Find out why this Montreal-based salon owner has decided to downsize to focus on her artistry. If owning a salon instantly infuses a hairstylist’s name and reputation with prestige, it’s little wonder that managing the tedious day-to-day operations can become quite challenging. This is especially true when owners are behind the chair most of the time while simultaneously managing staff and the business. “We’re always running around in a large salon, and clients can feel the stress,” says Sophie Tessier, owner of La Rousse salon in Montreal. “So, I decided to listen to my needs and make a change so that I’m 100 per cent dedicated to my clientele and my art.”
The new iteration of La Rousse—it means “redhead” in French and is aptly named because of Tessier’s flaming red hair—is now located inside a medical aesthetics clinic in a quiet neighbourhood, far from the hustle and bustle of Saint Laurent boulevard, its previous location. “In this new environment, my clients can have access to a range of beauty services under one roof. I’ve divided the salon into two distinct spaces: The technical area has a lot of light, while the styling and cutting area is more subdued. All of this is to infuse a sense of calmness.”
Small Is Beautiful!
The décor, an artful blend of soft roses and muted shades, features a large section of wallpaper with oversized blooms. Since the ceiling was lower in the hairstyling section, a stretched black canvas was added to create the feeling of infinity. “Even with flower motifs, it feels dark and intimate, since I wanted my male clients to feel comfortable,” she says. In this new chapter of her professional life, Tessier is aiming for a small team dedicated to providing high-quality hair services in calm surroundings. “I’m focused on my clients more than ever and this very peaceful atmosphere elevates that focus because there aren’t a dozen hairdryers running at once.” Two stylists and an assistant are the only people on staff, and every service is very much hands on. Bookings are done online, which is easier for clients. As for brands, she chose Balmain, because she wanted a luxury line that fits with the building’s medical clinic and their clients. “It had to resonate with the needs they had for something sophisticated and elegant.” As for Tessier? “I am very happy. Now I can continue to create in peace and quiet.”