EDMONTON – A Fort Saskatchewan beauty salon is facing backlash for its quirky name.
Wendy Poseluzny has been in the beauty business for the last 30 years. Her specialty is Brazilian waxing.
It took months of planning for her to come up with a name.
“I had a couple of business names I started with, but they were trademarked across Canada,” she said Friday afternoon.
The third name was a keeper. Poseluzny chose Kooter Couture.
So enamoured with the name, she confesses she has even put it on her truck.
“It sits outside here and people love it,” she said. “I go to BC or to the mountains – wherever I travel on my weekends – and people know me. They go ‘hey, you’re from Fort Saskatchewan.’”
Though not everyone shares her enthusiasm; at least one resident complained to the city about the name.
“People are worrying about it being by a school, but half those clients, the mothers, are my clients. Some of the teachers are my clients,” Poseluzny told Global News.
Her clients see the name brouhaha as much ado about nothing.
“It makes me laugh,” said Billie Surette. “I think people are far too sensitive about these things. My daughter walks by here every day and has never once been, ‘hey mom, what’s that word?’ And if she did, I’d tell her what it meant.”
According to the City of Fort Saskatchewan’s land use bylaw: “Signs shall not contain statements, words or pictures that are undesirable, offensive, or contrary to the amenities of the neighbourhood in which they are located.”
It goes on to state, “The sign owner shall be responsible to remove the copy of any sign deemed to be inappropriate or offensive by the City.”
Poseluzny said she did not realize a permit was needed to have a sign outside her business in the first place. She began the process of applying for one. Her application was refused.
“Because of the sensitivity with this one, we notified neighbouring property owners before making a decision,” said Janel Smith-Duguid, director of planning and development for the city.
Elk Island Public Schools objected to the business’ name in a letter it sent to the city. Fort Saskatchewan Elementary School is located just steps away.
The letter highlighted two main concerns: The language and graphics on the sign. (Read the entire letter below).
“The word [Kooter] has an extremely vulgar connotation in its slang usage and is inappropriate for public signage displayed so close to a school,” read an excerpt.
Another portion read, “the combination of the word “Kooter” next to an unclothed woman elicits a very sexual subtext, which is entirely unacceptable when you consider the adjacent landowners.”
“We’re now at the point where if she doesn’t agree with the decision that was rendered, she can appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board,” said Smith-Duguid.
Poseluzny has said she will not cut ties with the bold banner and intends to appeal the decision.
She has since started a petition at her store.