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The owners of a new salon in the Vista say they hope to be a one-stop-shop for basic beauty needs in what they call “the next hot neighborhood.”
The husband-and-wife team of Leann and Michael Norris celebrated the opening of Glowout on Friday. The couple say they hope to attract women who need a quick touch up before a special event or for women looking to freshen up while hanging out with their girlfriends.
“I felt like Columbia was missing a place like this — where you have a really cool atmosphere, you can come with girlfriends and hang out and get your essential services all under one roof,” said Leann, the company’s first franchise owner.
The beauty shop offers quick blowdrys and updos, spray tanning and nail services, including their popular “no chip” gel manicure and pedicure. A “zen den” offers a warm and relaxing atmosphere for washing hair, while clients can mingle and sip infused water and drinks. The salon does not offer haircuts or color, but focuses on tailoring the spa-like experience to each woman.
“You walk in and you get your essential beauty services in a quicker timeframe than a traditional salon, or if you’re throwing a party you can linger longer,” said founder Jennifer Dieas. “It really depends on the client but we cater to both lifestyles.”
Glowout was founded in Chicago with the intention of giving women a central location to receive head-to-toe beauty services. Leann said she had learned of it through Dieas’ fiance, whom she met along with her husband, Michael, through a shared interest in partner dancing.
Leann had worked in the pharmaceutical industry and had returned to her alma mater, the University of South Carolina, to teach at the College of Pharmacy. She decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship with her husband, who owns a marketing and promotional agency.
Leann split her time between teaching and running the salon, and she says she has found a lot of support in the Vista’s business community.
“We joined the Vista Guild almost immediately after we signed the lease. They’ve been awesome,” she said. “It’s been very beneficial for us to meet a variety of business owners here in this area, and it offers us an opportunity to network with small business owners and understand there are people out there working as hard as we are and are having similar struggles.”
Glowout is just one of a number of new businesses that have opened within the past year, spurred by the impending population boom from USC and by the growing number of young professionals opting to stay in Columbia after graduation.
“With so much landmark development coming to the Vista, we’re very pleased that this neighborhood is still an attractive place for small, locally owned businesses as well,” said Richard Burts, Vista Guild board president. “We welcome Glowout and know that their brand will be right at home in the Vista.”
Leann said she hopes the new hotels, restaurants and nightlife will help Glowout build its client base and flourish.
“We chose this space because we do feel like this is the heart of the town,” Leann said. “We wanted to be in the hot spot. We hope to continue to grow the business here.”
Glowout is a contemporary loft space that can be rented for bachelorette parties, girls’ night out events and the salon’s signature “Pretty Parties,” which include blowouts, dry hair styling, manicures, pedicures and organic airbrush tanning. Details on the salons services and operating hours can be found at the Glowout website.