A New Salon Experience Available in Vienna

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a creative approach to meeting everyday demands, desires, and needs. Enter Brian and Emily Allman, who, via The Suites on Grand Central, are reimagining the local salon experience.

“Brian and I purchased Dr. Azar’s former office, and my State Farm agency also is in the building,” Emily said. “We wanted to bring a new business everyone in the Mid-Ohio Valley could benefit from. And, due to salons being forced to close and a need for social distancing, we saw an opportunity to create a modern, unique salon experience that allows for client privacy and safety within separate, large rooms for each salon professional.”

The building features eight suites. Currently, three cosmetologists and one esthetician are open and operating on site, with another cosmetologist set to join the team this month. The Allmans are seeking a barber, a massage therapist, and a nail technician, as clients have requested these services.

By providing increased privacy within the individual suites, the clients felt more comfortable speaking openly with their salon professional.

“We realized by providing increased privacy within the individual suites, the clients felt more comfortable speaking openly with their salon professionals,” Emily said. “For example, they can discuss hair-loss or other health issues without adjoining clients being able to overhear. Many have commented about the peace of mind and relaxed atmosphere the suite-style environment provides.”

“We pride ourselves on amenities, cleanliness, and professionalism, and we are an ADA-compliant facility. And, in addition, each lady has decorated her suite to fit her style, and it really is awesome to see the individual personalities shine through.”

The name, The Suites on Grand Central, is a nod to private rooms in the salon industry. “Those rooms are referred to as suites,” Emily said. “Plus, hotel suites are known for having more amenities than traditional rooms, and that is exactly what The Suites on Grand Central provides. Including Grand Central in the name was intended to make The Suites accessible and easy for potential clients to find.”

Kendra Shope of Beauty by Kendra is one of the cosmetologists offering services to customers at The Suites. Shope, a graduate of Paul Mitchell the School in Lexington, Kentucky, and a certified eyelash extension artist, moved to the Mid-Ohio Valley in October 2020, and her business has since flourished.

“In the process of relocating from Kentucky to Ohio, I had to transfer my car insurance,” Shope said. “The stars just aligned when I received a call from Emily Allman’s State Farm office. They had received my information from a State Farm office in Lexington and noticed my email was ‘beautybykendrarayann.’”

“The agent mentioned Emily was in a new building, and she and her husband were adding salon suites behind her office. It immediately sparked my interest!”

When Shope visited The Suites for the first time, it was only at the studs. “The rooms were outlined, and the walls were going to be put up the following week,” Shope said. “Emily was incredibly kind and easy to talk to, and she shared her dream and vision of bringing something new and special to the area.”

“That same day, I gave her my commitment to The Suites and picked out suite number one because it was large enough to accommodate my lash chair and all of my hair supplies,” Shope said. “The room was perfect!”

In the months that followed, Shope prepared to launch a new business in an area completely foreign to her. “I officially opened my suite the second week of June, and the support from Emily and the community has been amazing,” she said. “It takes a lot of commitment and courage to start a business; the idea is scary. But, I put all of my heart into what I do every day in hopes of my own dream blowing up into something amazing.”

Most people enjoy their time in my chair, as it may be the only quiet time they get in a day or week.

“I love art and history, and I love to explore, so visiting new-to-me places in the area has made me fall head over heels for it,” Shope said. “The Blennerhassett Hotel is gorgeous, the boutiques in Marietta are adorable, Scoops in St. Mary’s is delicious, and I love the closeness to Athens. I cannot wait to visit more new places, especially during spooky season, and I just enjoy all the opportunities to meet so many new people.”

Shope agrees the suite concept allows her clients peace of mind and peace in general. “When I have lash clients in my chair, the door is closed, and their favorite music or podcast plays in the background to make the overall experience as relaxing as possible,” she said. Most people enjoy their time in my chair, as it may be the only quiet time they get in a day or week. Some even take what we call a ‘lash nap.’”

Shope says lash extensions truly have taken off since she opened this summer. “Lashes are amazing,” she said. “It’s so nice to be able to wake up and go. The clients love the look and the convenience.

“I have a portfolio and booking site that make it super easy to choose the service you want and to book the days and times that work for you,” Shope said. I offer classic, hybrid, volume, and mega volume sets and fills, and as for hair, I offer all color services and specialize in lived-in color. I hope to offer extensions soon, but right now, my heart and soul are in making lashes beautiful and educating myself on all the color services I can!”

To book with Beauty by Kendra, visit her Facebook page or her website or call (740) 464-4422.

The Suites are managed by cosmetologist Esther Stalnaker of Adventurous Creations. Stalnaker has worked in the industry for 26 years and provides haircuts to male and female clients as well as color services including bayalage, foiling, and ombre. Amayah Lauer of Studio 21 joined The Suites this fall and specializes in blonding and extensions, and Lisa Jett, a licensed esthetician, offers brow and lash services, facials, and waxing in her suite, Blush Skin Spa.

The Allmans had planned a Grand Opening Celebration for this fall but have decided to postpone because of increased COVID-19 numbers throughout the area. “I’m not sure now is the best time,” Emily said. “We want as many people to attend as possible but under safe conditions.”

The Suites on Grand Central are located at 1801 Grand Central Avenue, Vienna. For information related to securing an available suite, send a direct message to The Suites Facebook page.