Home News Tribune Online 01/18/07
By CHRIS JORDAN
It’s a colorful little nook of the world we have here in central Jersey, and you can thank the folks at Salon Dolce Vita in Edison partly for that.
“Color is really big,” said stylist Alissa Bambaci of one of the highlights of the salon. “Some people save to color their hair to look professional over gray. The young girls, yeah, they use a lot of color.
“Men get their hair colored here, which I don’t think they do outside our area.”
Customers can find Salon Dolce Vita nestled in the Wick plaza on Route 1 south, a few doors down from Pathmark.
“We do a lot of highlights and corrective color,” said owner Janine Fortun. “We have a lot of classes, and (the stylists) peep up with their education and keep up with the coloring trends =nd techniques and all that”
That they do. Customer Mary Columb of Edison was quite pleased her cut by Alissa on this Monday afternoon.
“I come to Alissa all the time — she’s very good,” Columb said.
Mondays are usually quiet at the salon, and this one is so different. Owner Fortun, a stylist herself, alternately works at the computer at the front of the store or in the back taking care of the paperwork.
Speaking of colors, the salon glows in hues of amber and gold thanks to warm wood-toned counters and dusk gold walls. There are 18 employees in total at the salon but only a handful today.
Most customers prefer to come closer to the weekend.
“I wanted a place where we’re not really bang them in, bang them out,” said Fortun, who purchased the salon in 2004 after working as a stylist there for several years. “We want people to sit down, relax, have a cup of coffee and cater to them a little more. so their needs and complaints with their hair styles. Recommend the right product services — a little more personalized.”
Fortun is Pittsburgh-raised and moved here with her boyfriend, who’s now her husband and often helps out on the administrative end of the business. She’s 32, and says her relative youth in being the owner and operator of a salon proved to be a challenge.
It’s sometimes not easy being boss.
“I didn’t want that title even though I was,” said Fortun, who nods to a stylist as the stylist goes on break. “I still want these girls to be my teammates and work as a team rather then my being their boss and my employees. Sometimes when I need to address an issue, going to them, then I do have to be boss so that was a little hard for me.”
Fortun of Piscataway likes to keep up on the competition. She recently visited the famous — or infamous — Jonathan Salon in Beverly Hills, the featured locale of the Bravo reality series “Blow Out.”
“The owner (Jonathan Antin) is really good looking, so I wanted to see if I could run into him and see him in person,” said Fortun in between chuckles. “I just wanted to see what it would be like in a different type of salon in L.A., in a pretty upscale area. So I went in to have my hair styled for $75, and it was worth it just for the experience. Jonathan was there but I didn’t get to see him because he was with a client the whole time.”
It would seem he’s taking a page out of the Salon Dolce Vita book.