Over the winter, quite a few Wellesley residents have peeked into the windows of a new business in the village. The view shows them the cool olive walls with creamy light fixtures of Stephanie Nafziger’s Salon W.
The salon has been operating for almost three months since its opening on November 9, and Nafziger already has a list of loyal clients.
Working and living in Milverton, she divided her time between a part-time gig at a local salon and her own part-time business she ran out of her basement. When she decided to make the move, her customers followed.
“It’s been good. Wellesley is responding quite nicely and I have a lot of my clients from Milverton and they all came over with me,” she said on Tuesday at the salon.
After attending the Festival School of Hairstyling in Stratford, Nafziger completed an apprenticeship at the city’s La Debonair salon. From there she moved on to a job at Grotto Hair Studio.
Today, she has a full-time business on her hands, after outgrowing a home run operation. The move fits with her ambitions in her chosen field.
“I’d worked at a couple of different salons and I think at that point I knew what I liked and I knew what I wanted. I feel that I have been quite driven since the beginning and I was ready to do it on my own,” she explained.
Salon W offers a full range of hair services, including cuts, colours, styling, and perms for women, men and children.
Every customer that sinks into one of Nafziger’s black leather swivel chairs is also treated to a complimentary scalp massage, something she says has become quite popular with her clients.
“The scalp treatment is definitely a nice treat for everyone.”
Making clients feel special is one of the things Nafziger strives for by giving clients what they want but also offering suggestions for things that are new and different. After a haircut she will often style hair in an original and different way, something they might not do on a regular basis.
“I notice they enjoy having that special style at the end,” she says.
Nafziger can identify with her clients, as she has always loved that just-out-of-the-chair feeling.
“When I get my hair done I feel better, I look better, and I love giving that feeling to other people. I think whenever I’d done a good job on someone’s hair or my hair and got compliments on it, that’s what kind of made me feel that maybe this is something that I should be doing.”
So far Nafziger plays stylist, owner and receptionist at her salon; a co-op student, Kelsey Heffele, comes in to help with various daily tasks. As the salon expands she hopes to start hiring other hairstylists and would not object to collaborating and sharing the space with another business owner with a different set of skills.
As for her own talents, Nafziger is always learning. She partners with L’Oreal Paris by purchasing a full line of products from the company. In return L’Oreal provides her with a business representative who keeps Nafziger up to date on beauty classes, events and trends, and an educator that can come in and teach new techniques and familiarize her with new products.
“Since I take hair so seriously I felt like doing other people’s hair weighs on me heavily. I must do a good job. It’s quite a hard road, it’s just something that you’re always educating yourself on and you always are striving to do better,” she said.
Currently she is putting the finishing touches on her new space and teaching Heffele various techniques like the well-liked scalp treatments. She is also teaching the young student how to set hair for weddings in preparation for five wedding parties that have already booked appointments with the salon.
Salon W is located on 3706 Nafziger Rd. in Wellesley Village. For information, updates and deals check out the Salon W Facebook page.