Two veterans of the local hair salon enterprise have opened a new salon in Grand Island’s Railside District.
Angel “Hairdude” Alvarez and Karina Johnston opened AK Stylz at 411 W. Second St. In November. The pair had labored together at Jeffrey’s Salon and Spa for 5 years earlier than identifying to open their personal salon as companions.
Both are graduates of Joseph’s College of Cosmetology. Alvarez graduated from the Grand Island campus in 2003 and Johnston from the Kearney campus in 2005.
“I have usually had a passion for this,” Johnston said. “My third-grade trainer told me that sooner or later I possibly need to do hair. It simply sort of caught. I constantly did my hair after I changed into developing up.”
Alvarez is a 2000 graduate of Grand Island Senior High School, however unlike his companion, being a hairstylist wasn’t a lifetime aim.
“I attended Central Community College for some time and saw an industrial for Joseph’s that caught my eye,” Alvarez stated. “I were given in the back of a chair and starting working, and I located my niche. Fifteen years later, I actually have my own salon.”
In addition to the proprietors, Nikki Aguilar and Kelsey Scoggins work as stylists; additionally, they worked at Jeffery’s. Aguilar, a make-up professional, is a graduate of Xenon Academy in Grand Island. Scoggins works element time.
While they have almost 30 years of enjoying among them, Alvarez stated, neither he or Johnston had ever seriously entertained the idea of starting their personal salons.
“For me, I notion approximately beginning my own enterprise just within the closing 12 months because I certainly never desired that responsibility,” Johnston stated.
But fate intervened when they learned Jeffery’s was being sold.
Johnston stated her aunt from Columbus became in Grand Island and saw a ‘For Rent’ signal at their present region, which had formerly housed a marriage supply keep.
About 10 weeks later, they opened AK Stylz.
Both Alvarez and Johnston designed the shop and its layout. While they’ve 4 stations, Alvarez stated they have room to enlarge in the event that they determine to grow the business.
“We had a vision of what we wanted as soon as we determined to act on it,” he stated.
So some distance business has been right, as many longtime clients have observed the duo to their new shop.
AK Stylz is an all-season salon as they cut, fashion and color hair, provide perms, do waxes, and do formal and evening styles. They additionally work outdoor the salon for wedding ceremony events and unique events.
The salon consists of a complete line of Milk Shake hair and splendor merchandise. Alvarez is a consultant for the enterprise.
“We are an idea salon,” he stated. “Everything that we use on our guests will use Z1, that is a Milk Shake product.”
Johnston, who lives in Palmer, said to date, being an owner of a hair salon isn’t as horrific as the concept it would be.
“Coming from a booth hire salon, Angel and I had been business companions at Jeffery’s for the ultimate 3 years,” she stated. As companions there, they mixed assets to purchase supplies.
When beginning AK Stylz, Alvarez stated he received a whole lot of help from pals and family.
“And I could now not have selected some other person than Karina to do that with,” he said.
Attention to detail, developing a rapport with their clients and imparting them with their great professional recommendation is a critical a part of both Alvarez’s and Johnston’s success over the last 15 years. While they do receive stroll-ins, ninety-five percent of the business comes from repeat customers who have been with them for numerous years.
One lady on the salon stated Alvarez has been her stylist for 15 years, ever because she first had him do her hair at the Conestoga Mall.
“Almost everybody who sits in my chair leaves right here with or 3 appointments because they understand that if they don’t go away with an appointment, it can take them weeks or months to timetable another one with me,” he stated.
Alvarez’s area of expertise is hair coloring.
“One factor that makes Karina and I different from different stylists is that we are down-to-earth and we don’t sugar coat things,” he said. “We are going to be quite truthful. If we don’t experience the confidence that (a concept) will no longer end up exactly what (the customers) need, we can take their thoughts and our ideas and make it into something in which the purchaser can depart satisfied.”
And having the consumer happy and feeling precise approximately themselves and their stylist’s work isn’t always the only key to walking a hit salon but suits into their motto that “Transformation Starts Here.