Salon Tour: Clary Sage Salon & Spa

Elizabeth Jakaitis | November 25, 2014 | 11:47 AM
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Clary Sage Salon & Spa
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Owner: Vicki and Louis Marino
Established: 2013
Total design investment: $178,520
Square footage: 1,827
Styling stations: 5
Spa treatment rooms: 3
Manicure/Pedicure stations: 4
Retail: Clary
Color line: Affinaqe Salon Professional
Designer: Teresa Knox
Furniture/equipment manufacturer: Veeco Manufacturing
Architect: CEI Construction
Photographer: Brooke Lehman
Overall style: refined, fast, casual


1. List your three favorite features of your salon/spa design and explain why.
"1) Aesthetics:  Beautiful, modern custom art on the walls that bring out the colors of the product labels, beautiful porcelain flooring and textured wall covering emulating pearl-like finishes. This light-colored palette has created a ripe canvas to highlight the gorgeous custom-designed furniture, colorful retail products, and gorgeous technicians.  

2) Design Layout:  Although initial reactions to the salon always focus on "beauty and open," a retail- focused layout introduces clients to the product line, stimulating sales in six distinct touch points (reception, seating, sensory station, between stations, shampoo bowl, reflections). Finally, hidden storage areas and a unique ergonomic design insure that all space and furniture is utilized to reduce waste and increase profitability.

3) Conducive to increased average ticket prices: Value added services are provided to 100% of the clients and the furniture increases the ease of such offerings. Retail desk is efficient, with comfortable stations insuring efficiency for coordinators, appointment setting, and and client management."

2. What was the biggest challenge about this salon or spa design, and how did you overcome it?
"After installing the custom nail carts, the city (not cosmetology board) licensing inspectors stated that a special (and ugly) exhaust system had to be installed for manicures.  Since the Clary Sage Salon & Spa philosophy promotes healthy and natural nails (artificial nails are not offered on menu), the elaborate system the city wanted created frustration. Not only would this exhaust increase cost and be an eye-sore, but with the emphasis on aroma of the Clary line of products, we were concerned that relaxing fragrance used in products and treatments would be extracted from the salon space. The furniture designer, engineer, and manufacturer teamed up on a solution that included a nifty exhaust system built into the beautiful manicure carts.  The sleek design did not compromise the beauty or use of the cart and satisfied the picky inspector."

3. Who is your target market and how did you design this salon to attract that market?
"The target market is busy working professionals, including active parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and executives.  The salon attracts those that value time as their primary commodity. The ergonomic layout of the salon and ease of use of the custom equipment fosters an efficient experience without compromising quality or value.  Furthermore, the aesthetics of the fabrics, wood-grain, flooring, and art creates a harmonious environment.  Although our clients are short on time, the time is maximized in a pleasant fashion."

4. Which specific elements of your salon design were planned to enhance productivity and profitability?
"Retail 'art' was created that is located on the wall between styling stations.  In lieu of a poster promoting the products, actual product is the design element.  This 'art' also lends itself for routine rotation for holiday, special promotions, and new product offerings. This sight marketing inspires client focused product engagement.

Also, benches were created down the center of the salon that incorporate product shelving.  These products are highlighted not only in the mirror reflection for the client (a third visual touch point), but for guests that accompany clients or for waiting guests.

A 'try me' bar was created near the front entrance that the salon refers to as a 'Sensory Station.'  This creates a fun and engaging area in which guests have an opportunity to touch, smell, mix (aromatherapy opportunities), and play with the product line.

Square footage was maximized in order to use the most number of technicians without feeling crowded.

An efficient dispensary features an element borrowed from the dental profession through shelving, racks, dental trays, and space planning that not only reduces set up times, but emphasizes sterilization systems and aseptic techniques."   

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