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Getting to know your neighbor: DonChelle Salon Spa stays on the cutting edge of coiffure culture

COME ONE, COME ALL — Katie Fuller, a DonChelle Salon Spa stylist, is pictured, waiting to greet customers, at the salon. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — DonChelle Salon Spa owner Donna Rettig had worked in the salon industry for nine years, before she decided to use her insider expertise to open her own shop and, even then, she thought about her decision for nine months, before she took the leap and bought the former Beautiful Reflections, located at 13 East Main St. in Springville.

“I fell in love with the place,” she said, about the building, “but I had to give it a lot of thought, before I even picked up the phone.”

SIT BACK AND RELAX — The salon offers facials, massages and other pampering procedures, in a neutral-toned setting.
Rettig added a room and painted and redecorated the salon, to make it her own and let people know that the business was open under new ownership. The owner said that she has been going strong, ever since her doors opened, five years ago.

The hardest thing about opening the business was coming up with a name, according to Rettig.

“We wanted to use ‘Silk,’ but there was a salon opening in Orchard Park with that name, at the time,” she explained. “People ask me if the name is French but it’s so not French,” she added, with a laugh.

DonChelle came about as an effort to integrate Rettig’s two daughters into the moniker. “Don” points to Donna, the owner, “Che” comes from Chelsea, her younger daughter, who works as a manager and cosmetologist at the salon spa, and “Lle” comes from Michelle, her older daughter, who also worked at the salon, for a time.

In a nod to her son, she named the building the Brett Edward Building, so he would be included, as well.

The full service DonChelle Salon Spa offers all types of hair services, manicures and pedicures, facials and massage.

The seven DonChelle employees come from Springville, Hamburg and Holland. All New York state-certified.

In addition, Rettig requires her employees to undergo regular training, to make sure everyone is on the same page about new styling techniques, products and industry updates.

“We keep an eye on each other. We’re like a big family; not cutthroat at all,” Rettig said, about her team. She added that all of her stylists work together, to do the best they can, for every client.

“Each individual has their own area [of expertise] that they like best, and we do try to match a client to an individual girl, but I strive for the best, in everything,” she said. “I always tell the girls that, when someone walks out of here, they’re going to say my name, not the individual girl’s name.”

Rettig said that she wants that name to stand for style, comfort and cleanliness.

“I’ve heard people say that we’re upper-scale and I did inherit some of that sense from the place I worked before, which was upper-scale,” Rettig said, about her salon’s aesthetic. “But our prices are not upper-level. I’m very details-oriented. Cleanliness is utmost, with me. We want people to feel comfortable, when they come in here. We want people to bring their families here, to feel welcome.”

TIDY UP THOSE TOOTSIES — Manicures and pedicures are among the services DonChelle provides.
In addition to keeping the salon and spa clean and neat, Rettig said that she likes her staff members to look their best, too, because they act as the faces of the services they provide.

“I always think that a stylist can’t tell clients they can make them look good if they don’t look good themselves,” she explained. “Your hair should look good; your nails should look good. It’s about being professional.”

The facility offers a selection of products and brands, but Rettig said that she will do her best to accommodate

clients’ preferences, with regard to both style and brand.

“If someone comes in and says, ‘I only use this one type of shampoo,’ we will do our best to work with our distributors,” she explained. “We’re not going to stock it, probably, but we’ll do our best to make sure we have it, for that individual.”

One new product Rettig said has her staff excited lately is REF©, a Swedish hair color brand.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I can honestly say we’re floored by it. The brilliance of the color is unbelievable.”

REF’s colors are natural and sulfate-free, and Rettig said her clients have reported less discomfort or allergic reactions, with this type of color, compared to other lines.

“We have one girl who’s highly allergic to just about everything and she’s now an educator, for this brand,” Rettig said.

The owner said that she is always working to find new products, procedures and ways to stay on the cutting edge of both fashion and industry standards.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE — Pictured are some of the amenities and styling aides utilized at the salon.
“We’ve started doing airbrush makeup, which is really amazing. It really looks just like the skin in magazines,” she said. “It stays on and doesn’t move, all night long. It’s great for portraits or events. For everyday, it’s a bit on the heavy side, but for an event, it’s great.”

For special events, Rettig recommended that clients come in for a trial run or two, to make sure their chosen looks are going to work, for the big day.

“It floors me that people would come in for an updo or something like that, when they would never wear their hair up, in real life,” she said, noting that she favors the new half-up, half-down styles girls are wearing for proms and weddings, in recent seasons. “Some people can really pull it off and look like themselves, but you want to look at the pictures later and say, ‘That looks like the best me.’”

Rettig added that every salon visit, whether it be for a regular cut or an event, should leave the client feeling satisfied.

A LITTLE MORE OFF THE TOP — Katie Fuller gets excited about a client’s hair, during a recent day at DonChelle.
“When I leave a salon, I should look ready to go out on the town,” Rettig said. “I always say that people should be able to go to a nice dinner or out dancing, straight from their appointment. If they can’t do that, there’s something wrong.”

In the event of a bad cut, color or style, Rettig advised clients to visit a second time, to see how the salon handles the issue.

“If a customer isn’t happy, I do everything in my power to make it better,” Rettig said.

“Give the salon a chance to work with you. At DonChelle, we don’t want anyone walking out the door unhappy.”

DonChelle Salon Spa is currently operating on extended summer hours, to accommodate the busier season.

The only times the business changes its schedule is when the employees must undergo classes or training, in which case a sign is hung in the window, in advance.

STOP ON IN — DonChelle Salon Spa is located at 13 East Main St. in Springville.
DonChelle Salon Spa is open Monday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information about the services offered or, to make an appointment at DonChelle, visit www.donchelle.com or call 592-2772.
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