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Sami’s Engraving & Gifts in Troy: Custom Items of All Kinds for One – or One Thousand

Sami’s Engraving & Gifts in Troy: Custom Items of All Kinds for One – or One Thousand

Sami’s Engraving & Gifts in Troy: Custom Items of All Kinds for One – or One Thousand

21

NOVEMBER 2018

BY HONEY MURRAY

LBN Community Series
Troy

Ed Mandell shakes his head and smiles as he shares some of the details of running All the King’s Men, a full-service chess store and club in Warren.

“We are one of the largest organizers of chess tournaments, lectures, and grand exhibitions,” he explains, “and we teach in about 50 different schools.”

SHAMA KENKRE

OWNER, SAMI’S ENGRAVING & GIFTS

“We use many, many trophies every year, because we have so many tournaments. Sami’s Engraving & Gifts – and wonderful owner Shama Kenkre – are an enormous help to me!”

“I used to buy from different trophy companies,” Mandell continues. “But Sami’s Engraving met or beat everybody’s price.”

“And Shama could not be a more perfect person to keep up with the ever-changing details involved with these awards. At Sami’s, it’s always a pleasure – never a problem!”

Shama Kenkre began Sami’s Engraving & Gifts – named by combining “Sasha” and “Manish,” the names of her children – from her home, in 1998.

“My husband had the idea, before internet popularity, of having a mail-order business, creating and supplying personalized awards and items for businesses,” Shama says.

“I volunteer a lot, and a friend I was helping for a cultural committee said, ‘Why don’t you do the plaques for me?’”

“So,” Shama continues, “Sami’s Engraving & Gifts became more known, and I began doing plaques for special events – especially around Troy – as well as trophies, awards, ribbons, display photos, mugs, signs, t-shirts, and so much more.“

With her own laser engraver and printers, Sami’s Engraving & Gifts continues to create an amazing number of specialty, personalized items from their newly opened store location.

“Since I am able to do the work myself, in-house,” Shama explains, “the turn-around time is very quick. Now that we have our place here on Rochester Road (near Long Lake), customers can come in, I can show them their many choices of awards and gifts – as well as invitations and cards — and they get all sort of great ideas.”

“The wonderful thing is, I can create for them 10,000 copies – or just one item!”

“We have a new line of gift products which is wonderful for your workmates, your staff – or anyone in your life. It’s a luxury leatherette that is laser-engraved. Some of those products include: wine tool kits, games, key chains, journals, clocks…the list is almost endless,” Shama laughs.

“At Sami’s, it’s always a pleasure – never a problem!”

The store contains hundreds of samples of ready-to-personalize items for businesses or homeowners – from a nametag or desk name plaque to a rug with a company logo or family crest.

“We are very happy to also have a special section of ‘Michigan’ gifts,” Shama says, pointing toward shelves holding aprons, caps, cutting boards, mugs and Michigan map-printed items.

“Bridal party gifts and favors as well as housewarming presents are popular throughout the year. And, for the upcoming holidays, we have very easy-to-buy and beautiful, one-of-a-kind gifts: ornaments, picture frames, coasters, flasks, wall décor, even jewelry and pet items! People love to receive something personalized.

 

“And,” she smiles, “coming here to this strip mall, where there is lots of close parking, and looking around our store can be so much more pleasant than trudging to the mall!”

Shama recalls some of the unique requests she has had.

“We’ve created many special plaques, some with color photos and engraving, for dignitaries from India, Nigeria, the Middle East…but one of my favorites was of Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin to go into outer space.”

“And,” she grins, “we also make many items for animal ‘dignitaries,’ including pet urns and ribbons for winners of dog shows…In fact, many people who are planning contests and events realize, when their event is going on, that they’ve forgotten to order ribbons and awards! That’s when they call me.”

“So, I’ll stay up until one, two, or three in the morning to complete it. And, that is all right. Because when those ribbons and trophies are awarded, we are awarded with the loyalty and trust of the customers we’ve served.”

Sami’s Engraving & Gifts
4935 Rochester Road
Troy, MI  48083
248-250-4931

www.samisgifts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST TROY POSTS

At The Red Wagon Shoppe in Troy, Festive Drinks Make Fabulous Gifts

At The Red Wagon Shoppe in Troy, Festive Drinks Make Fabulous Gifts

At The Red Wagon Shoppe in Troy, Festive Drinks Make Fabulous Gifts

07

NOVEMBER 2018

BY PATTY LANOUE STEARNS 

LBN Community Series
Troy

Nothing says “celebrate” like popping open a fine bottle of champagne, watching the pale effervescence as you pour, toasting with a clink of your flute and feeling the tickle of tiny bubbles as you savor the first sip.

