Beauty today is big business!
Business growth in the beauty salon and hair care services industry is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 3.2% to $58.7 billion by 2019, according to the Small Business National Information Clearinghouse.
An innovative venture created for the beauty salon business recently arrived in the Reston-Herndon corridor. It is called Cirque Salon Studios and you will find it on Elden Street in the Herndon shopping center close to Mom’s Organic Market and Panera.
Founded on today’s fast-growing entrepreneurial trend in retailing, Cirque Salon Studios (Cirque) is a highly successful business model started in Charleston, South Carolina eight years ago. The name was selected because it radiates the pulsing chic and high style of Avenue des Champs Elysées in the fashion capital of Europe.
Cirque was created to help health, beauty and wellness providers establish their own business without high overhead or construction costs. The goal is to make business ownership a viable option for beauty service providers who want to keep more of their profits, offer flexible hours and have more time with their families.
Located in Herndon Centre, Cirque’s deluxe 5,000-square-feet is divided into 26 private studios of varying types and sizes to accommodate aesthetic professionals of all trades, including hair stylists, nail technicians, and massage therapists. A dozen of the single and double-occupancy studios are already occupied. A Cirque studio operator is called an “owner.” A well-appointed lobby welcomes the visitor.
A Cirque owner can move in and be open for business the same day. An affordable weekly rent for each suite includes beauty studio chairs, shampoo sinks, all utilities and WIFI. Cirque also offers owners free laundry service. Gone is the hassle of lugging home 30-pounds of washing every night!
Cirque suites provide beauty entrepreneurs an instant business opportunity with a minimal investment, simplified lease agreements and no long-term commitments. Owners are encouraged to create their own studio “statements” by choosing their favorite wall paint color, furniture, artwork and appointments.
Beau Schweikert, Cirque partner and owner of the Reston-Herndon facility says, “Imagine the joy, freedom and flexibility to create your own work schedule: to come and go as you please, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A high security and convenient lock-box next to the front door enables you to establish your own hours.”
Renting a Cirque salon suite allows one to set their own prices and to select and sell their favorite services and retail products, keeping all for profits for themselves. Although one still needs to be licensed and pay taxes, Cirque owners will have 100% control of their earnings and income.
Schweikert said that the magic of Cirque Salon is best expressed by Hanna Hawaz, owner of Hair by Hanna who recently opened her own Cirque studio. Hawaz provides specialized services in cuts, weaves, color, highlights, and African American hair styling in her independent salon. She has 7 years of experience as a professional hair stylist, and has built a strong base of clientele through referrals. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Hawaz has now achieved her goal of being self-employed in her own salon space.
“While working for someone else, I realized I wanted to do this independently,” says Hawaz, who resides in nearby Sterling, Virginia. “I love the fact that I will have more time to devote to my clients, carry my preferred line of products, and grow my own business at Cirque Salon Studios.”
History Behind the Reston-Herndon Cirque
Following a career in health care management and a decade as an operator of franchised retail stores, David Manzi in 2007 sought to improve the way spa and salon professionals use real estate. After spending a year studying the salon business and retail trends, Manzi opened the first Cirque Salon Studios in September of 2008. Located in the West Ashley suburb of Charleston, South Carolina, this Cirque has 24 individual studios and was fully leased within 12 months.
Building on lessons learned from his first venture, as well as a lot of positive feedback from his first Cirque professionals, Manzi opened the second location in November of 2010. Situated in Charleston’s upscale suburb of Mt. Pleasant, this Cirque has 24 studios and was fully leased in 6 months.
In 2012, Beau Schweikert – an experienced real estate and finance professional and David’s long-time friend and classmate – started consulting to Cirque on real estate matters and expansion strategies.
Schweikert helped Manzi open his third location in November of 2013, 25 miles west of Charleston, in Summerville, South Carolina. With 30 studios, this Cirque was 25% larger than its predecessors. It was fully leased in just 14 months!
The two old friends dedicated 2013 and 2014 to evaluating different growth strategies. After considering the pros and cons of each, they concluded that franchising could maximize the potential of the brand and the proprietary business methods they had developed. In September of 2014 they hired a firm well recognized in the industry to assist them with the complexities of organizing the franchising company.
For their first expansion, it was decided that the Washington, D.C. market was ready for Cirque. The affluent and rapidly-expanding region of Northern Virginia looked perfect for their initial venture outside of South Carolina. The Reston-Herndon corridor perfectly fit their demographic model.
In May of 2016 they opened the Herndon Center store and rolled out the pioneering salon studio concept for the strategic growth initiative which targets the Carolinas, Washington, D.C. and surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, and the Mid-Atlantic.
Schweikert said that two of his earliest clients were residents of Reston. The first salon owner to take up residence on site was Lexie Badawy of Theory – Artisan Hair, a dynamic studio specializing in artisan haircuts, color and design. With a background in hair care services, including prior work with big names in fashion such as Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent.
The other Reston resident was Marina Sizova, owner of Beauty by Marina, a licensed makeup artist, with a B.S. in International Affairs. In 2012, she started her business and has worked for leading cosmetic companies like MAC, NARS and Bobbi Brown. Sizova, a Reston resident, was born and raised in Ukraine.
“The D.C. market is by no means fully built out with the Cirque concept or those of our competitors,” said Schweikert. “We have big plans to fully extend our presence here – either on our own or with interested owners.”
Salon spaces are now available in the Herndon location of Cirque Salon Studios for health, beauty, and wellness services. Professionals interested in developing the freedom and independence of their own salon business can learn more and apply at cirquesalonstudios.com.