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The Yarn Stop: “Winding Up” Two Years of Commerce, Classes, Community Engagement – and Fun

The Yarn Stop: “Winding Up” Two Years of Commerce, Classes, Community Engagement – and Fun

Troy resident Susan Hendrie is knitting a sweater for a new baby in her family. A soft, cozy rainbow of muted reds, blues, and yellows, the project is almost completed.

“I needed a little help finishing it,” Hendrie says, “so I came here to a daily “Help Me” session at The Yarn Stop in Clawson, where I can have time, one-on-one, with a yarn project instructor.”

And as teacher Kelly Sprague and Hendrie work together at the large oak table in the front of the store in the picture-window’s pleasant, natural light, they chat, laugh and banter with owner Sam Gill, who is putting away a new shipment of fall yarns.

“This is a wonderful store!” Hendrie exclaims. “You feel very comfortable. Some yarn stores can be stuffy, with an air. It’s open and welcoming. You learn a lot from other knitters, too.”

“The instructors here are fabulous. So is the owner,” teases Hendrie, nodding in Gill’s direction. “These teachers can get you out of anything! You don’t need to be afraid. I come to The Yarn Stop so often that my phone created an icon, telling me how many minutes it will take me to get here,” she laughs.

“Drop-in ‘Help Me’ sessions are available every afternoon from 3-5 p.m. No appointment is necessary. The cost is six dollars for one hour, and we don’t care if your yarn was purchased here or not,” says Gill, who learned how to knit as a teen.

“I’d traveled to Belgium as part of ‘Up with People,’” Gill shares, “and my ‘host mom’ taught me to knit. I set it aside during college, but I picked it back up again about eighteen years ago – and now I’m here, running the most fun business I could imagine.”

A longtime, former administrative assistant with a large accounting firm, Gill wanted a change of career.

“I was fed up with the corporate world,” he says. “I heard about this store (formerly PK Yarnover) coming up for sale and came and talked to them about it. Six weeks later, my partner — Mike Brunck – and I owned it.”

“We took a very big leap off a very tall cliff,” Gill chuckles, “and after two years, we are doing remarkably well. In fact, we will now be open on Mondays, starting September 10. We hadn’t projected that for another year!”

He adds, “I’m very happy that we saved this store from closing. It would’ve been the fourth or fifth area yarn store to close within eighteen months.”

The Yarn Stop will be celebrating their two-year anniversary on Saturday, September 8, with contests, charity events, sales – and more.

“During the day,” says Gill, “We will have knitting and crocheting for charity on the sidewalk. We are having a sale, with double points on our loyalty program, and door prizes galore.”

There will also be ten-minute demonstrations including: how to wear a shawl, crafting for charity, and knitting German short rows (used for shaping sweater shoulders, for example).

“We will also have our famous dance breaks,” Gill smiles, “including ‘chair dancing.’”

“The business is serious to me, but the yarn is not,” says Gill. “Who can come into this store and not smile when they see all the colors and textures of yarn everywhere?”

“We laugh a lot and have community within the store. And, we’re actually helping our customers ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s by sharing an activity with a ‘hand-to-brain’ connection.”

There is plenty of published information about the health benefits of yarn crafts. In an article in Neurology, NYU professor Dr. James Galvin reported that cognitive impairment may be modifiable with activities that are sociable and…involve learning new tasks and skills – “like those we happily engage in here, every day,” exclaims Gill.

“We welcome people to enjoy our store and the yarn,” Gill says. “We have 100 percent wools and so many sumptuous blends: cashmere, llama, silk, linen, hemp, cotton. You can’t help but touch them, though we do request that you keep them away from your face.”

Though many of the yarns are blended with acrylic, The Yarn Stop does not carry yarns that are purely acrylic, and yarns are not sold on their website.

“The true colors and marvelous textures would never come through online,” explains Gill.

