As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.
Billion Dollars Brows (BDB) recently opened its doors for business in Beverly Hills. Special touches like metallic wallpaper, mirror panels and a glass storefront dress up the modern, airy space, which features five reclining brow stations that provide the ultimate in client comfort. No haircuts here. Instead, a stellar brow team that includes Maina Karpel—who tames Ryan Seacrest's brows—Julie Sahley and Damone Roberts alum Kelley Baker perform high-end makeup, waxing, threading and eyebrow styling sans the weighty price tag. Says Natalie Plain, BDB's owner, "Our business goal is to ensure that every clients' brows are a thing of beauty—whether it's trimming thick, bushy brows or nurturing over-plucked brows back to their fullest potential." —K.D.
With smart and creative planning, small salons can make a big impact. Michele Pelafas, an interior designer and owner of Michele Pelafas Salon & Spa Interiors in Oak Brook, IL, offers eight design strategies for making the most of a shoebox-sized salon.
1. Think how various areas of your space can be used for more than one purpose. For example, use the color-processing area or styling area for makeup applications if space is limited.
2. Use reflective materials, such as mirrors, glass, glass mosaics and glossy finishes to reflect light, which will make the space appear larger.
3. Select lighter paint colors in the same color families to create a seemingly larger space. Then add a fun pop of color, such as red or yellow, in small but strategic areas to generate an inviting and interesting environment.
4. Avoid over-cluttering, which can over-stimulate employees and clients, especially in a tiny space, and create a small but high-impact retail area that is uniquely organized for maximum exposure.
5. Instead of walls, which can make a space feel smaller, opt for draperies, thin opaque partitions or transparent textured panels to achieve privacy.
6. Limit furniture and accessory purchases to smaller scale items that are both functional and complementary, and consider mod pieces that tend to be more compact.
7. Add decorative lighting, such as wall sconces and pendant fixtures, for drama and warmth.
8. Integrate creative storage wherever possible. Select retail displays that have storage below and shampoo areas with places to keep towels above. —C.W.
My Brilliant Career
Q. Have you ever had a mentor?
Glow Salon and Med Spa in Irving, TX, uses functional, built-in storage cabinets at each station to maximize space.
We posed the question to Adi, owner of Simadi Salon in New York City, who told us about meeting a hairstylist named Simon Sabag in the '90s. "I was selling sandwiches on Madison Avenue and he used to stop by to get lunch," he says. The two became fast friends. In fact, Adi helped Sabag with the construction of a new salon he was opening. "He said I had quick hands and an eye for color and design," says Adi, who credits Sabag with encouraging him to pursue hairdressing. "Simon learned his technique in Paris, and he taught me everything I know about hairdressing," says Adi. Sadly, 11 years after the salon opened, Sabag passed away suddenly and the salon closed. But Adi was determined to make sure their clients were cared for, despite the fact that Sabag and the salon were both gone. He worked at a small salon nearby and saved every single penny until he had enough to open his own salon. "I called it Simadi in honor of Simon," Adi says. "It's a combination of my name and his."