As Calista Grand Salon and Spa in West Chester, PA, celebrates its 20th anniversary, co-owner Maria McCool is able to take a step back and reflect on what has made the area's first salon and day spa such a success. "The hardest part is finding the right staff, but once you have good people, things just fall into place," McCool says. "It can't be all about you; you have to support your staff and help them grow." To that end, McCool stresses the importance of learning. "Education will always be the crux of what we do," she says.
McCool opened Calista Grand with partner Donald Moore—whom she met during a hair competition (he was a judge)—when she was 23 years old. The salon quickly grew out of its original space and moved into a three-story location with a natural decor and a two-story marble wall waterfall. Calista, which is Greek for beautiful, certainly seems like an appropriate name.
The success of the salon has extended into a booming product collection on QVC, Calista Tools, a haircare line that will soon include styling tools. Everything in the line is tested in the salon, which uses Eugene Perma Paris haircolor and also stocks Kérastase and DevaCurl products on its retail shelves.
When planning for the future, McCool talks about how crucial it is to set goals. "Put your goals down on paper and know where you want to be in five years," she advises. "This will help you to keep going, even on the hardest of days." —L.M.