Their website does list the many classes for knitting and crocheting as well as daily activities that range from open, social knit or crochet and the “Help Me!” sessions to details about ongoing, in-store charity gatherings including  Mittens for Detroit’s “Smitten with Mittens” design contest (ending September 22, 2018) and Knit Michigan (knitmichigan.org), which provides chemo caps, blankets for hospitalized children, knitted octopus animals for neonatal-care babies (the babies pull on the tentacles instead of their intravenous tubing), and cotton “knitted knockers” for women who’ve had mastectomies.

“I’m proud of the charity that our customers engage in and that we are a shop that keeps our class size small: only six people,” says Gill, who especially enjoys knitting socks, shawls, and hats. “And it was quite an honor for us to win Clawson’s highest award, ‘Putting Clawson on the Map,’ as well as WDIV’s ‘Best of Craft Stores,’ which we also just won.”

“But mostly,” Gill concludes, “we’re very glad to be able to provide a place for community – and fun.”

The Yarn Stop
25 S. Main Street
Clawson, MI  48017
248-808-6630
theyarnstop.com

Troy resident Susan Hendrie is knitting a sweater for a new baby in her family. A soft, cozy rainbow of muted reds, blues, and yellows, the project is almost completed.

“I needed a little help finishing it,” Hendrie says, “so I came here to a daily “Help Me” session at The Yarn Stop in Clawson, where I can have time, one-on-one, with a yarn project instructor.”

And as teacher Kelly Sprague and Hendrie work together at the large oak table in the front of the store in the picture-window’s pleasant, natural light, they chat, laugh and banter with owner Sam Gill, who is putting away a new shipment of fall yarns.

“This is a wonderful store!” Hendrie exclaims. “You feel very comfortable. Some yarn stores can be stuffy, with an air. It’s open and welcoming. You learn a lot from other knitters, too.”

“The instructors here are fabulous. So is the owner,” teases Hendrie, nodding in Gill’s direction. “These teachers can get you out of anything! You don’t need to be afraid. I come to The Yarn Stop so often that my phone created an icon, telling me how many minutes it will take me to get here,” she laughs.

“Drop-in ‘Help Me’ sessions are available every afternoon from 3-5 p.m. No appointment is necessary. The cost is six dollars for one hour, and we don’t care if your yarn was purchased here or not,” says Gill, who learned how to knit as a teen.

“I’d traveled to Belgium as part of ‘Up with People,’” Gill shares, “and my ‘host mom’ taught me to knit. I set it aside during college, but I picked it back up again about eighteen years ago – and now I’m here, running the most fun business I could imagine.”

A longtime, former administrative assistant with a large accounting firm, Gill wanted a change of career.

“I was fed up with the corporate world,” he says. “I heard about this store (formerly PK Yarnover) coming up for sale and came and talked to them about it. Six weeks later, my partner — Mike Brunck – and I owned it.”

“We took a very big leap off a very tall cliff,” Gill chuckles, “and after two years, we are doing remarkably well. In fact, we will now be open on Mondays, starting September 10. We hadn’t projected that for another year!”

He adds, “I’m very happy that we saved this store from closing. It would’ve been the fourth or fifth area yarn store to close within eighteen months.”

The Yarn Stop will be celebrating their two-year anniversary on Saturday, September 8, with contests, charity events, sales – and more.

“During the day,” says Gill, “We will have knitting and crocheting for charity on the sidewalk. We are having a sale, with double points on our loyalty program, and door prizes galore.”

There will also be ten-minute demonstrations including: how to wear a shawl, crafting for charity, and knitting German short rows (used for shaping sweater shoulders, for example).

“We will also have our famous dance breaks,” Gill smiles, “including ‘chair dancing.’”

“The business is serious to me, but the yarn is not,” says Gill. “Who can come into this store and not smile when they see all the colors and textures of yarn everywhere?”

“We laugh a lot and have community within the store. And, we’re actually helping our customers ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s by sharing an activity with a ‘hand-to-brain’ connection.”

