Celebrating 25 Years with Gila Rut: Susan Burchett
Oct 23, 2017

How did you get started coming to Gila Rut?
Right after moving from Indiana in April 1988, I opened a bank account and commented to the new accounts representative how cute her hair was. I asked her who cut her hair, and she told me Keri Davis did. She said it hadn’t been cut in a few months because she was letting it grow out. At that point, I knew how talented Keri must be if hair could look that great without so much as a trim in a few months. The bank employee also gave me the names of a couple other people in San Diego who were good with short, curly hair, but I never contacted them. I made an appointment with Keri, who I instantly loved. I never went to any other hair stylist.

What was your profession when you started coming to Gila Rut? And what is it now?
When I started coming to Gila Rut, I worked in the IT department for a large manufacturing company as an Information Resource Specialist. I now spend my time volunteering at Lions Tigers & Bears, a non-profit exotic animal sanctuary and educational facility, and at Alzheimer’s San Diego.

What’s your favorite hobby?
Glass fusing, paper crafting and computer graphic design.

How has Gila Rut impacted your life or style?
The Gila Rut team has taught me to embrace my hair—not fight the natural curls. My wash-and-wear hairstyle takes me about two minutes to do in the morning. I don’t even own a comb, brush or curling iron anymore. If I did, I don’t think I’d know what to do with them.

What is your favorite part about coming to Gila Rut?
Just one? I love having a cup of Aveda Comforting Tea, visiting with my Gila Rut friends and enjoying a stress-relieving head and shoulder massage.

Do you have a memorable story in the years past that was impactful to share?
Again, only one? I was a client of Keri’s for four years before the first Gila Rut location opened. I remember having many hushed conversations with Keri as we discussed her plans to open her own salon. I knew Keri would be successful because she had a clear vision and keen business sense from the start.

Keri and I both have naturally curly hair. While she was still cutting my hair, we used to joke that my style always looked exactly like Keri’s. As Keri’s hairstyle changed, so did mine.

When Keri quit cutting hair, she referred me to Nadia, who still cuts my hair today. I routinely receive compliments on my hairstyle; even on days when I’ve decided not to wash it and have bedhead, I’ve had strangers ask if they can take pictures of my hair for their stylists. I’ve scribbled Gila Rut’s phone number and Nadia’s name on many scraps of paper over the years. The quality and consistency of Gila Rut services has been outstanding, no matter who the stylist was.

How would you sum up Gila Rut celebrating 25 years in business?
I’m so proud of my friend and entrepreneur, Keri, who turned her vision into a wildly successful business. When we talked about Keri’s plans to open Gila Rut over 25 years ago, I don’t think she ever envisioned owning three salons. Congratulations, Keri, Carol, Karla and the whole Gila Rut family for your excellence, dedication, talent and friendship. Looking forward to the 50-year celebration!