Welcome to our series, #WHYoming, brought to you in partnership by Kaumo Law.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to sit down with Paula Antila, a hairdresser and long-time resident of Green River. Paula has been doing hair for about 35 years and she has owned her own salon with a nail tech for three and a half years.
Paula can’t imagine living anywhere else. She loves Green River and she feels fortunate to have been raised here and to have raised her own family here. She left after graduating high school but came back after three months. For Paula, there really is no place like home. And home has always been and will always be Green River.
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Paula, what do you do for a living?
I’m a salon owner, have been for about three and a half years here. Before I owned my own salon, there was a salon named Silver Scissors that we had in Green River for over 30 years, and I worked there. When I was in high school, we had another salon that was called Detra’s. I was the receptionist. Way back when in high school, I didn’t know that’s what I was going to end up doing, but here we are.
How did you get into hairdressing?
I left Green River when I graduated high school and moved to Texas, and I was so homesick. I came back and I didn’t know what to do, so I talked to the girls I used to work for and said, “what do you guys think if I go to beauty school?” They said, “if you’re talking about it, you better go.” So I went to beauty school.
How did you end up in Green River?
My parents were raised here. Our family goes back pretty far, my grandma and grandpa lived here. My parents moved to California and had me there in Los Angeles. When I was about five or six we moved back here and I never left until after high school. I was only in Texas for three months. I hated it, I was so homesick.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I just love Green River. And Rock Springs too. It’s amazing how people look out for each other here. I only left for three months, but you don’t know how much you appreciate it here until you leave. I was raised here, my kids were raised here, I just love it. It’s so family oriented. And I have a great clientele, they’re great people.
What are your some of your hobbies?
I like to craft and work on my house.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Know who you are before you try to become somebody else.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
The lake. In the summer, it’s nice. I love the water and it’s fun to play out there and camp.
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse, or drive a car?
Drive a car. Depends on where I’m going but probably drive a car.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
How would your friends describe you?
I’m friendly and I love my family and friends.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Raising good successful children. That’s probably my biggest accomplishment. Also, running a successful business and owning my own home.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Well, let’s see. JLo.
Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?
The people. The weather is a pain sometimes but i don’t even care about that. I just love the people, our community is awesome.
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