Writer / Cathy Wendorff
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Everything came together at the right time for new business partners, Jennifer Smith and Priscilla Witham, while opening Luxe 349 Hair Studio. Combining the efforts of their talented husbands with family and friends, they converted the previous dog grooming setup into a chic transformation in less than four months.
Their journey of friendship began more than 10 years ago, while working together for three years at a Greenwood salon. Remaining friends while Jennifer worked in Franklin, they reunited again at another Southside salon in 2012. Over the next four years, their friendship grew stronger, as did their desire to create a partnership.
Describing when they decided the time was right, Jennifer recalled, “We got closer and closer. We just got to the point where we were ready to open our own place. So, I just drove up and down S.R. 135, looking in every nook and cranny. I found some places to call and we went from there.”
While holding down their regular day jobs, the two couples, Jennifer and Gil Smith with Priscilla and Brent Witham, spent from the day after Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day creating their new business venture. Because so many people were willing to donate their time to help them get open, it made the start-up costs manageable and they came in ahead of schedule. Both ladies agreed that the timing was perfect and they especially couldn’t have done it without their husbands’ labor of love.
Growing from hair stylist into business owners was an easy transition for them not only because of their decade of friendship, but likely due to their nearly opposite personalities.
“We are different,” Priscilla said. “She brings something to the table that I can’t bring and vice versa, so we really balance each other out.”
Jenny, as Priscilla calls her, is very calm and easy going unlike herself, a go-getter and slight perfectionist. From the beginning, they established a team effort and decided that they both would learn and share in all facets of their business from book keeping and ordering products to renting booth space to other stylists.
Soon after their opening, their landlord Phil Milto defined their changes to the location as, “the place is a relaxing spa-like environment.”
The sleek lines and shiny posh finishes lend way to an elegant appearance creating a luxurious atmosphere, which turned out exactly as they planned. The reception area greets you with a sophisticated backdrop of plush wallpaper, modern concrete countertops and a delicate chandelier. The nine guest booths are lined with gorgeous crown molding, custom made cabinets and comfy styling chairs.
Feeling satisfied with their finished product, they have been able to now concentrate on welcoming their guests. Both Jenny and Priscilla have a great following, because they give high quality hair care and stay updated on modern trends. For example, in combination with their three stylists, they recently hosted a Keratin Hair Straighten Master Class, where Jenny was the model.
“It’s really our goal to make everyone love everything about their hair,” Priscilla said.
Due to prior work connections, the owners of Luxe 349 can strongly recommend Heather Young, Kelly Massari and Erica Higgins as highly-qualified stylists. Confident that guests will receive personalized treatment because Heather, Kelly and Erica have years of experience, offer full-service hair care and collaborate well together.
From Jennifer’s nephew, knocking down walls and her brother-in-law, laying floor to Priscilla’s mother-in-law, retouching the crown molding, they have many family members and friends to thank for their support and hard work. The ladies acknowledge professional discounts given by Interior Designer and client, Kelly Hansen on the wallpaper, Michael Lipinsky for creating the concrete countertops, Home Management Pros and Keith Madden for his handmade cabinets. Most importantly, they give full credit to their husbands, who experienced 12 weeks of pure exhaustion to make their dreams come true.
Luxe 349 Hair Studio is located behind Subway and next to Milto’s Cleaners at 349 on S.R. 135, Greenwood, 46142.
Check out their Facebook page at Luxe 349 Hair Studio or call 317-360-6640 for an appointment or more information.