Gene Juarez Salons & Spas
Owner: Evergreen Pacific Partners, LLC
Salon style: Pacific Northwest loft
Square footage: 16,578
Treatment rooms: 10
Manicure stations: 4
Pedicure stations: 6
Total design investment: $4,200,000
Retail lines: Kerastase, Oribe, Bumble & Bumble
Color line: Goldwell
Design by: Susie Burrows Construction
Architects: SKB Architects
Photographers: Miguel Gaona and Amanda Smith
An intelligent design and well-trained team create a journey of experiences for guests at the new flagship location for Gene Juarez Salons and Spas.
In the affluent Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington, the new salon and spa is nestled in The Bravern, an urban mixed-use development that houses apartments and condominiums for 900 residents, a Lifetime Fitness and high-end retailers such as Hermés, Louis Vuitton and Prada, as well as multiple Microsoft office buildings.
Located less than half a mile away from the salon company’s former flagship location, the new site is 9,000-square-feet smaller with five more stations—a space luxuriously maximized for efficiency, which promises to add to its profitability.
“We are in the process of revitalizing the Gene Juarez brand, and my edict to the team was to create a space that was meaningful to all age groups and accessible by any clients who prioritize beauty and wellness,” says President Scott Missad.
Gene Juarez VP of Facilities Susie Burrows created that all-around appeal through a design she calls New York-Loft-meets-the-Pacific-Northwest.
“With the numerous windows and the concrete floors, it has the rawness of a loft, but with refined elements and warmth brought through furnishings, paint, and tile,” she says. “As a result it’s a warm, very clean space that is casual but approachable.”
The reception area is outfitted in rich furnishings in blues, greens and yellows that are reminiscent of a high-end hotel.
Throughout the salon, each area is designed to deliver an experience within the salon in order to transport the guest on a visual and sensory journey.
The shampoo oasis is enclosed in glass to close out the sounds of the salon, and the subdued music and lighting encourage relaxation. Hot-towel cabbies hold eye pillows and neck rolls that comfort guests as they take in the serene forest scene that glows on huge panels in front of them.
“The ceiling here is purposely lowered to cocoon our guests, and two Maletti massage beds stand at the ready to accompany scalp treatments,” Burrows says.
Gene Juarez’s color partner Goldwell played a large role in designing the color bar. Developers feed right through the countertop into the bowls, helping keep the space uncluttered. Clients perch on the front of the counter and watch the color magic happen. The communal tables encourage the guests who are processing to work on their computers, read a magazine or talk to one another. Many team members have obtained their liquor licenses, so clients enjoy wine while they process.
“Our color bar is a main focus in the salon area, and it displays the complexity of what it takes to deliver great hair color,” Missad adds.
The men’s salon, which has a separate entrance, welcomes gents with a masculine emerald green tile, beer on tap, thick leather couches, barber chairs and sinks at each of the 10 stations, which enables the barbers to easily perform full shaves.
On the salon floor, color stations are intermixed with styling stations instead of being departmentalized.
“We did that at the suggestion of the staff, and its resulted in a big uptick in color sales,” Missad says.
In the retail area, Burrows went with simple, white laminate shelving so the products are in the spotlight. Lots of signage and experiential tables encourage guests to sample the products.
“In the near future, the retail area will be interactive,” Missad says. “When a client picks up a product, a storyboard about it will appear on the screen integrated into the retail space.”
In the former Gene Juarez space, there was a separate front desk for the spa and the salon areas. “It was inefficient, and guests were frequently confused about where to check in,” Missad says. “We consolidated to one front desk.”
Soon, beacons thoughout the reception will automatically check in guests whose phones carry the Gene Juarez app. Self check-in and mobile check-out will take the pressure off the front desk, and guests will be able to upgrade their service, add retail to their ticket and check out right at the styling station.
“The beacons also will allow us to track clients when they are in the salon—with 17,000 square feet of space, you can lose them,” Missad laughs.
All in all, though, Missad feels it’s his team that makes the space. “A salon is made up of people. The space is gorgeous, but I am more proud of our people, of how they have moved in and made the space their own,” he says.