There is plenty of published information about the health benefits of yarn crafts. In an article in Neurology, NYU professor Dr. James Galvin reported that cognitive impairment may be modifiable with activities that are sociable and…involve learning new tasks and skills – “like those we happily engage in here, every day,” exclaims Gill.

“We welcome people to enjoy our store and the yarn,” Gill says. “We have 100 percent wools and so many sumptuous blends: cashmere, llama, silk, linen, hemp, cotton. You can’t help but touch them, though we do request that you keep them away from your face.”

Though many of the yarns are blended with acrylic, The Yarn Stop does not carry yarns that are purely acrylic, and yarns are not sold on their website.

“The true colors and marvelous textures would never come through online,” explains Gill.

Their website does list the many classes for knitting and crocheting as well as daily activities that range from open, social knit or crochet and the “Help Me!” sessions to details about ongoing, in-store charity gatherings including  Mittens for Detroit’s “Smitten with Mittens” design contest (ending September 22, 2018) and Knit Michigan (knitmichigan.org), which provides chemo caps, blankets for hospitalized children, knitted octopus animals for neonatal-care babies (the babies pull on the tentacles instead of their intravenous tubing), and cotton “knitted knockers” for women who’ve had mastectomies.

“I’m proud of the charity that our customers engage in and that we are a shop that keeps our class size small: only six people,” says Gill, who especially enjoys knitting socks, shawls, and hats. “And it was quite an honor for us to win Clawson’s highest award, ‘Putting Clawson on the Map,’ as well as WDIV’s ‘Best of Craft Stores,’ which we also just won.”

“But mostly,” Gill concludes, “we’re very glad to be able to provide a place for community – and fun.”

The Yarn Stop
25 S. Main Street
Clawson, MI  48017
248-808-6630
theyarnstop.com

Rita O’Brien Design Group:
Inspirational Interiors
03
OCTOBER 2018
BY PATTY LANOUE STEARNS
LBN Community Series
Troy
It’s a jam-packed day for Rita O’Brien.
The interior designer spent the morning at her client’s house in Clarkston, overseeing a demo of the kitchen, and now they’re back at O’Brien’s office and showroom in Troy’s Michigan Design Center, selecting pieces that will go in the room. Later on, O’Brien will board a bus with a bunch of her designer pals to check out the Junior League of Detroit’s Designer Showcase at the Fisher Mansion in Detroit’s Boston-Edison neighborhood.

RITA O'BRIEN

OWNER OF RITA O’BRIEN DESIGN GROUP
Then it’s back to work on the kitchen renovation the next day with her client, Karrie DeLuca, who sings nothing but praises for O’Brien, from her ever-sunny disposition to her insightful ideas for transforming spaces.

“She did our pool house,” says DeLuca. “”We had lived in Asia and wanted a Balinese look. I met with Rita, and she was able to take what was in my head and make it happen. It was exactly as I hoped it would be.”

DeLuca loved O’Brien’s work so much that she asked O’Brien to do her kitchen. That project should be completed by Christmas.

As head of O’Brien Design Group, the designer has racked up a slew of awards, numerous magazine articles, and has earned a reputation as “The Color Whisperer” for her expertise at choosing perfect shades.

O’Brien has always had a flair for design—she recalls helping her mother rearrange things as a young girl—but she hasn’t always been an interior designer. Her first job in her hometown of Cleveland was a reservationist for United Airlines, moving up as a gate agent at the Cleveland Airport, then a manager of the airline’s Red Carpet Club, then training and development of the travel-agency industry for UA’s Chicago office, and after that, she opened her own travel-incentive company, Target Travel.

Her design philosophy: “To help the client get the look they’re after but educating them through the process so they can understand scale and color, and if they like a certain style, what can mix with it. I make suggestions and generally people follow them.”
Her transition into interior design began while she was living in Chicago. Her first client there wanted an entire home redone. “It was trial by fire,” she recalls, but luckily she had the massive Merchandise Mart at her disposal, and she availed herself of many sales reps who helped her learn the business.

