Salon Visage settles in at new Church Street site
When Salon Visage moved this month, it quickly discovered that its new location at 39 Church Street had a reputation.
Different businesses, restaurants and lounges had opened and closed there over the past decade.
“One guy from next door said, ‘How long is it going to be? Nobody has much success there”, recounted Nicola “Freddy” King, who owns Salon Visage with Catarina DeCouto.
But while the spot may not have been suitable for restaurants, Ms King is betting it is perfect for a beauty salon.
“The new location has a lot of character,” she offered. “It is nice because there is so much daylight. The other place was getting quite old so it was quite musty. This is so much more open, which is nice.”
Ms DeCouto said there was some immediacy involved in their need to relocate.
They were located in the Commerce Building on Reid Street for 14 years. Earlier this year, the building sold and they had to vacate. At the time, they were still recovering from the shutdowns of the pandemic.
“Things happened a lot faster than we expected,” Ms DeCouto said. “The move was definitely not a long time coming.”
At first, they struggled to find a new location. Most potential properties were up for sale rather than for rent and what they did find was more suited to offices. It took them two months to find the space on Church Street.
After much refurbishment, particularly with the plumbing, they opened on November 5.
Now they have four stylists, two beauty therapists and a part-time nail technician. The plan is to expand their staff, particularly in the nail arena.
“Nails are really big in Bermuda and I think there would be a nice opportunity here because we have such a nice space,” Ms DeCouto said.
“There is definitely an opportunity to get someone in here.”
The kitchen and bar from the building’s restaurant days are still there, so the plan is to sublet the space to a café.
“It will be nice when we get the coffee shop opened at the front,” Ms King said. “That will work with us and bring more people in. We are just negotiating to get someone lined up for that.”
They hope it will draw new people into the salon and also allow clients to get coffee or lunch while they have their treatments.
There is also a space set up at the back where people can work on their laptops while they get their hair attended to.
“There is not anything like that in Bermuda,” Ms King said. “We visited a friend of ours in New York who worked at a salon and it had a large coffee shop. We liked that. It is nice to bring something a little bit different here.”
Ms King said they had always been a family salon, catering to children right up to grandparents.
“We have a really, really good following,” she said. “Everyone loves the new space.”
Ms King said some clients did not know yet that they had moved but they were finding new clients. They try to keep their prices reasonable.
Ms DeCouto wanted to be a hair dresser when she was 13.
“I started out shampooing and sweeping and making coffees,” she said. “Then I went away to school in Warwick, Rhode Island. I came back and within a month I had a full-time job at Renaissance Hair Salon.”
She was there for seven years before she and Ms King went out on their own.
Ms King is originally from England and did a lot of work on cruise ships. She came to Bermuda a few years ago and married a Bermudian.
“I love it here,” Ms King said. “Every day is different. We have a good laugh when we are working. We have really good staff here, as well.
“People like it here because they feel really relaxed. We always have fun during the holidays and like to dress up. Everyone gets on really well. If Catarina is busy her client will go to me. People are happy with whoever they go to.”