By Tracey Porpora Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Are you a beauty entrepreneur ready to launch? For make up artists and hairstylists in Staten Island it has never been easier. Recently opened "Sola Salons" provides "move-in-ready studios" that allow beauty professionals to launch their own business.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
Walking through the halls of the new Sola Salon Studios is a beauty-lover's dream.
Visitors get a glimpse inside 29 studios -- all distinct with individual designs and appealing decor -- spread over a 5,000-square-foot space in Port Richmond's Forest Avenue Shoppers Town.
Services offered include: hair cuts and coloring; lash extensions; facials, and eyebrow-threading. In addition, customers can pick up the hottest new beauty products, and even get their teeth whitened and straightened -- all under one roof.
It's like a mall for just beauty businesses.
The Staten Island location of the franchise is headed up by Tina Marcopoulos, operations manager for D&M Salon Studios NY LLC, who said the concept is a great opportunity for people, especially women, to own their own business, without a lot of overhead costs.
"Sola gives entrepreneurs in the beauty industry the opportunity to realize their dreams and start their own business with very little startup cost and very little risk. Sola provides a new path for their career that wasn't available before," said Marcopoulos, noting Sola Salon Studios made its debut on Staten Island earlier this month.
"Everyone has designed their own space their own way. I really enjoyed watching everyone design their studio as a reflection of who they are, and the environment they want to create for their clients," she added.
One of the main reasons for getting involved with the franchise was to help female entrepreneurs realize their dream.
"A huge percentage of the people in the beauty industry are women. Sola helps empower women ... to maximize their income ... and to create the life that they envision for themselves. With 24/7 access to their studio, each business owner can truly control their schedule. They can juggle their family life, and still run their business," she added.
The wide range of beauty professionals housed at Sola Salons are all independent operators. The parent organization touts itself as providing "move-in-ready studios" that allow beauty professionals to launch their own business.
"We have some former salon owners who got tired of maintaining their location and dealing with employees. So it's a much simpler life for them here," said Marcopoulos. "We take care of everything. All they have to do is run their business."
ABOUT THE LOCAL FRANCHISE Owned by the Doherty Family, D&M Salon Studios NY LLC is headed up by Edward Doherty, said Marcopoulos.
It's the local franchisee that also owns and operates Panera Breads on Staten Island, said Marcopoulos.
"They have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years and own approximately 150 restaurants across four states. Five are franchise concepts and two are proprietary concepts that they've developed," she noted.
Having been a stay-at-home mother for many years, Marcopoulos said she signed on to help launch the concept when she was looking for a new challenge after raising her kids.
"When my kids all went off to college and became independent adults, they didn't need me anymore. So I looked around for something I could sink my teeth into," she said.
"It's really personally gratifying for me to help people, and give these professionals opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have," said Marcopoulos.
BUSINESSES AT SOLA SALON STUDIOS
Hair and Makeup: --Waves by Mel Hasson, Melanie Hasson --Shelly & Bee's House of Beauty, Bianca Cusumano and Michelle Tosto --Mixology Salon, Lene' C --Painter & Mane Hair Studio, Lisa Meshel --Tangled At Six, Andrea DiFalco --Jodi on Mane, Jodi Cali --The Vanity by Angelina, Angelina Cutolo --Sole Angels, Elaine --Amanda Leigh Beauty, Amanda Rollo --Salon K Hair Spa, Kimberly Smith --Pretty and Painted, Jennifer Rocco Alzate and Dominique Scotto --Toscanini Hair, Daniella Toscanini --Wild Glam, Nia-Simone Wilds --Lauren Cicero Hair, Lauren Cicero --Nicole Cannilla Professional Hair, Nicole Cannilla Ortolano and Nevin Hanna
Estheticians: --Facials by Dominique, Dominique Malandro --Clean Slate Beauty Bar, Jessica Rodriguez --Keep It Current, Charlene Arroyo
Microblading, Permanent Makeup, Threading, Eyelash Extensions: --Studio 4, Annie Pena --Aysha EyeBrow Studio, Aysha Malimage --Texas Nail Jewelers, Alana Kemp --Knot Just Hair, Rachel Scalici --Brows & Beauty by Tara Leigh, Tara Bergen --Flawless Micro NY, Mary Arenas
Other Services: --Want Hair Beauty Supply Distributor --Smile Direct Club
SOLA SALONS AT A GLANCE Address: 1553 Forest Ave., Port Richmond Website: https://www.solasalonstudios.com/ Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SolaStatenIsland/