Ten years ago, after moving to Michigan, she started her design business in her basement in Birmingham, then moved to a studio at Cole and Hazel in the same city. Two and a half years ago, she moved to the design center, a vast complex of showrooms for high-end home furnishings, lighting, flooring and all things interior.

“This is heaven,” she smiles. “The design center is open to the public and there is no other resource like this in the state. Everything is here for the client as well, so when the client meets me here, we tour the design center.”

O’Brien is one of five interior designers with studios at the MDC. “I don’t have any one style — it depends on my clients’ needs and their tastes. I would say I’m a chameleon. I can do contemporary, eclectic, traditional, over the top, just whatever genre my client wants, that’s what we do.” To stay on top of trends and styles, she goes to High Point, NC, twice a year to see what’s new.

Her design philosophy: “To help the client get the look they’re after but educating them through the process so they can understand scale and color, and if they like a certain style, what can mix with it. I make suggestions and generally people follow them.”

That gives O’Brien, who does loads of renovations from the studs up, a lot of joy. “It’s so rewarding to take a room and transform it completely.”

Some of her suggestions include where to place electrical outlets, where to put light bulbs, what drywall to use, where not to enlarge a space. Scale—too big or too small—is a big issue when people buy something like a sectional, coffee table or dining room set, get it home, and it looks terrible in the room.

“So many times people will say after they hire me: ‘If only I’d met you before I bought this piece,’ because it’s not to scale,” says O’Brien, who either has to work around the piece or it has to go. Her clients have told her “I’m saving money by using you.”

For new clients, she offers a complimentary 30-minute in-studio consultation, and her fees are by the hour or by the project. If you want to change colors in your home, she can schedule a two-hour visit. She also acts as the point person between the client and tradespeople for complete renovations, and has developed a fine network of people she recommends. “I work with many trades that I know are topnotch. You gravitate toward people you can trust—who have your back and you have theirs.”

It’s clear O’Brien has found her perfect niche. She not only loves her challenging work, she loves the people. “It’s a very personal job, because most of my projects are five to six months, and then you do the next room and the next one, and you get to know these people well. They develop a trust with you, and once you’ve done one room, it’s “Oh, I know you get me, you understand what I want.”
O’Brien works on eight to 12 projects at a time for a plethora of clients. Her white board in the rear of her studio reflects a busy but organized schedule. She carries unique items such as customized leather “quote” books, home furnishings and private furniture lines. Her company also represents many Detroit artists, whose lively, mostly abstract works punctuate her showroom walls. Her husband, Tom O’Brien, reps the artists, who include Tony Roko, Darcel Deneau, Claudia Hershman, Laurel Pitynski, Mark Wolak, Michael O’Reilly, Sue Zinger and others.

So does Rita O’Brien, the designer with the unflappable spirit, ever get frustrated? Not really.

“Sometimes you know if they only removed the one piece, it would be better. But you have to honor the fact that that one piece is special to them. What I find exciting is that there’s this one piece that I have to use and surround it and make it look beautiful.”

Rita O’Brien Design Group
Michigan Design Center
1700 Stutz Dr., Suite 115
Troy, MI 48084
248-326-5353
www.ritaobrien.com
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LATEST TROY POSTS

Ray’s Ice Cream, Selling Happiness for 60 Years!

Ray’s Ice Cream, Selling Happiness for 60 Years!

Wilma Andrews has never missed an Andrews family reunion. Even after moving from Berkley to Denver, her entire year’s schedule is arranged so that she is free to travel and to spend a week socializing with kids, grandkids, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends and attend a huge reunion picnic at Lake St. Clair Metropark.

But to Andrews, just as important during her yearly visit as that picnic, is at least one visit to Ray’s Ice Cream on Coolidge in Royal Oak.

