It didn’t take long to find a proprietor for 484 Connecticut Street. This past October, I stopped in to check on the building progress that was underway, to transform the nondescript corner into a real head turner (see here). At the time, the building owners told me that they had an interested party on the line, but it was too soon to disclose any information.
It turns out that the business is a salon called Salon de Coquette, which is owned and operated by Charlene Minx. I called Charlene earlier today to discuss the salon, and the building restoration. She was happy to talk about her fondness for Connecticut Street (The Connecticut Street Corridor), and her 16 year experience in the salon business.
Charlene told me that she feels that she has the right business for the street, because she wants to have a diverse salon that services a variety of hair types. Charlene herself has an expertise and passion for cutting and styling curly textured hair. She also loved to color fantasy hair – she refers to it as “Pinterest hair”… the silvers, the blues, the pinks and purples, etc. Once open, Salon de Coquette will have four chairs – Charlene is currently looking for three other stylists who can braid, do cornrows, color correct, and/or perform keratin treatments, permanent straightening, highlights, facial waxing, bridal hair, updos (in salon or on location), traditional coloring, balayage (hand painting of the hair, instead of traditional foils)… she wants to appeal to as many hair profiles as possible. “Salon de Coquette is an all inclusive salon.”
Charlene doesn’t only want to be fair to all hair types, she also wants to be gender neutral. Therefore, she will be charging customers by the length of the hair, instead of charging by gender. If guys get charged less because they have shorter hair, then girls should also get charged less if they have short hair, which sounds fair to me.
When it comes right down to it, Charlene is just as excited to open a diverse salon, as she is about being on Connecticut Street. “I worked on Elmwood for ten years, and in Kenmore for six,” she told me. “I knew that I wanted to be on Connecticut Street, even before the building was restored. There’s such a great buzz on the street. All of the neighbors are stopping in to say hello, and wish me congratulations. To me, that’s what makes all of this so special. My mantra is ‘building confidence from the outside in.'”
Not only is Charlene building confidence with her hair styles, she’s also helping to build up confidence on the street, which is an added bonus for this reimagined West Side corridor.