Photographs: Sola by Lauren Stevens
We’re not just renting out a space,” says Holly Bobrow. “We give stylists so much more.” Holly is co-owner, with her husband, Rich, of Sola Salon Studios—and their most recent location just opened in Wilton. Across the country, there are over 300 Sola locations and more than 7,000 participating salon professionals. Each Sola location houses multiple salon/nail/beauty/wellness/spa businesses in the same building, with each studio operating independently. In Wilton, there are eighteen studios (in Westport, twenty-six). The pros set their own hours and prices, receive business support and get group insurance.
FREE TO FOCUS
“All of this helps free them up to focus on what they do best,” says Rich Bobrow. Sola provides high-end stylists the tools and support needed to launch and grow a new business.
“At our core, we believe in putting the beauty professional first, with one goal in mind-to set them up for success,” says Holly.
She adds that it’s a huge advantage for stylists and clients that their studio is available 24/7. “Here they can take care of emergencies for their clients,” says Rich, “because there are no business-hour restrictions.”
And stylists are able to keep 100 percent of their profits.
MAKE IT YOURS
Each space is fully enclosed, private, locks, and includes a styling chair, shampoo bowl, large mirrors, cabinets and fixtures and individual ventilation, among other amenities. There’s also shared resources, such as Wi-Fi, break room and onsite laundry.
Unlike Westport Sola Salon Studios, the Wilton location is on the second floor of a centrally located shopping building. Look up—the softly illuminated sign is above a jewelry store. Inside, the ceilings in the corridors are lined with rippled aluminum. Walking the hallway, you pass studio after studio; some suited to one user, others to two (such as master stylist and assistant). Each closes with a sliding glass door and most have lots of natural light. “Some stylists prefer privacy,” says Holly, so a few studios are window-free.
Studios can be retro-fitted to meet the needs of aestheticians, massage therapists, and other salon owners. They can bring in furniture, set the temperature, play music, paint the walls, add curtains. “They can create their own world,” says Holly.
Sola Salon serves as one-stop event prep: nails, makeup, hair.
Wilton River Park Shopping Center, 5 River Rd.; 495 Post Road East, Westport; solasalonstudios.com
The power of organic facial oils
“Not all face oils are created equal,” says Siobhan McKinley, owner of the natural-beauty shop with the Irish name, Orgánachs.
Many of the oils offered at her shop are wild-crafted (grown in nature without human intervention).
For example, “VOYA products contain certified organic wild, hand-harvested seaweed, which is 100 percent Irish from the wild Atlantic coast of Strandhill.”
One of Siobhan’s top VOYA product picks is Lazy Days Seaweed Bath, which detoxifies; treats cellulite, blood circulation and lymphatic system; soothes aches and pains; helps heal psoriasis and eczema; and hydrates skin, hair and nails.
Another winner is My Little Hero, which champions hand-harvested seaweed and Gold of Pleasure to treat dull skin.
VOYA’s face-and-body line is exclusive in Connecticut at Orgánachs, 15 Post Rd. W., Westport. More online at organachsfarmtoskin.com.
MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST
A few of Siobhan’s favorite botanicals:
ROSEHIP “Fruit and seed oil because it is an amazing skin brightener, deeply conditions skin, improves sun damage, and improves firmness and elasticity.”
GREEN TEA: “Combats free radicals and is a great antioxidant.”
GINGER “Stimulates circulation.”
CALENDULA “Soothes, calms and prevents sun-induced photo-aging.”