Hair Design, just across the courtyard from the Inn at the Quay overlooking the Fraser River. Essence thrived in that location at first, but things changed and the foot traffic past the shop dried up. It became clear that Essence needed to move. In the winter of 2012, Essence moved to its new location, just over the overpass from their old place, near the bustling Shops at New Westminster Staton.

Beyond the shop, Lorna has been intensely involved in the community. She has held countless fundraisers for worthy local causes over the years, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. Monarch House, an organization helping women and children fleeing domestic violence, has long been a recipient of Lorna’s efforts, but many other groups have also benefitted. Lorna is a dedicated and active member of the Rotary Club of New Westminster and was awarded Rotary’s highest honor, a Paul Harris Fellowship for her charitable work. And one year she found a kidney donor for a friend In need of a transplant. All while working full time in her own business.

When she’s not busy with work or charitable activities, you can find Lorna at the gym. Lorna’s newest pleasure is hot yoga, but she’s also into pilates and weight training, and she enjoys a brisk speed walk up and down the hills of New Westminster.

Ever since she was little, Lorna has ¬†been intensely visual. She loves to help people put together the look they want. She has always been in the hair business, but Essence has long carried other products to help customers look their best – Hair products, fashion accessories, high end lingerie (available by special order) and one-of-a-kind jewellery are all available at Essence, a gem of a store located at 887 Carnarvon Street in New Westminster’s fast-growing Anvil district in the downtown.