Salut! Let the party begin.

JEFFERY PYKE

SOMMELIER & WINE DIRECTOR,
RED WAGON SHOPPE

For champagne aficionados, or anyone hoping for a guaranteed hit of a holiday gift, The Red Wagon Shoppe in Troy boasts a massive selection of more bubbly than most folks ever dreamt of — upwards of 1,500 bottles, some from small growers, and at prices that range from modest to extravagant (up to four figures). Bottle sizes on hand are the Demi, at .375 L, to the humongous Methuselah, at 6 L, or eight bottles’ worth.

But how does one choose? Ask Jeffery Pyke, the store’s amiable sommelier and wine director, who on a recent afternoon led a personal tour of the store. He reminds that even though we think of champagne as a celebratory drink, we don’t need an event or a five-course meal to enjoy the fun of this fizzy drink.

“You’d be surprised how well some of these do with just potato chips,” says Pyke with a laugh.

Progressing through the cavernous store, with its floor-to-ceiling array of magnificent bottles and colorful labels from every important wine region of the world, Pyke points out the beautiful Bordeaux and Burgundies from red to white, and for the chilly months ahead, the vintage Ports, hearty Madeiras and toasty Cognacs and Armagnacs that are perfect for curling up around the fire after a feast.

Another place to browse for very fine wines is inside a barred door, under a sign that reads “The Vault.” Once a repository for Bank of America customers’ precious jewels and papers, now the room serves as a temperature-controlled cellar for oenophile treasures.

A few aisles over, there’s a walk-in humidor with fat cigars displayed in fancy wooden boxes. Nicaraguan cigars might be someone’s favorite, or if you’re looking for a smaller humidor, they’re here at Red Wagon. They also sell barware and all the other accoutrements that go along with imbibing — always a great thought for someone on your list — and there are all kinds of goodies near the checkout counter, like airline-size bottles of spirits and imported meats and cheeses that would nicely fill a stocking.

One shopper says it’s “like a candy store for adults.”

If your giftee is a beer connoisseur, Michigan’s finest breweries are represented here — maybe some of Founders’ many interesting Porters, a case of Dragon’s Milk stout from New Holland Brewing Co. or something from Griffin Claw or Bell are a few ideas among the vast selection of beer that fills the coolers near the front door.

Red Wagon has always been tops among metro Detroit customers for fine wine and spirits. It opened in 1965 in Clawson and has stayed in the family ever since (current owner Larry Farida bought it from his aunt, Josephine George, in 2000). One shopper says it’s “like a candy store for adults.” Monthly tastings and other special events keep interest high. You can find most any fine wine or spirit your heart desires in this 4,200-square-foot store, and if you can’t, they can find it for you. Denise Farida, Larry’s wife, runs their other store in Rochester Hills, which opened in 2002; they moved from Clawson to the Troy store in 2004.

Both stores emphasize quality, quantity and stellar service. As an example, Pyke is happy to help customers pick the perfect bottle, or several. “If anyone needs help selecting wines for a special dinner, they can bring in a menu and I can help them pair their wines with the foods.”

Now that’s service. Salut!

Red Wagon Shoppe
1613 Livernois at Maple
Troy, MI 48083
248-404-9999

Also at 2940 S Rochester Rd.,
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
248-852-9307

redwagonshoppe.com

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LATEST TROY POSTS

Ciot in Troy Readies State-of-the-Art Warehouse/Showroom for Nature’s Masterpieces – and Much More

Ciot in Troy Readies State-of-the-Art Warehouse/Showroom for Nature’s Masterpieces – and Much More

Ciot in Troy Readies State-of-the-Art Warehouse/Showroom for Nature’s Masterpieces – and Much More
17
OCTOBER 2018
BY HONEY MURRAY
LBN Community Series
Troy
Jeff Glasener, Vice President of Detroit Ciot in Troy, grins, rubs his eyes, and quickly straightens his sport coat — a tweed that blends some of the same colors as the majestic slabs of stone that surround him.
“We closed a very important deal early this morning, and I just received the contract. Luckily,” he chuckles, “our lawyer will help with those 50 pages!”

Ciot, the stone, tile, and specialty design company begun in Montreal 68 years ago, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Troy’s Detroit Ciot, its first showroom in the United States, and they’ve been so successful here that they are constructing – and have almost completed – a 55,000 square-foot warehouse and showroom, dedicated only to slabs (man-made, or of stone, glass, composites).

JEFF GLASENER

VICE PRESIDENT OF DETROIT CIOT IN TROY

“Though we offer an endless variety of tile for builders and homeowners,” says Glasener, “our focus area is primarily stone and slabs. Our current, 10,000 square-foot slab gallery is beautiful and holds 1000 slabs. We also have inventory in four other buildings. Our new warehouse will house 10,000 slabs.”

