Lawrenceville Hair Salon Expands to Wexford
Google “best hair color in Pittsburgh” and the first name you will see, with very good reason, is Isle of You Hair Color Studio. “The Studio” has earned a stellar reputation as the go-to salon for outstanding color, and the story behind the business is one of hard work, passion, teamwork, love and an unending thirst for knowledge. Husband and wife team Josh and Shari Geldrich left corporate careers and opened Isle of You Hair Color Studio in Lawrenceville in 2011.
Isle of You Hair Color Studio’s reputation was built on exceptional hair color. Shari’s background as a field trainer and National Education Manager for multi-national hair color companies allowed her to offer color services that go beyond the average. In addition to beautiful traditional color, the Studio quickly became known for daring, cutting-edge, creative fashion color, and difficult corrective color that other salons were afraid of. Under Shari’s guidance, Studio colorists produced results that attracted the attention of industry leaders, Hollywood icons and local celebrities.
With Josh at the helm as Business Manager, they were able to form a model that provided growth, and quickly business was booming. Before long, Isle of You Hair Color Studio became the “it” salon for color, gaining appearances on local television, interviews in major newspapers and editorial coverage in several local magazines and publications. Shari’s ability to mix a bowl of color into magic earned the Studio a spot on Pittsburgh’s A List for Best Color, followed by being ranked one of the 15 buzzworthy salons by Pittsburgh Magazine, and spotlighted for hair color. Most recently Shari was recognized as 1 of 4 leading women entrepreneurs by North Hills Monthly.
But with that success, they faced a small problem: the business had outgrown the space that the Studio occupied. The answer? Expansion. The couple debated between finding a larger space in Lawrenceville, or opening a second location. After thorough demographic study, Shari, Josh and their advisory team chose Wexford for their expansion.
The Wexford home of Isle of You Hair Color Studio is in the Village at Pine, near the Giant Eagle Market District. The team was able to acquire the ideally-located site of a previous salon, providing visibility, easy access from I79, Rt. 19 and 910, plenty of parking, and lots of options for lunch and shopping for guests before or after their appointments. The Studio offers a carefully curated selection of hair care brands: Kevin Murphy, Wella and Sebastian, and recently announced the addition of Oribe products to their portfolio.
The Wexford Studio also added a new service division: the Bombshell Blow-out Bar at Isle of You Hair Color Studio, offering a comprehensive service menu of blow-outs, formal styling, deep conditioning and spa hair treatments.
The toughest part of any salon business is finding stylists who can perform at the skill level expected by discerning guests. Fortunately, Isle of You Hair Color Studio’s reputation attracts top talent, and the team at the Wexford location is no exception. Led by two leaders who have been with the company for some time and see clients in both locations, the Wexford Studio boasts colorists and stylists with impressive resumes that include published editorial work, advanced training from Toni and Guy and Sassoon, a former cosmetology teacher and a Brazilian Blowout educator.
“Hire for personality, train for skill” Shari replies, when asked how they managed to find such an extraordinary group of professionals. “We’ve been very fortunate to be able to hand-select stylists with an exceptional skill level and training. We also have new talent; new stylists who are training with us and will be moving into junior stylist roles as their skills sharpen.” The best thing about the Isle of You team, in both locations: they share a genuine fondness for each other.
Walk into either salon, and you will feel the camaraderie, the tangible happiness, and the willingness to help each other in the true spirit of teamwork. “Yeah, we all really care about each other,” says Josh. “You can’t fake it, and you can’t force this kind of atmosphere.” How did they do it? “It’s just our company culture,” they reply. “We believe in treating everyone with respect, and trying to provide a place where everyone can learn, grow, and find their creative voice within their professional career.”