Identifying a need within a small community is a smart way to start a new business, and that’s what three entrepreneurs have done in the past few weeks.
Business partners Billie-Jo Hamilton and Katie Fontaine recently opened the door to Blush and Company at 5423 Portage Ave. in Headingley. Their esthetics service includes LCN nails for manicures and pedicures, airbrush tanning, body sugaring, ear and nose piercing, massage therapy and teeth whitening.
Angie Novak began running ColorZ Hair Salon out of a specially-designed salon in her new home at 13 Carrier Cres. in Elie. She offers hair styling for all ages, and colouring using Paul Mitchell products.
The three women are experienced business owners, with Hamilton helping to run a family-owned salon in Gladstone, Fontaine owning Blush salon in Winnipeg, and Novak operating a salon in her former home near Argyle for 11 years.
Situated in a small strip mall next to the TransCanada Highway, Hamilton and Fontaine believe they’ve found an ideal location.
"We love the area because it’s just outside the city," said Hamilton. It’s also located approximately halfway between her home in St. Francois Xavier and Fontaine’s in Winnipeg.
At this time, theirs is the only salon of this type in Headingley, and the partners believe local residents will appreciate not having to drive into the city for the services they offer.
They met when working as educators for LCN Nails. Hamilton said they soon began talking about opening a salon together and were pleased to find the space in Headingley.
While the partners renovated their space, Novak designed hers. She jokes that the new house she, husband Brian and their 11-year-old son recently moved into was built around her salon. With a separate entrance, it contains all of her equipment and products.
One of its special features is what she calls a ‘colour bar’ where she mixes custom colours for her clients and explains the choices she’s making.
"I like customizing my colour for everybody," she said.
Novak also works on the Paul Mitchell education team at hair shows and demonstrates the company’s products. "I’m always on top of the trends."
The entrepreneurs are pleased with the response they’ve received from other business owners and residents in the Headingley and Elie areas. Some of their loyal customers have followed them to their new locations as well.
Novak is holding a grand opening from May 21 to 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Clients are asked to call 204-353-2092 for an appointment.
Blush and Company can be reached at 204-505-0741.