“In states like Florida or California,” Glasener explains, “slabs can typically remain outdoors. Some suppliers store them in Quonset huts or other dingy structures. But in Michigan’s freeze-thaw environment, the material needs to be protected. And our new warehouse-and-showroom is definitely state-of-the-art!”

The outside walls will be clad in slabs and glass.

“It’s designed with a whole new standard of displaying and showcasing the slabs,” says Glasener.

These exotic natural and manufactured slabs are used by over 200 local fabricators to offer designers, builders, and homeowners the precise material to personalize and beautify anything from a countertop, wall, furnishing, floor, or door frame to a corporate lobby, exterior structure, or even to create a work of art.

“We love our fabricators.” Glasener says. “The projects they complete with our products and designs are amazing!”

Glasener also loves the business of stone, which he has been in since he was sixteen.

“My dad, who owned a Chicago ad agency and had several factory owners as clients, always got me summer jobs at those factories when I was a teenager,” he explains. “One day, after I’d been crawling around inside a boiler, cleaning it out, my dad had me run an errand for him to a tile and stone company.”

“We’re not a typical tile or slab company,” says Spielmann. “Ciot is a fashion-forward, trendsetting powerhouse. We sell exquisite hard surfaces instead of fabric and cloth.”
“When that owner saw me in the state I was in,” he continues, “he said, ‘Hey! How would you like a different job? You can start here tomorrow!’  So, I did. After two weeks I was on the floor selling stone and, eventually, was president of a national stone company for 25 years. Now I am here, and it is great to be working at Ciot during such growth.”

Company-wide, Ciot imports over 2500 containers of stone and slab per year – and each container’s area is 5000 square feet.

The stone is gathered from more than 30 countries. Several times a year, owner and architect Benny Spielmann travels to Spain, Brazil, Israel, Italy, India or Africa and works with his team of stone buyers, who help make mining and purchase decisions.

“Our buyers not only need to be geologists, but they have to understand design and trends. They also help maintain our great relationships with quarries around the world,” Spielmann says. “We hand-select the quartz, granite, marble – and even semiprecious pieces of tiger eye, jasper, amethyst – and often buy it in the shape of large blocks. It’s like jewelry in large scale!”

The blocks are sent to specialty processing facilities to be cut and polished into slabs.

“We’re not a typical tile or slab company,” says Spielmann. “Ciot is a fashion-forward, trendsetting powerhouse. We sell exquisite hard surfaces instead of fabric and cloth.”

And now those exquisite, hard surfaces – many of them brilliantly jewel-like – will soon have a new, light-filled, multi-million-dollar, elegant space of their own, at Detroit Ciot in Troy.

Ciot Detroit
1080 Coolidge Hwy.
Troy, MI  48084
248-288-8888
ciot.com
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LATEST TROY POSTS

Rita O’Brien Design Group: Inspirational Interiors

Rita O’Brien Design Group: Inspirational Interiors

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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Troy’s I Love Juice Bar: Renew Energy and Health Deliciously with Fresh-Made Food and Drinks

Troy’s I Love Juice Bar: Renew Energy and Health Deliciously with Fresh-Made Food and Drinks

Troy’s I Love Juice Bar:
Renew Energy and Health Deliciously with Fresh-Made Food and Drinks
05
SEPTEMBER 2018
BY HONEY MURRAY
LBN Community Series
Troy
When Maggie Morgan’s babysitter began raving about I Love Juice Bar on Crooks Road near Big Beaver in Troy, Morgan began to have new hope for her family’s health and wellbeing.
“My husband is in medical school,” Morgan shares, “and, since I work full-time and have two pre-school children, sometimes it’s hard to make sure everyone eats right all the time.”

“But my babysitter recently brought me a bottle of I Love Juice Bar’s ‘Sweet Green Juice,’ an order of the most amazing spring rolls – in gluten-free rice paper! — and some of their vegan Pad Thai, and now I am hooked on their combo special: an entrée item and a sixteen-ounce bottle of juice for $9.95, packed with nutrition and so delicious! And my husband can drink all of their great juices instead of the horrible Mountain Dew he’d been living on….”

 

HILLARY & GREGG WARNER

OWNERS OF I LOVE JUICE BAR
“The best thing,” Morgan adds, “is that after I first had some of the juice, my post-work brain fog and my mood lifted, and I had a wonderful feeling of energy. I happily started some laundry and then took the kids to the park for the evening. We even walked there instead of driving!”

