Combining a passion for people with fishing and cosmetology

By Heather DeRosa

Job titles such as hair stylist and fishing guide are in career fields that don’t go together.

But don’t tell that to Puyallup resident Ashley Nichole Lewis — her two passions are more similar than one can imagine.

ewis graduated June 19 from Clover Park Technical College’s cosmetology program. Fishing, on the other hand, is something she has done since she was a child.

“I love fishing, and I love fashion and style,” the 26-year-old Lewis said. “So I thought why not do both?”

As a member of the Quinault Indian nation, the tribe awarded Lewis a full scholarship to pursue cosmetology. As a way of giving back, she visited the Puyallup Tribe Elders Building this past winter to provide hair care to the tribe’s elders.

“For a lot of them, it was their first professional haircut,” she said. “I pulled out my hair dryer, and (one of the clients) had no idea what it was.”

Not only did Lewis provide several elders with their first professional haircut, for many it was more than just a haircut.

“Not only was it a way for me to give back, but the personal care and touch I gave them is something I am passionate about,” she said.

Lewis says the same personal touch that she provides has a hairdresser also applies to fishing.

“It’s really all about that special moment that you can share with someone that you wouldn’t normally get.”

As a member of the Quinault Indian Nation, Lewis shares her access of protected waters on the peninsula with her fishing clients.

“A lot of times we are fishing for steelhead, which can sometimes be rare if you catch one,” she said. “Then we’ll be out fishing and they take home their first steelhead.”

The ability to cut hair from her rented chair at Devine Style Salon and Spa in Edgewood allows her the freedom to work in an industry such as fishing — a big network of what she calls family.

“With fishing, it’s all about getting out and sharing what you’re passionate about,” she said. “It’s really rewarding.”

After a eight-year career working for Starbucks, her passion of connecting with others is ignited over doing work that she loves.

“I feel so blessed to be able to embrace both fishing and being a stylist,” Lewis said. “I’ve really realized in my life these last few years that you can do exactly what you want to do, and make whatever you want of your life.”

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