On the Road: Panache Salon + Spa, Bowling Green, Ky.

Salons of this caliber generally are months, if not years, in the making.  Panache Salon+Spa was created in eight days!

<p>The rich decor of the boutique area and waiting room fits nicely in this trendy area.</p>

Salons of this caliber generally are months, if not years, in the making. Panache Salon+Spa was created in eight days! That includes every renovation from tearing down walls and reconfiguring new ones, rewiring the electric, adding plumbing, redoing floors, painting, and gathering furnishings — plus passing all inspections. The urgency came when the members of a top Bowling Green salon walked out of their longtime place of employment, with stylist Kristie Hunt taking the leap as co-owner of this newly formed salon. Together with her business partner (a client who happened to be an interior decorator), they opened this most thoroughly upscale salon in April 2006.

<p>This is a view of the manicure room, with the private pedicure room beyond the drapes at the right.</p>

With eight stylists (one also offers esthetics services), two nail techs, two massage therapists, one front desk coordinator, and a manager, Panache soon outgrew its original space. In August 2006, the salon expanded into a vacant space in the trendy Thoroughbred Square, a brick strip mall that houses several fashionable boutiques and restaurants. This enabled Panache to develop its spa atmosphere with larger nail care rooms, plus several body treatment rooms as well. Recently Kristie bought out her business partner, plus she celebrated 20 years as a stylist. The biggest challenge she faced was transitioning from booth renter to owner. As a booth renter, “When you step out the door on Friday, you’re finished,” remarked Kristie. “But as an owner you have to make sure the supplies are stocked, bills are paid, and that everyone’s happy.”

<p>I receive my pedicure from nail tech Dana Knight of Panache Salon+Spa.</p>

Upon my arrival I was greeted by nail tech Dana Knight, who just celebrated her one-year anniversary at Panache (and five years as a nail tech). While escorting me to the private nail area, affectionately referred to as “the cave,” Dana informed me that she’s no longer the sole nail tech at Panache since the recent arrival of Lana Stone. For my spa pedicure I chose a shimmery autumn color and quickly nestled into the warm pedi chair. Perhaps it was the heated neck wrap, the rich chocolate wall color, or a combination of both, but I gradually felt enveloped in a cozy, cocoon-like sensation. Using a homemade citrus scrub, Dana gave my feet and legs a thorough massage. “Combining the scrub with the lotion allows the tech to save time by eliminating a step,” explained Dana. When she finished my skin felt smooth and my toenails sparkled like brand new copper pennies.

<p>Salon owner Kristie Hunt shows off her 9-month-old daughter Karrington.</p>

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