For 14 years Kim Baker has been coloring, cutting and styling hair at various salons. It wasn't until last year that she finally felt that the timing was right to open her own business.
"Each place I worked at I collected ideas about what worked really great and what didn't," Baker said.
Though she had considered owning her own salon for a while, it just wasn't the right time until August 2007 when she finally took the advice and support of friends and family and took her keen business sense on a new adventure.
Within a month of saying yes to the space behind Bella Blue Boutique, Bijou, located at 6 Jordan St. in Skaneateles, was prepped, painted and staffed.
"It came about really suddenly," Baker said. "It was definitely the right timing."
Bijou and its employees celebrated their one-year anniversary on Sept. 4. Since opening, the salon has seen the addition of several staff members and expanded quite a bit in terms of product lines and services, Baker said. The salon that began with the owner and one employee manning styling stations, now touts seven stylists aside from Baker and an array of services.
Each stylist researches the latest in colors and styles, among other services to pamper their customers, and Baker attends many conferences with her employees so they can continue to evolve as professionals in their field.
Often, ideas come not only from conferences but from clients who have either been having their hair done by Baker for many years or new clients who started coming to Bijou after its opening.
Stylist Courtney Conley has been working on hair for 10 years, and it's something that is ingrained in her. Her mother has been a stylist for 36 years, she said.
"It's something I picked up from her," Conley said. "I absolutely love it."