“Ray’s has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Andrews says. “When my four children were young and we’d be going somewhere as a family, if we drove anywhere near Ray’s, the kids would laugh and chant, ‘Ray’s ICE cream! Ray’s ICE cream!’ And we usually did end up stopping there for cones, sodas and sundaes.”

Tom Stevens, Owner of Ray’s Ice Cream

“My grandfather, Raymond Stevens, opened Ray’s Ice Cream in 1958,” says third-generation owner, Tom Stevens, “and ran it with my dad, Dale Stevens, and my grandmother, Bernice.”

“My grandfather had worked at Mints Dairy and loved the business. When the dairy closed, my grandfather decided to open a facility to manufacture ice cream. He found some affordable property on Coolidge and built the building where we continue to operate.”

“My grandfather was only planning to be a wholesaler,” explains Tom, “but my grandmother wanted to also have an ice cream parlor. Ray found a diner closing in Detroit and bought the countertops for our soda fountain area, and the fountain became half of the business! I wish my Grandma was here to see it!”

“I fell in love with the place,” he says.

And now a fourth generation is being trained to take over and continue the business.

Tom’s nephew Tommy Shimshock, with a civil engineering degree from Purdue University, has worked at Ray’s since 2004 and is the production manager though, he says, smiling, “My title depends on the day.”

Nephew and production manager Tom Shimshock with co-worker Liam O’Brien

On this day, he and co-worker Liam O’Brien and Tom’s nephew, Stephen Shimshock (who has a double-business degree), will be making their vanilla ice cream.

“It happens to be my favorite flavor,” Tom says.

“Nowadays,’’ explains Tom, “the vanilla is like liquid gold. The supplier won’t even ship it anymore. We have to pick it up.”

Each ten-gallon batch uses two-to-three ounces of the precious, pure vanilla, and all of the ice creams are slow-churned to make.

“The equipment is new,” Tommy says. “But the ice cream is made the old-school way. It’s a slow process.”

In spite of the time-consuming production, Ray’s Ice Cream can create 2000 gallons of ice cream per week.

Half gallons of the ice cream can be bought at many area grocery stores, including: Hollywood Market, Holiday Market, Nino Salvaggio’s, Papa Joe’s, and Westborn Market on Woodward. The ice cream at Ray’s Ice Cream can also be hand-packed for take-out sale, and many popular flavors are available freshly packaged.

Ray’s Ice Cream also makes special orders of novelty, molded cordial and ice cream designs for parties, showers and other celebrations and holidays, with many photos of these creations on their website.

Tom’s daughter, Jenna Stevens, who has an art degree – and a love for her father’s business – schedules the many counter helpers who keep the lines of customers moving on hot, summer nights.

Bryce Everly, a pre-med student at the University of Michigan, has worked at Ray’s Ice Cream for three summers, and he enjoys the regular customers and making their orders just the way they like them.

“We get all sorts of great regulars every day,” Bryce says. “One gets a chocolate shake, light on the chocolate; another gets a vanilla shake; another gets a hot fudge sundae but with different types of ice cream each time.”

“And the weird thing is,” he adds, “most of our regulars are normal weight, even coming here daily!”

“All of our customers, and staff, are amazing,” Tom Stevens says. “I’m very excited to be continuing such a great business with another generation of its founding family.”

Ray’s Ice Cream
4233 Coolidge Highway
Royal Oak, MI  48073
888-549-5256
www.raysicecream.com

Join One of Zelma’s Groups and See the World

Join One of Zelma’s Groups and See the World

Zelma Gottlies, Owner of Zelma Travels

Zelma Gottlieb is always on call.

“I can always tell how my day is going by how many calls I get at 9 a.m.,” she said. “I rarely let a call go to voicemail.”

Gottlieb is a one-woman show at Zelma Travels. She organizes group tours to places as close as Stratford, Ontario, and Traverse City, to as far as Italy, France and across Europe.

