Suburban Chic

When Ronald Lawler opened One Salon & Spa two years ago in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, IL, his goal was to create a high-end salon as suitable for New York's Madison Avenue as for a suburban shopping mall. With the help of two interior designers from Belvedere USA, Lawler created an inspiring, contemporary salon environment with clean lines and a soothing Asian feel.

At 5,500 square feet, One Salon & Spa occupies half of the first floor of an office building in an upscale shopping center. "We often hear people say how nice it is to have a city-style salon in the suburbs," says Lawler, a former VP of operations for a Canadian-based salon chain. "Our salon is definitely more on the high-end compared to others in the area."

 Even with 20 styling stations, One Salon & Spa manages to feel clean, friendly and comfortable.
Even with 20 styling stations, One Salon & Spa manages to feel clean, friendly and comfortable.

Lawler considered at least nine different floor plans before hitting on the right one—a circular layout with a spacious reception lounge in the center, filled with contemporary fixtures. The full-service salon features 20 styling stations, five shampoo bowls and a color processing bar. Floor-mounted chairs, ambient lighting, frameless mirrors and sleek Formica countertops create a modern, seamless look, while a color palette of camouflage green, chocolate, cranberry and chardonnay adds to the relaxed feel. Guests can easily transition between the salon and the spa, which consists of four treatment rooms and a manicure/pedicure spa, with four Belvedere Mirage pedicure units divided by privacy pulls.

Lawler decided to incorporate portable styling stations, which allows him to assign two stylists to every station. When they're not working, stylists can remove and store their stations out of the way, then pull them into any available counter when they come in. "That way no station ever sits empty, so each counter has the capacity to double revenue," says Lawler. "I would never do built-in stations again." And he may never remodel the salon, either. "I don't think we'll ever get tired of it," he says. "It's ageless." For more information, visit, or call 800-435-5491.


If you want to succeed in business and in life, talent is simply not enough. So says Janet Payne, owner of Five Star Coaching in Southern California. "Mental roadblocks often hold us back from experiencing our greatest gifts in life," she says, "but there are steps we can take to resolve them." Here, Payne offers these inspirational tips, which she recently shared with Winn Claybaugh in a Masters interview. For more information, visit, or call 800-459-4007.

  • ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE I've seen great stylists who had tremendous talent and a good work ethic, but didn't make it because they lacked a great attitude. You need to combine these three attributes and do it on a consistent basis.
  • BE THE BRAND Don't make yourself the focus; focus on your customers. Be kind to them and be consistent with them because in their eyes, you are the brand. Don't just give clients a service; give them an experience to remember.
  • BE A VISIONARY Don't get caught up in micro-managing the small stuff. Instead, think big picture. Develop a plan, know where you are and where you want to go.
  • GO FOR EXCELLENCE Perfection is something that will drive you crazy, so it's far better to pursue excellence in your business. Strive to attain high standards and focus on delivering them.
  • GET BUSY Never, ever procrastinate. Opportunity only presents itself for a short period of time, so go for it.
  • BE PASSIONATE Take time to communicate passion, because if you don't share it, it goes away. Great mentors can take you on a ride, provided they know where your passion lies.