A growing national brand of salons, known for its individual studio concept and business empowerment model, has opened in Fresno.
Sola Salon Studios has 28 beauty businesses in 5,500 square feet of space at Palm and Nees avenues near the bluffs in northwest Fresno. The franchise is owned by Brett and Shawna Bortolussi and Shay Stevenson from the San Diego area.
“We had heard great things about (the Fresno) market growing and expanding,” Stevenson said. “It was a large market and it was one of the few markets of size that was available in California … coupled with the growth we saw and the expansion that was coming to Fresno, we thought it would be a great location.”
The Sola Salon company started in 2004 with its first location in Denver. The company has since opened 300 locations, with 7,500 stylists, across the country. Fresno is the 59th location in California.
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Sola is not your typical salon with a large open room, chairs, mirrors and sinks. The salon has individual walled suites for stylists, manicurists, barbers, estheticians and other beauty professionals who want to take ownership of their businesses and grow, Stevenson said.
“They all own their salon, which allows them complete freedom in how they run their business,” he said. “We give them the tools to do that in an effective and safe manner which is focused on education.”
The studios range in size from 100 to 200 square feet. Tenants are part of the Sola brand, but set their own hours and prices and decorate their spaces the way they like. They have a 12-month license agreement with the owner and pay a fixed weekly rent. All cabinetry, utilities, internet service and security is included.
“What Sola is about is customer service,” Stevenson said, “allowing entrepreneurs to essentially develop and grow in our walls and empower them as entrepreneurs.”