The salon is comprised of 19 individual salon “studios,” each individually owned by a salon professional.
Q Salon Studios (Elmhurst, IL) “It’s the best of both worlds,” Jennifer Veremis says, explaining that working in a “salon suites” salon gives her the independence and financial opportunity of her owning her own business with the camaraderie and support offered by working in a salon with others. Veremis started Polished by Jennifer Nail Studio after reaching a fork in the road in her career. Trying to decide whether to open her own salon with a group of friends, she instead took a look at the blueprint for Q Salon Studios and decided it was right for her.
The salon is comprised of 19 individual salon “studios,” each individually owned by a salon professional. Opened two years ago, Q Salon Studios is the brainchild of Frank Quinn, a former sales manager for a beauty distributor who saw an opportunity in Elmhurst, Ill., an up-and-coming and trendy suburb west of Chicago. Q Salon is decorated as chic as any large full service salon, down to ambient lighting and exposed beams and air ducts. It also has a communal waiting area with bistro tables and a kitchen for salon owners and their clients.
The suites are 100 sq. ft. and come fully plumbed with a 3 pedestal sink or shampoo bowl, and most of the nail suites can hold a pedicure spa unit. Rent on the suites ranges from $900 a month for singles to $1,550 for doubles, and includes all utilities and a simple build-out. Salon owners do have to pay for their own phone lines, if they choose to have one. Veremis says her business is good enough that she covers her overhead in a little over a good week.
The space is adequate to allow storage, a modest retail area, and a decor that expresses the personality of the individual (although Quinn asks that certain standards be upheld to keep a consistent and upscale image to the overall salon). Veremis’ own style is a cross between old Hollywood and modern Victorian. She changes her suite decor at least four times a year, favoring seasonal displays that freshen the experience not only for the client, but for her as well.
Besides camaraderie, salon owners have been known to pitch in on advertising, help out with each other’s receptionist duties since there’s not a full-time greeter, and even share walk-ins and refer customers to other techs in the salon. Because they are “owners,” each tech or hairstylist makes her own hours, menus, and product choices. They secure their own suites but also have access to the building so they can determine any hours they see fit. The salon also offers marketing support with an attractive website.
The small size is a physical constriction only. Veremis thinks like a big salon owner, constantly sourcing new, unique products (in fact, she favors an off-brand polish as her primary selection, and searches the Internet for body and skin care products that can’t be readily found in most salons). She stays on top of what the celebs are wearing, which she says determines what her clients will be asking for.