By Shannon Beamon, Staff Writer
Monday, February 3, 2014 —
After learning and working at salons in the Charlotte area for several years, Tatiana Garmon and Leslie Lancaster are bringing their skills back home.
At the start of the new year, they opened Luna Salon and Spa on Main Street in downtown Albemarle.
“Ever since I went to school at Aveda (an internationally recognized beauty institute), people at home would say, ‘Bring it here, bring it here,’ ” Garmon, senior stylist and Norwood native, said.
After having two daughters, she gave the idea more thought but it wasn’t until her brother had an accident that left him a paraplegic that she knew that was what she wanted to do.
“I wanted to be closer to home,” she said.
“I wanted to be closer to family.”
Lancaster, her brother’s girlfriend, had just finished her own training with Aveda and was working in Harrisburg at the time.
“I called her up and said, ‘I think we can do this. Do you think we can do this?’ She was all for it,” Garmon said.
They asked Mary Vette, Garmon’s cosmetologist mother, if she would do facials, waxing and other spa services at the shop as well.
“I always liked doing skin care more than anything else,” Vette said.
The tag team was complete.
“We loved the vintage atmosphere and all the businesses downtown so we settled on that,” Garmon said.
“We’re glad to be here and I think we have something unique to offer the area.”
Based on the Aveda system, Garmon said the Luna Salon and Spa is about more than just a haircut.
“It’s about an experience,” Garmon said.
When clients come in they are treated to a soda or cold beer. The shampooing chairs double as massagers. A complimentary hand or scalp massage is always in order. Blow drying and styling come with every haircut.
“If you want me to just wet your hair and cut it, I can do that,” Garmon said.
“But when hair dries, it shrinks up. Your part may not be right or something might be out of place. You have to go home and style it yourself.”
Garmon said she doesn’t want her clients to go through that.
“I want you to walk out of here feeling like a million bucks,” she said.
While their prices may be higher than some other places, Garmon said clients will get what they pay for.
“We use the Aveda product line, which is about as naturally derived as you can get,” she said.
About 98 percent of their product ingredients comes from natural sources.
“It’s also one of the only color lines that uses water and that’s what your hair really needs,” Garmon said.
Also, while the majority of hair colors are pre-mixed, their colors are mixed by hand in the salon for a customizable look.
“We keep a personal file on each client with their color formula, style and products so we can match or change things in the future,” Garmon said.
That kind of personal attention is another reason she’s glad to be back home.
“(At my old job) I had reached the point where I had so many clients that I couldn’t keep track of them,” she said.
While the constant rush was exciting and challenging, it wasn’t what she wanted.
“I did runway modeling, too, and I did like that, but it was a lot of the same thing. You didn’t really get to know people,” she said.
With her own salon she hopes to get back to that personal touch.
“Here, we’ll know you,” she said.
“We’ll remember that, hey, this shampoo irritates your skin or, oh yeah, you don’t like water on your neck,” she said.
To show their willingness to work with clients, Garmon, Lancaster and Vette chose not to post store hours on the door.
“We don’t want to limit when we’ll work with clients,” Garmon said.
“If someone wants to come in at 7, just give us a call ... people are busy and we want to be flexible with our schedule.”
Since she’s so close to home now, she said she can do that and still have plenty of time for her family.
“It’s been a great change for us,” Garmon said.
“I hope others can benefit from it, too.”
To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at email@example.com.