“Our Italy trips are very beautiful. We do the Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, we also go to the buffalo farm in Paestum,” Gottlieb explains.

“We’ve had amazing experiences with people.”

Carey Gary is one of them. As she was retiring from teaching high school culinary arts, she told her husband she didn’t want to be around for the start of the school year. Through her local paper, The Plymouth Observer, she saw an article about Gottlieb and her travel opportunities.

Gary went to the Community House in Birmingham and signed up — and three other family members as well.

Five trips later, Gary is still getting more people to travel with Gottlieb.

“Zelma really enjoys going to Italy because she has so many local guides she connects with and that’s part of the draw,” said Gary. “I keep telling people about it and they all want to go.”

Gottlieb’s calling as a travel facilitator came in 1973 at a small office in Flint. She had a young family at the time and told the owner she still wanted to be part of her children’s lives, so she worked parttime.

Client Tim Turino of Madison, Wisconsin (left), Zelma & Gil Gottlieb (right)

For the next 30 years, her role grew as did the agency from one location to two: Grand Blanc and Fenton, and she was now running the business.

“In 2003, when the airlines stopped paying commission, we had to give up the storefronts as people started to book online,” she explained. “We drove west in 2004, supposedly in retirement, and I got a call from the president of the Community House in Birmingham. It was the most wonderful place to work at the time.”

She booked travel tours for the Birmingham community until the program was cut in 2016. She had so many loyal clientele, they wouldn’t let her retire. Now, she’s Zelma Travels, which started booking two trips per year in 2016, and is now up to six.

“I’ve done a lot of group travel for Europe, we just did a great Traverse City wine tour, Stratford festival, Niagara on the Lake. We do some group things around here. For instance, Flint has a stellar art museum,”  Gottlieb said.

“Travel is wonderful. You don’t have to go on the most expensive tour to see the same things. You can always upgrade on certain things. You have to be brave enough to go off on your own a little bit.”

In her experience, the primary stopper for people not wanting to travel is fear. “One of the interesting things about travel is they’re all so intimidated. If you wait for your friends to go, you’ll stay home. When you’re out traveling, you always have to go around the corner. You’ll always find amazing things around the corner,” she said.

A tour with Gottlieb, or Zelma as she’s known, leans toward a more high-end experience. When you’re traveling by motor coach, she serves box lunches, “because I have a pet peeve about stopping at fast food.”

Additionally, the hotels she books for the trips are more upscale and she has a personal relationship with the proprietors.

“I’m also very conscious of people who are alone on our trips. I make sure they’re not sitting alone at breakfast. I always try to introduce people who have things in common,” she said.

Carey Gary appreciated the friendship and flexibility on the tours.

“Her groups are small, which I like. It means you get to know people. When your week is up, you’ve had a nice experience with them,” Gary said.

“When we were in the Cinque Terre, we were close to Pisa. It wasn’t on our itinerary, but in an hour, she made it happen. I know that doesn’t happen with other travel groups. I certainly always appreciated her flexibility,” Gary said.

When she’s working with her clients, some express a concern with security, which Gottlieb understands. In 1984, she was with a tour in Paris. As they walked into a restaurant, terrorists threw a hand grenade in and began shooting. Gottlieb was hit in the foot with shrapnel.

“I tell people they have to be mindful. You have to look around and you can’t be oblivious to your surroundings,” she said. “When I go into a place, I always look where the exit is. If you want to travel and be out in the world, you have to be mindful.”

For now, she’s busy planning an October trip to see “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Stratford, a fall trip to Tuscany and a June tour in Paris.

“It’s a wonderful way to meet people,” she said. “People make everything; people make the world. We’ve met incredible people who’ve traveled with us.”

