It all started that day my boss asked me to come and stand next to her while she worked on her new client, a client that she thought would be difficult. To me it was an instant connection – we talked and talked the whole time while my boss worked on her hair. When her hair was done the client told me to follow her to a location where I was to do something for the salon I was working at. She wrote down her cell phone number and told me to call her if I got lost at any point. I still have that paper with her number. That client who fast became my best friend is my business partner, Monica.
After months of blowing Monica’s hair out weekly and coloring her roots biweekly – and all the jokes of us going into business together – we finally realized that we really weren’t joking! We realized that it would be a good thing and that we could have a new place to call home. We decided to do it, to go into business together, to create the salon of our dreams.
We found our location right away because it was a spot I had fallen in love with when it was being built and said “if I ever open a salon” that’s where I want it to be. Monica also fell in love with the location and now it was time to tell my talented coworkers – who were by now my family – that I would be leaving them in a few months, and that they all could have a new home if that’s where they want to be. To my surprise, all of my coworkers wanted to come work with me at JMS. I was delighted and touched at their vote of confidence. Plans were moving forward – it was now time to break ground so you can imagine my fright! We had to do it right – Monica and I always said go big or go home and to me as a new business owner and now taking on responsibility for a whole staff outside of myself, I couldn’t sleep for weeks..
But go big we did! Everything from the custom milk glass marble tile in the bathroom to the ultra fancy faucet in our staff/mixing room, was going to be over-the-top sexy and glamorous. I fought with Monica on the styling chairs – she wanted black, I wanted white. She said white would show the dirt. I won, but ultimately she won because she was right – we changed them over from white to black on our second year anniversary.
Things moved so fast for us! Our front desk and all of our shelving units were custom built, tile was arriving, and all of the salon equipment was coming in from Italy. Our shampoo chairs were originally two reclining massage chairs but after just a few days of JMS being open we knew we needed to order one more, so we had a shampoo bench built in the same style which now would accommodate three clients at a time.
Our lighting was custom made for JMS to give off natural light – so important when you are creating beautiful color and highlights. Monica and I drove upstate to the factory ourselves to pick up our lights to expedite installation. We were packed in a rental truck with high-hats and hardly any room to turn our heads.But when the lights were installed it was like the lord said “let there be light”.
Next up were the awnings – “JULIUS MICHAEL SCARSDALE HAIR SALON” – they went up on a Friday and I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was such an emotional, happy feeling. I shared it with one of our stylists and I remember looking at her and seeing tears in her eyes too. We were saying goodbye to our past and hello to the future – the future of JMS. The following week we’d open our door to the world.
So on Tuesday May 24th 2011 we turned on the first blow dryer and did our first shampoo and from that day on its been a wonderful, happy experience with our fabulous staff, amazing clients, and new lessons everyday.