Salon Rouge - Big Fish, Small Pond

Sunday, March 02, 2014
In every small town across America, there's at least one salon that raises the bar for everyone else. Mishawaka, IN, (population 46,557) has Salon Rouge.

Nicknamed "The Princess City," Mishawaka, IN, was named after the 19th century Princess Mishawaka, the daughter of Shawnee Indian Chief Elkhart, whose affair with a white trapper and abduction by a jealous Indian suitor created a mix of romance and intrigue that still characterizes the city today. Making history all on its own in this small city, Salon Rouge provides locals with big-city services to keep them looking fresh and current.

With more than 20 years of experience working at such prestigious salons as Vidal Sassoon and José Eber, Salon Rouge owner Gail Getz knows what it takes to run and maintain a successful hair business. The salon, which opened in 1997 and changed its name in 2003, only offers salon services because it's what Getz knows best.

She also exclusively hires novice stylists who then go through the salon's training program. "This is the only way I can maintain quality control," Getz says. "I know exactly what kind of work will get done. Also, when everyone grows up within the same training program, there is often less jealousy and more teamwork."

The 3,000-square-foot salon features a primarily red-colored, New Orleans-inspired decor with chandeliers throughout and large oval mirrors at every station. The salon's 22 stylists, as well as the receptionists, all understand the importance of customer service, which is why they treat all clients with the utmost attention and care. "Our front desk staff is just as important as our stylists because they are the first people clients see and the last people they talk to," Getz says. "We never want any client to feel uncomfortable here."

Salon Rouge offers a variety of hair and nail services to its clients, who Getz claims consist mostly of transplants from all different parts of the United States. "We have a lot of clients from big cities and other parts of the country who are attracted to the services we provide," says Getz, who insists that keeping these clients satisfied and eager to return is the salon's constant goal. "My aspirations were never to have multiple salons," Getz says. "I am satisfied with just one phenomenal salon, so we work hard on keeping it great every single day." —NICOLE PALMIERI