WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP -- For would-be entrepreneurs, there is a new way to own your own beauty salon. It's a concept that is sweeping the nation and now, it has come to our area.
Hairdressers are trying on a new do in Luzerne County with the first salon suite of its kind in northeastern Pennsylvania.
"I've been following this concept for probably about a year, and I never dreamed it would ever come to this area, and I'm very happy that it did," Ranae Smigel, owner of Ranae's Salon said.
Smigel is leasing one of the salon suites at the Allure Salon Group in Wilkes-Barre Township. She said leasing a salon suite gives her more work/life freedom and more profit in her pockets.
"I feel like it's more one-on-one with my clients and I'm giving them more quality work," Smigel said.
Karen Kaminiski brought the concept to the Joe Amato East End Centre. She said salon suites are becoming more and more popular with stylists around the country.
"They're their own salon owners. They actually own their own salon. They own their own space. They choose the products that they want to work with and with their rent, we actually manage all their bills," Kaminiski said.
Hair stylists said they were wary of the concept in the past because of certain property size regulations and licensing rules in the state. However, at the Allure Salon Group, property owners have met all of the necessary guidelines, and then some.
"They don't have to have their own bathrooms. They don't have to have their own laundry room, their own kitchenette. They can share that with the other salon suite owners," said Joe Amato, owner of the Joe Amato East End Shopping Centre.
The business has been open for just about two weeks and already, 50 percent of the properties have been taken. That means another seven spaces are open for other hair stylists, skin and nail care professionals, masseuses, and makeup artists.
The hope for the salon suite property is to have a variety of salons all under one roof so that it can be a one-stop-shop for spa and beauty time.
"You need to be able to offer a nice mix. You need to be able to offer all of the amenities all in one place," said Liana Kissinger, property and leasing manager for Amato Properties.
The concept seems to be customer approved, too. One of Smigel's longtime customers checked the salon out and said she loved it.
"It's cute. It reminds me like I'm entering a salon, but it's a lot like Ranae, too," customer Stephanie Bellino said.
Hair care professionals know a happy customer means a healthy wallet.