Big Fish, Small PondOctober 1, 2008 By: Nicole Palmieri American Salon
In every small town across America, there's at least one salon that raises the bar for everyone else. Oak Park, IL, (population 52,584) has Victoria Salon.
The birthplace of several notable figures, such as writer Ernest Hemingway, actor Bob Newhart and McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, Oak Park, IL, is a suburb of Chicago known for its historical homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and its growing arts and culture scene. Known around the town for its art of hair is Victoria Salon.
For years, hairstylist Victoria Rau dreamed about opening her own salon. Last year her dream finally came true, thanks in part to her husband, Don Rau, who worked as the architect and interior designer for the 1,000-square-foot salon. Offering a variety of hair and waxing services, the salon gained instant popularity when co-owner and local actor Frank Platis started performing little musical numbers and comedy skits to entertain clients as they received services.
Mood and atmosphere are key elements of the salon, Rau says. The warm earth tones and muted pastels seen around the salon were inspired by a portrait of pop icon Madonna, which hangs in the reception area, and an eclectic sound track of oldies, pop, rock 'n' roll and disco keeps the atmosphere upbeat. The salon's clients are treated to top-notch services, many of which incorporate Mastic Spa products from Greece, as well as complimentary soft drinks, water, gourmet coffee, green tea and homemade Greek cookies. "We want to make all clients feel beautiful both on the outside and within," Rau says.
Employees are dedicated to providing outstanding customer service and to making every client feel special by taking a genuine interest in their families and careers. It's the stylists who keep clients coming back, according to Rau. "We are like a family here," Rau says. "The great thing about our staff is that one person's weakness is covered by another's strength. We all share our expertise to make the client's experience successful and enjoyable." —NICOLE PALMIERI
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