Big Fish, Small Pond

Originally inhabited by Native Americans, Saginaw, MI, was given its name by the Ojibwe tribe, who drove out the area's earlier inhabitants, the Sauk (the word saginaw is believed to mean "where the Sauk were" in the Ojibwe language). Once a thriving lumber and manufacturing center, the town now boasts a number of locally owned restaurants, arts organizations and growing businesses, including The Avenue Hair Studio & Spa.

The Avenue Hair Studio & Spa in Saginaw, MI

"We've developed a culture that allows everyone to take accountability for their own personal success while still working together as a team to create an exceptional client experience," says Dawn Carter, who co-owns the salon with her husband, Neal. This attention to client experience is displayed each day because every client receives a complimentary paraffin treatment and hand massage during his or her service. "We want clients to feel good about spending their money here," Carter says.

In order to assure clients that they will receive top-notch service, Carter insists that her stylists constantly stay up on the trends and receive as much education as possible. "Along with technical training, we believe that a great hairstylist also needs communication and business workshops to better serve our clients and to help them obtain their own personal goals," Carter says. "We have systems in place that ensure the growth of our company and its employees."

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The 6,500-square-foot salon offers all hair services, as well as facials, massage, waxing and nail services. Its decor creates a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for clients, with warm tones and bursts of vibrant colors throughout. In addition to in-salon events for clients, the salon gets involved in community events. Says Carter, "We take great pride in giving back to the community that has made us so successful." —NICOLE PALMIERI

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