“So many of our customers tell us about the almost-instant feeling of wellness they experience after having our all-natural juices, smoothies and ‘shots,’” says Gregg Warner who, with wife Hillary Warner (who is a nurse anesthetist), opened I Love Juice Bar in April.

 

“It’s amazing,” adds Hillary, whose favorite juice is We Got the Beet (beet, carrot, apple, ginger, and lemon). “My hair and nails are growing like crazy since we’ve been here – and I have the energy to maintain our wonderful, busy life of raising three young children, working at the hospital, and having the Juice Bar.”

Gregg and Hillary have always enjoyed a lifestyle of health and fitness maintenance.

 

“The company motto is ‘Have fun and be amazing,’” says Gregg. “We love what we do. We’re very glad to be here, catering to businesses, families and individuals, in this fun and amazing city of Troy.”

“After workouts, I’d visit a local smoothie place,” says Gregg. “One day, the customer in line ahead of me ordered his smoothie without sugar. I asked him, ‘You mean, they actually add sugar to their smoothies?’ That’s how I learned that many places’ smoothies and juices are not actually as healthy as we might think.”

That experience prompted Gregg and Hillary to research area juice and smoothie restaurants and, when they discovered the I Love Juice Bar franchise, the passion and product of that business resonated so strongly with them that they decided to open one in Troy.

 

The first I Love Juice Bar was opened in 2013 in Brentwood, Tennessee, by John and Vui Hunt.

On their company’s website, John describes a time when his corporate job was creating such stress in his life that he was eating poorly and had gained 50 pounds.

“One night around 11 p.m., I found myself on the couch, eating cookies and ice cream, looking for relief,” John relates.

 

“I stumbled on the documentary Fat, Sick and nearly Dead (about an overweight, unhealthy man who regains his health after going on a two-month juice cleanse), and it really inspired me.”

He found a juicer in his garage that belonged to his wife, Vui, a vegetarian chef who had owned an Atlanta restaurant called Veggieland. After a two-week cleanse and with renewed health and vigor, the Hunts decided to purchase a Brentwood sandwich shop that was for sale and to sell healthy drinks – without sugar, ice or artificial ingredients of any kind — and vegetarian soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.

 

According to Barron’s investment insight magazine, the juicing industry is $5 billion annually, with a growth rate of 4-5%. There are now more than 50 franchise I Love Juice Bar locations throughout the United States and Canada.

“We help people by providing a great product – quickly – that is tasty and good for them. Just because many people are in a hurry these days does not mean that we should still not be able to eat well,” John says. “People bring us thank-you cards, telling us how much weight they lost or how they were able to stop taking as many medications…That’s really what we want to do for our customers. That, and offer a great experience daily.”

And at Troy’s location, many customers are enjoying a great experience daily.

“We really love seeing the high school students and other kids who come in after hockey practice or on their way home to get their favorite drink,” says Gregg.

“And,” Hillary adds, “Many of the kids get a ‘smoothie bowl,’ which is like a healthy version of an ice cream sundae. The Dragon Fruit Bowl, with frozen mango, banana, strawberries, and dragon fruit; apple juice and local honey, topped with granola, is very popular.”

“So is the PBJ smoothie, which tastes just like a cool-and-creamy, peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich,” Gregg smiles. “It happens to be my favorite!”

Local retiree, Patricia Caverly, comes in once a week.

“There is nothing better than stopping by I Love Juice Bar while I’m running errands,” Caverly says. “Yes, I could make a green smoothie at home. But I live alone, and would have to buy so many different greens and vegetables to make one this good. So, I treat myself here.”

“Our Super Greens Juice is one of our most popular,” says Hillary. “And the ounce of wheatgrass juice in it is equivalent to two pounds of greens! We’re very lucky to have our assistant manager, Jeremy Curry, to prepare everything and to prep the produce.”

“Jeremy has a great palate and a special knack for tweaking the juices with just the right amount of lemon, or mint, or ginger.” 

“The Warners are great to work for,” says Jeremy, as he creates a glass of Orange You Glad, a favorite of Gregg’s, with carrot, apple, pineapple, mint, ginger and lemon. “Gregg and Hillary care about you personally. It’s also fantastic to work where everything is so fresh.”

“I love how good it smells when you walk in,” Jeremy says. “We put a lot of love in these juices and into the care of all the produce, all the vegetables.”

“The company motto is ‘Have fun and be amazing,’” says Gregg. “We love what we do. We’re very glad to be here, catering to businesses, families and individuals, in this fun and amazing city of Troy.”

 

3115 Crooks Road
Troy, MI 48084
248.590.2863
www.ilovejuicebar.com/troy

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LATEST TROY POSTS

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