UNIVERSITY PARK -- Salon Lofts, a community where stylists, masseuses, nail and skin technicians all lease and operate their own loft-like spaces, is moving into an empty storefront next to Linksters Tap Room in the Shoppes at University Town Center.
The Ohio-based chain of upscale salons prides itself on personalized customer service, innovative design and state-of-the-art technology.
By logging onto salonlofts.com, potential clients can research stylists by viewing photos of their work, reading reviews and viewing a price list. After choosing a stylist or technician who meets their needs, clients can then book their services online without the hassle of reserving over the phone.
The website is powered by Open Chair, a program developed by the chain to help loft owners attract clients. The result is symbiotic. Clients feel confident in their selection of a stylist or spa technician and, in turn, loft owners naturally gain new business.
"We booked over 25,000 appointments last month and we're on track to book over $20 million worth of business this year," said CEO Daniel Sadd. "We do that with technology by helping stylists get new clients and then helping them manage their existing clientele and their business life."
With Open Chair, stylists are armed with a high-powered client relationship management tool that includes built-in marketing campaigns
and business coaching.
"We are now becoming known as the place to grow your business as opposed to the place to bring your business," Sadd said.
Hair stylist Kelly McGraw already leases a space at a Salon Lofts in Tampa and is planning to rent a second space at the University Park location.
"It's like having a mini salon of my own. I can decorate it like I want to and nobody bothers me," said McGraw, 26, adding that she loves having 24/7 access to her loft.
The 4,000-square-foot space will have room for about 30 lofts ranging from 100 to 175 square feet. Loft rental starts at $285 per week. The salon will open in late July, said Jennifer Thayer, Florida market manager.
The concept isn't new to the area. My Salon Suite, 5275 University Parkway, also offers private parcels for salon owners. Salon Lofts, however, brings a unique element with innovative technology and a more upscale design.
Salon Lofts has 50 locations and more than 1,200 stylists nationwide, including nine locations in the Tampa Bay area. The University Park salon will be the first in Manatee-Sarasota.
Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @sabrinarocco.