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HARRISON – When Allissa Conn was growing up, she never, never had any doubt about what she wanted to do with her life: She always wanted to be a hairstylist. So, naturally, her next step after graduating from Houghton Lake High School was to enroll in the Houghton Lake Institute of Cosmetology, from which she graduated in 2012.
Conn said her first “real salon job” was in Clare, where she worked for four years. She has lived in Harrison for the past two years, and in 2018 providence stepped in to make her longtime salon dream a reality. That newly-outfitted salon at 471 N. Clare Ave., south of Harrison, is the result of a family friend approaching her with the idea of starting a business with himself as the financial partner and Conn as the skilled, artistic operations partner.
“It was a financial opportunity I just couldn’t pass up,” she said.
Conn said she arrived at the business’s name of Shear Indulgence by combining a tool of the trade with a synonym for pampering.
“My goal for the salon is for it to be the most current, up-to-date and professional,” she said. “And I will encourage stylists to attend all the style shows they can.”
The shop features four styling stations and a waxing room, as well as a manicure/nail tech room outfitted with more-than-adequate ventilation. The building formerly housed a day-care center and a heating/air-conditioning business, each of which brought special amenities that now are beneficial to the salon. The building’s exposed ducting and vintage bulb lighting, coupled with all new salon equipment/furnishings, gives the place a warm yet contemporary, converted loft feel.
“We started practical,” Conn said. “We definitely have room to grow and meet what people in the area request: massage, tan, whatever.”
Conn has one hairstylist working with her, Torrie Aldrich of Harrison. The two met in beauty school, and Conn said that, beyond friendship, they have a strong, professional working relationship. She also is looking for additional experienced and newly-licensed stylists. The salon currently can provide manicure service, but hiring a nail tech will expand what can be offered: acrylics, etc.
Getting a business known and off the ground requires the influx of new customers/clients along with much word-of-mouth advertising, and to that end Conn is using a business card referral promotion. When a new client comes in after being referred by an existing client, the referring client will receive 20 percent off her/his next individual service of $50 or more (for each referral). Her plans also include special discounts for students, members of the military and all law enforcement personnel.
Shear Indulgence began with a soft opening Jan. 14, but Conn plans to have a proper grand opening in the spring, which will include a tent – a BIG tent – set up in the business’s ample parking lot.
Asked what is the most important aspect of her new business, Conn immediately placed that importance on her clientele.
“I want the client to feel better than when they walked in,” she said. “And we’ve had a lot of good feedback and support from our clients.”
Conn noted that among the most requested services is balayage, which entails hand-painted highlights resulting in seamlessly blended color. She also said that comments from customers thus far have been encouraging.
“They have said ‘Amazing,’ and they comment on the cleanliness, how it is so up-to-date and current,” she said. “And people are excited to have something new and fresh on this end of town.”
Appointments may be scheduled, but walk-ins are also definitely welcome. Although closed Sundays, hours for the rest of the week include: noon to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Call, drop in,” she said. “Or schedule an appointment on the Facebook page.”
The salon is online http://SheerIndulgenceSalon.com
Conn said that while the salon is man, woman and kid friendly, the salon’s animal policy is specific: service animals only – no pets allowed.
So, if you’re in the mood for something different, something current, a fresh new ’do, give Allissa’s Shear Indulgence Salon a call at 989-368-1450. Or maybe just drop by 471 N. Clare Ave. (south off Larch Road where it intersects with Old U.S. 27). Scope out the facility and introduce yourself to Allissa Conn. She’ll be waiting to greet you with a bright smile and an enthusiastic welcome – because that’s how it is when dreams come true.