STAMFORD, Conn. — Not many businesses — family-owned at that — can lay claim to being in Stamford 57 years. But La Jolie Salon, Color Bar, Spa has that distinction. Not only that, the salon has also tripled its staff and tripled its sales since 2000.
Cheryl Van Voorhies and Toni Ann Lupinacci-McClenny, the two sisters who own it, credit their success to hard work, collaboration and a passion for their profession. The two — Van Voorhies lives in Stamford while Lupinacci-McClenny resides in Redding — have worked in the business since the 1980s. But they learned early on from their dad, the salon's original founder.
Anthony Lupinacci started La Jolie Femme in Greenwich, later moving it to its current Summer Street location in 1983. When he retired in 2000, the two women -- Van Voorhies is a master stylist and colorist while Lupinacci-McClenny is a licensed massage therapist — took over.
The two hired a business coach who helped them with marketing, staff management, expenses, implementing systems and more — and the growth soon followed. So much so that the salon outgrew its second-floor space, expanding to the first floor in March 2016.
Lupinacci-McClenny said the bilevel move, which doubled their square footage, was a big leap of faith. "We went from 1,800 square feet to 3,600 square feet," she said. "And went from eight hair stations to 20."
A commitment to customer service, she said, is key, and the secret sauce to the salon's success. "We are a warm and welcoming salon who works as a team and enjoys getting to know all of our clients," she said.
"Our entire staff goes above and beyond for our clients because without them we would not exist."
Education is a big component, too. "We never stop learning," she said.
She and her sister also feel strongly about supporting the community and do a host of local events.
They do haircuts for free for Locks of Love , a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada, and also participate in Hairraising.org . which benefits Boston Children’s Hospital Heart Center.
Last year was their first time the salon participated; this year they are making the event (set for Sunday, May 21) more extravagant by offering face painting, professional photography, haircuts, blow drys and raffle tickets.
Also new for 2017: complimentary haircuts at the Pacific House men’s homeless shelter in Stamford. And there are plans to visit the women’s shelter as well.
Said Lupinacci-McClenny: "This is our craft and if we can give back by doing what we love then we’re all in."
La Jolie Salon, Color Bar, Spa is at 388 Summer St., (203)-327-4102, www. lajoliesalonandspa.com .