Zelma Travels
810-287-0066

Bellagio Hair Studio in Troy Celebrates Fifth-Year Anniversary

Bellagio Hair Studio in Troy Celebrates Fifth-Year Anniversary

For Joan Grohar of Clarkston, driving 25 minutes to get her hair done at Bellagio Hair Studio is well worth it.

“It gives you the feeling of space, even though the square footage is not that large. Even when it’s crowded, you still feel like you’re getting personal attention and you get your spa moment,” Grohar stated. “We lived in Bloomfield for years, so I’m adjusting to driving long distances. This is worth it. That receptionist, when she greats you with that smile, it just makes your day.”

Owner Alissa Johnson

It’s what owner Alissa Johnson strives for in her business: calm, relaxing, welcoming.

“I originally opened the salon with a business partner, but now I’m the sole owner,” she recalled. “There’s a lot in a name, so we’d come up with something and look it up. ‘Bellagio,’ came up and I looked it up right away. It’s a place in Italy that represents ease and relaxation. It was like, ‘Oh! That’s exactly what we want.’”

Now, she’s celebrating the five-year anniversary of opening Bellagio.

The salon offers most hair care services including cuts, hair coloring, keratin and smoothing treatments as well as lash and brow tinting and facial waxing. Customers can also make an appointment for Lash Lift, which is a perm for your lashes.

“Clients sit reclined in a chair with their eyes closed,” explained Johnson. “A collagen patch is placed under the eye. Then, a silicone form goes on the lid and the stylist individually combs your lashes over the form. She puts a solution on and wipes it off. Another solution is put on the lashes, and she wipes it off again. Then she tints them. It’s much better than mascara.”

Another specialized service Bellagio offers is threading. “Threading is more of a technique passed down from generation to generation in Middle Eastern cultures. It removes the brow hair with the follicle intact, so it’s less damaging to your skin,” said Johnson. “Threading is a little more uncomfortable, but it’s a smoother finish and it’s definitely an art form. But it’s a personal preference. Threading takes about 15 to 20 minutes for both brows.”

But Bellagio is more than a place to get beautified. “We really wanted to create a space where people feel connected,” shared Johnson.

After working and managing several salons, Johnson and her business partner tired of the chaos and drama that seemed to be part of the business. That’s why the name “Bellagio” was so important to get right. “Even when it’s very busy, it’s not chaotic. Our demeanors are very calm. We all help each other. It can be busy, but it stays fluid,” she said.

Grohar isn’t the only client who notices the warm, soothing difference at Bellagio.

Annemarie Eichberger of Rochester has been Johnson’s client for more than 20 years. She even brings her daughters to Bellagio to have their hair done. “I’ve known Alissa since she was an assistant in another salon and I’ve followed her. I just like how she does her cuts, colors and her demeanor,” explained Eichberger. “It’s a nice atmosphere. Some of the other salons are really loud and there’s a lot of chaos. This is just calm. Everyone’s very friendly. They greet you at the door.”

In addition to traditional salon services, one item not on the menu is client education, but everyone receives it. Stylist Katie Terranova explained, “We educate ourselves on the brands we carry and the techniques and trends in the industry. We were finding with big, brand name products, they started as smaller companies and were bought out. All these brand names have fallen under these big corporate names and they’ve been reformulated. In our recent education, we were reminded of the importance of good, quality ingredients and a good PH balance that comes with them.”

Terranova said now Bellagio carries products sourced within the United States, such as the Detroit Style Company and even Great Lakes Coffee Company.

With 13 stylists, a manager and two receptionists, the team at Bellagio Hair Studio knows Johnson’s mission and vision. “My main goal for everything I was doing behind the chair was servicing my clients,” Johnson said. “We really wanted to go back to what would be considered an old school style. Where people come in, we know their names, we build relationships with clients. It’s more than just hair that we do. It really is cultivating relationships with people.”

 

Bellagio Hair Studio
1945 W Maple Rd, Troy, MI 48084
248.288.6700
bellagiohairstudio.com