Better BusinessDecember 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
First settled by Europeans in 1668, Abington, MA, is a town 20 miles southeast of Boston that's famous for providing footwear for the Union Army during the Civil War. It's also home to Studio 23 hair salon.
In 2002, Gayle Cronin received a gift from Lorraine Benton, who owned the salon Cronin worked for. Benton, who had decided to retire, gave her salon to Cronin, complete with the furniture, supplies and some valuable advice. Since then, Cronin has owned and operated the salon, renamed Studio 23, which she considers a family-friendly business. "It's a place where women, men and children can come to get their hair done," Cronin says. In addition to providing a playroom for kids, Cronin keeps the salon's prices affordable so that people are able to return. "I want to keep our clients' hair looking its best, and hopefully they'll tell people that I do their hair," she says.
Word-of-mouth referrals have been one of the main factors responsible for the salon's excellent growth rate. Recently, the salon saw 33 new clients in just three weeks, which is an impressive number compared to many other salons in the area. The salon, which features neutral-colored walls with white trim and a back room with a color bar, is located in Cronin's house so that she can raise her son while simultaneously running her business. "There are so many women who have to choose between their work and their family," Cronin says. "I wanted both, so that's why I moved my business into my new house."
In addition to Cronin, the salon has two other stylists who are both encouraged to continue their education to keep up with the trends. From chemical services, color, foils and highlights to manicures, pedicures and paraffin waxing, the salon offers something for everyone.
Keeping the salon's great reputation in town is one of Cronin's main objectives. "Word of mouth is very important to us," she says. "We've moved twice in a five-year period and we're still as successful as we've ever been. I think that really says a lot about my business." —NICOLE PALMIERI