CREATIVE CUTS: “Our specialty is Vidal Sassoon precision cutting. All our stylists have trained in a Sassoon salon center. We are set apart by our precision cutting, manageability, and style.” Tere Villamil, owner of La Jolie Salon Spa, is proud of its longtime success as a premier salon in Princeton.
Creative cuts and color are key to La Jolie Salon Spa, along with facials and massages, and attentive personal service.
All this and more has made La Jolie one of Princeton’s premier salons for the past 30 years. In addition, it has recently been named one of the top 200 salons nationwide by Salon Today Magazine.
“Jolie was the first female owner of a business in downtown Princeton, and I am the third female owner of the salon,” reports Tere Villamil, who purchased La Jolie in 2010.
“I had been a client for many years, and had 20 years experience in the hair industry,” she continues. “I was in the marketing and advertising end, and had also established a successful day spa in Manalapan. It had always been my goal to have my own business. My father and grandfather had owned businesses in Cuba, where I was born, and they always urged me to establish my own business.”
Ms. Villamil could not be happier with her own turn of events. Mindful of La Jolie’s tradition and reputation, she has fully respected that, while building on it to create a modern, up-to-date, fashionable salon in all ways.
“I have a great relationship with all the manufacturers and artists,” she points out. “They come here to give demonstrations, and we have continual training and on-going education courses in the latest styling techniques and product advances. We have an in-house education team, directed by Laura Benson, and our stylists have training sessions all over, from New York to Miami to New Orleans and abroad. Our products, including L’ANZA and Aveda, contain the most organic and healing benefits for hair available.”
Vidal Sassoon precision cutting is a specialty at the salon, as is the latest in creative color. La Jolie’s stylists include specialists in both areas, and the salon’s “level” system also includes intern/apprentices, recently graduated from cosmetology school, who train for six months to a year in La Jolie’s specialized, challenging program.
Long hair, short hair, mid-length, classic bobs, pixie cuts, curly hair, straight hair, perms, relaxers — everything is popular today, says Ms. Villamil.
People also like easy maintenance, wearable styles. Cuts today are so versatile, they can provide texture and volume and various styles to offer the easiest care.
“We are also known for our ‘up-styles’, up-do’s for special events, weddings, and parties,” she adds. “We do hair and make-up for bridal parties, and other groups or individuals.”
La Jolie’s services are for all types of hair texture and ethnicity. As Ms. Villamil points out, “We have many multi-cultural guests with different hair texture.”
Color, of course, is a hugely important part of a salon’s business today. Certainly, it is a long way from the days when it was a means to cover gray (although that is still one function). But, now it is seasonal — season-to-season color! Many guests opt for a total change — brown to red, red to blonde, etc. Highlights are another popular way to add interest, and lowlights offer still another option.
“Color is very safe now,” Ms. Villamil reports, “and we use the highest quality products with the safest ingredients. We also have corrective color for people who may have had a problem with home color experiments. In addition, we have products to help thinning hair. Sometimes, people may be undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments that can affect their hair.”
Both with color and cutting, careful attention is paid to a client’s facial structure, skin tone, eye color, and life-style. It is all about the individual at La Jolie, and each guest is given personal attention and focus.
This is true when they have spa services as well. Facials, massages, body treatments, waxing, pedicures and manicures are all available, and the spa setting will soon undergo expansion to offer an even more appealing atmosphere.
“Our facials are especially popular,” says Ms. Villamil. “We do active facials and hydrating facials, and they are all skin-specific.”
A spa service is an excellent gift, she adds. With proms, Mother’s Day, and graduations coming up, a gift certificate is a welcome way to remember — and often introduce — someone to the benefits of a facial or massage.
A variety of gift packages, offering savings, is available. In addition, all services can be mixed and matched for a custom gift.
Prices include manicures from $14, cuts from $50, facials and massages from $85.
Ms. Villamil is delighted to have so many clients who have been fans of La Jolie over the years, as well as newcomers. They are all ages, including children, and 40 percent are men!
Loyalty and Dedication
She looks forward to continuing to build on La Jolie’s success. “I think we are set apart by our technology and the ingredients of the products we use, and of course, our stylists. Not only are they talented, but they seek ongoing advanced education, and they demonstrate great loyalty and dedication to the salon and our guests.
“I strongly believe in building employee morale. We do this in many ways. We have 36 employees, and we have a wonderful management team, including Emely Molina, our general manager.”
Ms. Villamil adds that she is happily anticipating the salon’s “re-do.” “We’ll be going green in every way — in products and decor. We will have a wonderful new look!”
What is not new is the salon’s prominent place in the Princeton downtown, and Ms. Villamil is a strong supporter of local businesses. “We have a great relationship with the local people in town, and I love the networking. I love our location downtown, and Princeton is a great place to be!”
Ms. Villamil also makes a point of giving back to the community by La Jolie’s support of area foundations and organizations, including the Princeton Public Library, Autism Speaks, and AIR Foundation, among others.
La Jolie is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday 11 to 8, Friday 10 to 7, Saturday 9 to 6, Sunday 11 to 5. (609) 924-1188. Website: www.lajoliesalonspa.com.