Shawna Russell

Owner/Master Stylist

I have been in the hair industry since 2002.  I love everything about being a stylist and knew I wanted my own salon right from the beginning.   I love when clients want something fresh and new and I think your style should be constantly evolving.  Blondes are my specialty and I love balayage.  I believe in always upgrading my education and I love travelling in order to do that.

I have been a strong believer in building technique through constant education in the most current industry trends.  My most current elite classes (not including countless local classes) include a week long course for Master Stylist Colorist at the L'Oréal Global Academy in New York City (2014), an advanced cutting class at Suki's Academy in Vancouver (2015), and an advanced razor cutting class at Suki's Academy in Vancouver with Vivienne Mackinder (2017).

Cara Skarpinsky


I started my career at the age of 14 working at a salon as a receptionist and assistant.  I had a passion for hair at an early age.  After graduating from the Evelyn Charles Academy, I have taken many classes on color and cutting.  I travelled to Suki's Academy in Vancouver with Shawna in 2015 and 2017, as well as take numerous local classes.  I specialize in intense fashion forward color and men's barbering.  I'm also known for my amazing scalp massages and in depth knowledge with treatments and products.

Justine Santaguida


I joined the Empire family in January of 2017 and have been in the industry since 2007.  I specialize in short women's cuts, but my biggest love is working on blondes.  The staff call me the "Foil Queen" because of my precise foiling techniques and love for packing in as many highlights as possible!  I also am known for my signatures waves using a flat iron.  I have a large clientele that will book in just for a blow dry and style so they can wear my waves.  Check out my work on our Instagram page!

Chelsea Adamson-Vleeming


I started my career as a stylist because of my passion for hair, socializing, and creativity.  Being a stylist allows me to be outgoing while showcasing my talent!  I love taking on big transformations, men's cuts, color melts, and of course blondes!  I recently attended a balayage class presented by Hai Tran (he is an advanced L'anza color educator).   I feel very blessed to join Empire and become a part of a team that values education and professionalism.

Mariah Sherwood


I am Empire's daytime receptionist and I started working here in March 2019.  I have a background in interior design.  I love working with clients and I am meticulous in my front desk duties.  I have an easygoing way with clients and a witty sense of humor that you might miss until it hits you later.  Don't let my serious exterior fool you, as I'm likely to surprise you!

Jacqueline Congdon


I am the newest addition to the Empire family, joining the Dreamteam in July 2020.  I have been in the hair industry since 2008.  Starting off in Cosmetology, I took part in the RAP program and graduated high school working in a hair salon.  I fast tracked through post secondary at MC College.  I first had my hair done at a salon when I was 12, and I thought it was the best experience!   So now it is MY TURN to ensure that clients have the same amazing experience!  I took part in Champ Camp, Babe Hair Extension Master Stylist program, and I also volunteered and pledged in the childhood cancer fundraiser Hair Massacure ($13,851 raised!).  I love a good transformation (before and after), blondes, vivids, and hair extensions.   Those are my all time favorite services!

Cayden Lumley

Apprentice Stylist

I am also new to the Empire team, joining the Dreamteam in August 2020.  I’ve recently graduated from Est-Elle Academy of Hair Design in late 2019.  As an apprentice stylist, I chose Empire Salon to apply at because of how high-end the salon experience is.  The staff here were so friendly and welcoming on my first day, and I loved the atmosphere!

Being a Hairstylist helps me express myself through creativity and I’m hoping to specialize in barbering, as I’m working with Cara (who is our men’s cutting specialist at the salon).  I also really love balayage, avant-garde styling, updos, and vivid colors.  Being a part of the Empire Dreamteam has been a really fun, inspiring experience for me so far!

  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Pinterest - White Circle
  • Issuu - White Circle