Young hairstylists at home in building long used by Port hairdressers
There are few businesses that generate such high level of customer loyalty as hair salons.
Still, that is the business climate Stacy Hegel and Nicole Cottrell find themselves in with the opening of The Silver Door Salon, 308 E. Jackson St., Port Washington.
The enthusiastic blondes say they are eager to tackle the challenge.
The newly painted brown block building they moved into at the foot of the Light Station stairs has a long history as a hair salon, for decades as Jackson East and more recently as Salon Bleu.
“We couldn’t ask for a better location, being so close to the bike path and the lake,” Hegel said.
The women became close friends while working as stylists at the Salons at Conservancy Court in Saukville.
Hegel has been styling hair since 2004, and Cottrell for nine years.
“It’s funny how we quickly found out we have the same taste,” Hegel said, a fact that made decorating their new salon a more harmonious process.
The women chose the color scheme of the salon and did as much of the work as they could — with a considerable amount of assistance from Hegel’s father.
When trying to come up with a catchy name that depicted a sense of richness and elegance, the Silver Door was suggested and quickly agreed on.
“We already know if we ever open a second salon, it will be called the Gold Door,” Cottrell said.
Both women are licensed by the state.
Cottrell, 29, got into the hair dressing business via the conventional route, completing beauty school classes in Milwaukee.
Hegel, 36, said she was surprised to find herself drawn to a career as a hairdresser.
She studied criminal justice in college in Iowa, which might seem a far cry from working as a stylist.
“Actually, they both have a lot in common because you have to know how to deal with people,” Hegel said.
She said the co-owners have no intention of trying to poach customers from existing salons, but they have had a number of clients follow them from their previous jobs.
“There are also always new people moving into the community and customers who are just looking for a change,” Hegel said.
“If you keep your customers happy, the word gets around pretty quickly.”
The partners are the sole stylists at the salon, but they eventually hope to “rent chairs” to other hairdressers. That arrangement is becoming increasingly popular with stylists who don’t want the bother or overhead expense of running a business, Hegel said.
Although the holidays tend to be the busiest times for hair salons, they said weddings and reunions have kept a steady flow of customers coming in this summer.
“Some clients are looking for simple styles that will work well for outdoor activities, like going to the beach,” Hegel said.
The menu of services include cuts, color, waxing and manicures, along with such trendy items as eyelash and eyebrow tinting.
Aimed at the younger set, princess parties can also be arranged, where girls can get beauty makeovers.
Despite that attention to the female side, the women said about half of their customers are men.
“You would be surprised how many guys pay attention to how their hair looks. It is a fact that when you get a haircut, it affects how you feel about yourself,” Cottrell said.
In addition to the expected haircuts, men also come in for manicures and beard or mustache trimming, as well as straight razor cuts.
“We find that guys like being pampered,” Hegel said.
Image Information: THE OWNERS OF The Silver Door Salon, Nicole Cottrell (front) and Stacy Hegel have added their own touches to a Port Washington building on East Jackson Street that has been home to hairdressers for decades. Photo by Mark Jaeger