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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Stylist Holly Walker cuts Kevin Beer’s hair at New Image Salon and Air Brush Tanning in Bluffton.
Business Spotlight

Bluffton’s ‘best-kept secret’

Salon focuses on personal attention to customers, staying current

Owner Lisa Satterfield-Jack styles Marilynn Triplett’s hair.
Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Stylist Shelby Dobson cuts Brittany Jenkins’ hair at New Image Salon and Air Brush Tanning.

New Image Salon and Air Brush Tanning

Address: 2035 Commerce Drive, Bluffton

At a glance: New Image Salon is a full-service hair salon that specializes in hair color, cuts and chemical treatments, including straightening and curling hair. The salon also offers airbrush tanning and body waxing.

Employees: Three

Annual revenue: About $90,000 in 2012

When was the company founded: Nov. 10, 2009. But after two months, the salon was damaged in a fire and closed. Two weeks later, it reopened in a new space.

Biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Owner Lisa Satterfield-Jack said building a clientele that keeps the salon fully booked has been her biggest accomplishment. Jack stresses excellent customer service that includes stylists’ booking only one client at a time and not answering the phone while working on a client.

What was your biggest mistake so far in operating this business: Satterfield-Jack rushed to reopen the salon after the January 2010 fire. She ended up leasing less space than the growing business really needed. Satterfield-Jack didn’t expand until six months ago. “After the fire, I was scared to jump in,” she said. By leasing 220 more square feet, she was able to add a third stylist and offer spray tanning and body waxing.

What are the key challenges facing your business or industry: With the weak economy, more people are trying to color their own hair at home or get by with bargain haircuts, Satterfield-Jack said. She and her staff specialize in correcting failed attempts at budget beauty.

Keeping up with the latest techniques is also a challenge. But Satterfield-Jack addresses that by being affiliated with nationally recognized Paul Mitchell salons. A Paul Mitchell team will come in and train the staff whenever Satterfield-Jack requests.

What is your strategy for staying ahead of your competition: The stylists consult with clients, taking time to understand their lifestyles, morning routines and medications that might affect chemical treatments. “Once they’ve had that kind of service, we find, that brings them back,” Satterfield-Jack said.

What resources have you found most helpful in running a business: Satterfield-Jack was trained by a former Bluffton salon owner who went on to sell his program to Redken, an international beauty-industry company.

What are your growth projections for the next five years: Satterfield-Jack would like to add one or two more stylists, a massage therapist, a manicurist and an esthetician, who would give facials.

What is one thing about your business that people might not be aware of: Many people don’t know the salon is tucked behind Lowe’s in a strip center. Satterfield-Jack likes to call it the best-kept secret in Bluffton. She doesn’t advertise. Customers typically come to her from referrals.

If you weren’t running this business, what would you be doing: Satterfield-Jack, who has been a stylist for 28 years, can’t imagine straying too far from her profession. If she weren’t working in a salon, she’d be teaching stylists how to cut and color hair at a beauty college.

Source: Lisa Satterfield-Jack, owner Compiled by Sherry Slater of The Journal Gazette Business Spotlight profiles small businesses that are at least three years old and have 100 or fewer employees. To recommend a business, email the name of the company and the name and phone number of a contact person to or fax to 461-8893.