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Person Behind The Place: Gabriel Walton

August 24, 2021 - by Sandy Vo

Person Behind The Place:
Gabriel Walton

Owner | House of Hebe Salon

Gabriel Walton is no salon rookie. He's been doing hair since the young age of 18, straight out of high school. Originally wanting to become a criminal defense attorney, he ended up discovering beauty school and turned it into a career. After three years at Gene Juarez, Walton decided to work for himself and joined the Obadiah Salon team in Bellevue, playing a key role in their training and education department. 20 years later, he pursued his dream and opened House of Hebe with hairstylist Aleeta Hinton and esthetician Chrissy Smith. All three owners continues to strive for excellence with their clients, as well as helping their students and fellow stylists succeed and grow their passion. Hear more about what inspires Walton and why he loves working in Downtown Bellevue.

What was the inspiration behind House of Hebe?

Two years ago, I went to the Gucci Garden in Florence, Italy and I fell in love with the décor, colors, and patterns they displayed. So, I started off with a typical Pinterest board and kept adding pins of what I liked. Before I knew it, my dreams started to become a reality. Gucci is an elegant brand but it's also very street wear. It's not super fancy in the sense of formal wear. It's different, and you can wear it every day but it's still a luxury brand. I took that whole mindset and put it into how I wanted House of Hebe to feel. I raise the bar in our service and what we deliver, but also keep it a place where people can come in and it doesn't feel too stuffy or posh.

What makes House of Hebe stand out from other salons?

I personally try to stray away from the typical salon vibe. I want a salon where we can do hair and work hard, but I don’t want to be like every salon on the block. Everything I do, I try to do differently. For example, capes in salons are typically black but ours are green, our logo is a fun pink color and the music is different too. I want people to have fun and be able to laugh and talk to each other. I’m just trying to make things as different as I can but still fit within what we do in a salon.

What do you love about working downtown?  

I have always loved working in Downtown Bellevue and I enjoy how different each part of Bellevue feels. Although Obadiah Salon and House of Hebe are only a couple of blocks away, the vibe in the main downtown area compared to Old Bellevue is different. I'm finding that - maybe because I'm older now - I love the Old Bellevue vibe a lot more. I spent a lot of time at Obadiah Salon, surrounded by very professional companies; a typical busy downtown feeling. Old Bellevue is the opposite. People are walking by with their dogs, kids are outside eating Molly Moon’s across the street... it feels more family oriented. I love it and it seems like our clients like it as well.

What inspires you to keep working?

Hair is always evolving. There are always different ways to do things and hair trends come and go, so it keeps me on my feet. It’s exciting to see fashion shows and see what hairstyles people are into at the moment. My new thing is traveling and being able to see what’s trending around the world compared to the United States, specifically in Bellevue. I feel like we can never learn everything, but I can always be better. I see other hairstylists who refuse to change their ways and they tend to tap out. For me, I'm always trying to be better at everything I do.

What are your favorite places to shop in Downtown Bellevue?

I love The Shops at the Bravern, especially the Gucci store! Everyone that works there is amazing.

Any favorite places to dine out in Downtown Bellevue?

I love Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi for the beautiful view and the little lounge area. I go to 520 Bar & Grill because it has a neighborhood restaurant vibe and the outdoor seating is great. Carmine's is excellent, the food and customer service are spectacular. Daniel's Broiler also makes my list. It’s an iconic place in Downtown Bellevue and the drinks are amazing.

Any favorite hidden gems you would like to share?

My favorite hidden gem is probably the Downtown Park at night. You can see the skyline, and I love the lights around the park. It gets so quiet, all you hear is the water rushing from the fountain. It’s a nice relaxing place, perfect for a nighttime walk.

Follow House of Hebe on Instagram for booking information and latest updates!

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Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.