Lisa Wallace didn’t quite pack up and leave her hometown on a whim, but when her musician boyfriend popped the inevitable question, she made the move.
Wallace, a Wichita native, owned a salon in the Kansas town for years before she met soon-to-be husband Dave during a music concert there that Dave was performing in as part of the John Joiner Band. Her family is also entrenched there.
Nevertheless, Wallace said yes to Dave’s marriage proposal after six months of courtship, and moved eastbound to Dave’s hometown of Lee’s Summit.
“It was pretty rough,” Wallace said of the move. “That first year was rough, but it’s good now.”
That was nearly two-and-a-half years ago. Today, Lisa Wallace and her crew of hairstylists, nail technicians and massage therapists are preparing for their first meet and greet at B-Envied Salon, 209 S.E. Missouri 291.
Open for just six weeks, Wallace is hosting the open house as a recruitment event to attract some of the area’s best stylists, nail techs, and masseuses (or masseurs) to join her team. The event is from 4-6 p.m. March 10.
“Currently, we have six stylists and one massage therapist,” Wallace said. “I have room for 12 stylists, three nail techs and two massage therapists. I’ve been really selective because I want a good team and I want an atmosphere that’s inviting. I don’t want to just fill it up with the first people that come.”
Wallace, a 15-year veteran of the hair care industry, and stylists Valerie Thurston and Kathy Phelps all made the move from a downtown Lee’s Summit salon to B-Envied and provided much of the grunt work to get the new space ready. Wallace, the owner, spent about two years building her clientele here before re-entering the salon business on her own. With the help, support and backing of her husband, who is in the IT field, she searched long and wide for a good locale for her Lee’s Summit beauty shop.
Her shop in Wichita, which she owned for eight years, was 11 square feet; B-Envied is measured at 28 square foot of space.
“It’s more than double the space,” Wallace said, adding that she drove back and forth from here to Wichita for two years to do clients hair there as well. “(The bigger space) is not bad. My husband and I started looking probably about a year ago. Every spot that we looked at had something about it that I didn’t like. I told him that if I’m going to open one again, I want an amazing one or I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to open one just to say I own a salon.”
“I love it,” added Thurston, a veteran of the industry since 1994. “Love it. Clients really love it.”
A customer, Shari Smotherman, a Pleasant Hill resident who works in Lee’s Summit, said she became acquainted with Wallace through Wallace’s previous work in downtown Lee’s Summit. Smotherman followed Wallace to B-Envied and is impressed with the staff’s work six weeks in.
“It’s very relaxing,” Smotherman said. “It’s calming, relaxing and it’s a pleasure to come in and get pampered.”
Phelps, a 25-year veteran of the beautician industry and a Lee’s Summit resident, was just as pleased as her co-workers and clients with the new spacious salon.
“It’s just a great feeling to be able to move to a place that has a lot of great light and space,” she said. “You don’t feel like you’re cramped. You have room to be able to talk to your customers on a one-on-one basis without having to hear 40 other people talking at the same time, which is nice for clients because they like to come in and feel relaxed and comfortable more than anything else.
“They get a sense in here that it’s calm and relaxing and they can get away from their crazy lives.”
Wallace added some of the great features of her salon are the ability to perform couples massages – two massage tables are separated by French doors – and the multiple stations for pedicures. The air venting system in the pedicure area is also a great asset, Wallace said. Acrylic fumes are a problem in the nail industry, but it won’t be at B-Envied.
“I think having the fresh air in there is a huge thing because that’s the biggest complaint; people don’t like the smell of that nail stuff,” Thurston said. “The massage room is huge and that’s nice. That is something that I think people will like because they like having couples massages – be it a weeding group or husband-wife. Same thing with the pedicure chairs. Having three chairs that we can get a group in is really good.”
And picking up her life and moving to Missouri? Wallace wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I was born in Lee’s Summit, but moved to Wichita when I was an infant,” she said. “Now, I’m back.”