Closure spurs new businessBarely a month after the Cost Cutters salon in the Mariner Mall closed, Shear Design LLC reopened the spot.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Barely a month after the Cost Cutters salon in the Mariner Mall closed, Shear Design LLC reopened the spot.
The color scheme may be different, but the faces are the same. Gina Johnson, Toni Forseth and Stephanie Brown, former stylists for Cost Cutters, launched their own salon — propelled by client requests.
“Our customers encouraged us to stay here,” Johnson said. “They’re comfortable with this spot and with us.” So the trio made the move to business owners.
Although it was a challenge, Forseth said, knowing they had the backing of their clients took some of the fear factor away. One client even helped them navigate their way to a license and lease.
“Luckily one of the customers is a lawyer,” Johnson said. “We already knew him; he already knew us.”
Family and friends helped paint the shop and install new furniture. Shear Design opened Jan. 25 to brisk first-day business. New customers comprise about 30 percent of their business, Forseth said, and former clients have stayed loyal.
“I’d rather find a new doctor than a new stylist,” said Beth Vargo of Superior, who has been a client of Johnson’s for nearly a dozen years.
“Your stylist is your buddy,” said Carol Cooper, who has trusted Forseth’s hair care for five years. Even when she left Superior and moved to Cloquet, Cooper kept returning to the Mariner Mall to Forseth. Cooper said she would have followed wherever the stylist went, but she didn’t have to.
“When they said they were starting their own place I said ‘Yes,’” Cooper said.
The new shop is upbeat, upscale and fresh, said Leanne Verner of Superior. It’s not crowded, and the three business partners get along well.
“They’re awesome girls,” Verner said.
Although they could have chosen to relocate, the owners of Shear Design said the mall is in a central location, offers plenty of parking and is easy to access.
“We stayed local because people stayed local with us,” Johnson said.
Shear Design provides hair services for men, women and children — from cuts, colors and perms to beard and mustache trimming — as well as eyebrow and lip waxing. They offer both military and student discounts, and recently introduced paraffin dips for hands.
“We really strive to give great customer service,” Forseth said. They don’t want to be a pricey salon, she said, but they stress quality over quantity.
“We want you to come, get what you want and not pay a huge price,” Johnson said.
The three make folks feel comfortable, Verner said, and they’re up to date on the latest styles and colors.
“All around they’re just a neat, neat group of girls and an excellent salon,” she said.
Although a door shut at the Mariner Mall, the new business-owners found that another one opened.
“It really came down to the customers showing their support, letting us know they were going to be here and going back us,” Forseth said.
“’Cause they do and they are,” Brown said.
Shear Design is located in Suite 31 at the Mariner Mall, 69 N. 28th St. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. A grand opening is planned for April 13.
Appointments can be made at 715-392-2513, but walk-ins are also welcome.