The longstanding Wooster Square business Studio 607, a full service hair and skin salon, is moving three blocks west to 839 Chapel St. – into the English Building. As part of the change owners Thomas and Sami Angelini will also give it a new name, Salon Lulu, which was inspired by their daughter Luciana – also known as “Lulu.” (She’s shown here with her father Thom getting the first clip.)
Although Studio 607 had only three salon stations, Salon Lulu is more than twice as big, with eight stations and a newly enhanced menu of spa services.
“Wooster Square has been good to me for over 12 years” explains Thom. “But I wanted to take advantage of low interest rates for a business loan and get in on what I feel is the ground floor of the area immediately surrounding 360 State Street.”
He believes that the move is not only great for his existing clientele but that it will also expose the studio to the entire downtown market as well. 360 State Street is a 500-unit luxury apartment building with 30,000 square feet set aside for a food market and 1,500 square feet already in use by Devil’s gear bicycle shop – another former Wooster Square business.
Salon Lulu looks like something straight out of a New York fashion magazine, says Studio 607 regular Kristen Naiden who admits that she can hardly wait to visit the new space.
The sleek high-gloss dark hardwood floors and rugged exposed brick walls are original to the historic mid-1800s structure according to building owner Robert Orr. The custom furniture was made in northern Italy by GM Bross and includes chocolate brown chairs with orange piping and stylishly narrow mirrors that are more than six feet tall. The ambience is open and spacious and is accessed through a freight-like elevator that also has plenty of vintage character.
“Water Wall” – a 9-foot by 8-foot handcrafted sculpture made from metals, river stones, and natural volcanic rock –beautifully dominates the entryway. “For me water has always meant peace and relaxation,” explains Thom – who created the sculpture himself. “That’s what I want my customers to experience from the minute they walk through the door.”
Thom is one of the region’s most talented colorists and is best known for his personal service and cutting edge hair designs. “I have been in a small shop with only a few employees since I started in 1998, but my referral business has outgrown our space.” Thom has also lived on Chapel Street for the past 14 years during his downtown walks he’s noticed a steady increase of pedestrian traffic. So when the residential building opened up it made sense to move in order to grow the business.
Quinnipiac Bank and Trust provided the funding after reviewing Thom’s business plan. “I could not believe a bank could work so fast,” Thom said, “especially during these difficult economic times.”
David Sportelli, Vice President of Small Business Lending, said “I am seeing an uptick in confidence on the part of small businesses to expand”. “These are successful small businesses stepping out and taking advantage of a low interest rate environment to expand now”. “We like to see businesses using the money to purchase goods, services and hire people”. “Everyone here at the bank is excited to be able to help small businesses grow their business, especially for the Angelinis and their employees, New Haven and the economy as a whole and of course it is good for us”. “Salon Lulu receives a loan to expand their business and we prosper by getting a new customer”.
Salon Lulu will hire seven additional full-time staff, including new general manager Ilda Velez, and will be open seven days a week. The salon will offer special organic spa manicures and pedicures in addition to facials and waxing. As an exclusive L’Oreal Professional Salon the business features L’Oreal Professional color and hair care products, and the staff is trained and certified in L’Oreal’s revolutionary new ammonia free color service. Salon Lulu also offers an innovative manicure service called the “21-day manicure” that uses a gel-polish hybrid called “gelish.”
Salon Lulu occupies the third floor and other building occupants include the first floor English Building Antique Market, Sarah Aldrich Pilates studio, The Bourse (a co-working loft space) and the Robert Orr & Associates architectural firm. Carol Orr, owner of the antiques store, is a co-owner of the building with her husband Robert. “I am thrilled to not only have Salon Lulu as a tenant but also as a business neighbor,” she says. “I think our businesses work well together.”
Doug Hausladen, chairman of the Downtown/Wooster Square Management Team, had this to say: “The Downtown-Wooster Square CMT is proud and ecstatic to welcome Salon Lulu to the downtown. With over 10,000 residents and 75 percent of the city’s jobs, there will be plenty of people for the Salon to service each day within a walk of Chapel Street”.