Management Practices

Ups and downs of building a salon

Megan Vickery | July 10, 2011 | 1:37 PM
Trials and Tribulations

Five salon and spa owners share the ups and downs of their recent build-outs.

 Ups and downs of building a salon
 Ups and downs of building a salon
 Ups and downs of building a salon
 Ups and downs of building a salon
Ups and downs of building a salon
Allison Burr
Mint Salon,
New York City

Bruno and
Miryana Juvan

Hotheads Salon and Tanning Spa, Boynton Beach, Florida

Arik Efros
Eva Scrivo Salon,
New York City

Alicia Knutson and Jessie Murry
Salon Level,
St. Paul, Minnesota

Nick Liston
Salon 1325,
Stockbridge, Georgia

What was the cost of the renovation/new build?

$109,000.  We took a normal office space on the eighth floor and turned it into a salon. 
Juvans: $525,000. Of that, $280,000 was spent on the salon and tanning equipment and $245,000 was spent on renovating the building.
Arik: About $2 million.
Alicia: $40,000.
Nick: Our new buildout cost approximately $150,000.

What was the length of construction time?
Allison: Two and a half months.
Juvans: Four months from start to open.
Arik: Seven months.
Alicia: It took five months to complete.
Nick: Two months.

Did you go over-budget?
Allison: Yes, but we were focused on the quality of craftsmanship and materials. We wanted to have the job finished the correct way.
Juvans: No, it took about one year of ideas, designing, planning and shopping to get exactly what we were looking for.
Arik: Yes.
Alicia: Yes.
Nick: No.

What was the biggest design headache?
Allison: Our challenge was integrating the multi-functional cabinets and keeping the design concept streamlined.
Juvans: We didn't have experience running a tanning salon and using the new tanning equipment.
Arik: At first we wanted to try incorporating the existing elements of the space, but we ended up gutting absolutely everything to achieve order and functionality.
Alicia: The hardest part was making every square foot of the small space functional.
Nick: Designing the reception/waiting area.

What is your favorite feature?
Allison: The space can transform from a fully functional salon to a loft-like event venue for Mint occasions or outside client use.
Juvans: The contemporary openness with accents of stainless steel and frosted glass, which allows guests to have a full viewing experience wherever they are in the salon.
Arik: The matching Venini chandeliers and the galley next to the front desk. It is a functional space saver.
Alicia: The custom-made cabinets for clients' purses, phones, keys and a beverage counter.
Nick: The stacked stone wall and canopy with infused lighting.

How did you introduce the new salon to your clients?
Allison: We put gift certificates in gift bags at high profile events and we sent our Mint Girl, a salon representative, onto the streets of NYC to hand out 20-percent-off vouchers.
Juvans: We transferred some of our stylists, with their existing clientele, from our sister salons to our new facility. We also promoted specials for our new state-of-the-art tanning salon.
Arik: We sent out mailers and e-mails, and notified clients when they came in for appointments at the old salon.
Alicia: We told our clients about it and sent postcards to all of them.
Nick: We held an open house.

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