An inspirational journey of two sisters with a lifelong dream of opening their own salon and turning that dream into a reality.
In Lombard, Illinois right on Main Street sits a salon where dreams came to fruition. Katie Gasiamis and Kelly Dolecki are two sisters who took a leap of faith in early 2023 to open their salon. With one door closing in their styling positions, they felt that the door to Mane Haven was just opening. “We truly believe in God’s timing. As one door closed around us at our current place of employment, we were forced to decide, to follow our dream and or stay in the same place as the years before, working as independent stylists. The moment we took the leap to open our own salon was the moment everything just started to fall into place,” Katie told us. They strived to open a space where stylists and clients could feel like family, cultivate community, and feel included. Its purpose is to be a haven. Katie wanted it to be “A space where our staff always feels they have the freedom to create and completely be themselves.”
This salon has a roomy 15 chairs with 14 stylists who each have their own unique specialties. As a salon, they specialize in Customized Color, Balayage, Bridal, Hair Extensions, and modern styles. Owner Katie specializes in blonding while owner Kelly specializes in brunettes, so you get the best of both worlds. “What sets us apart from our competitors is the VIBE of our space. Guests can feel the vibe the second they walk through our doors. Guests have commented on how they love that we have such a luxury space, that feels so bright and welcoming,” says Katie. The sisters go above and beyond to create a space that feels like home. They even offer complimentary beverages and snacks. They have a collaborative space with luxury shampoo bowls to make their guests feel comfortable.
“What we love most about our job is helping other stylists succeed in their career, giving them the tools and education to work towards their goals behind the chair. There is nothing more rewarding than watching our team succeed and hit their goals. We also love helping clients look and feel their best and building long-lasting relationships.”
-Katie Gasiamis, Owner
The leap of faith led the way in their business venture. Katie shares that her biggest hurdle was “letting go of control”.
“Letting go of control and just trusting that whatever was going to happen with the construction and build-out was essentially out of our control and that we needed to be able to just go with the flow. When opening a salon, you’re not only putting yourself at risk financially, but mentally and physically as well. No one prepares you for the emotional toll and roller coaster of a ride the construction process takes you through.”
Katie’s biggest piece of advice for others looking to open a salon…
“Ask as many questions as possible, link up with other salon business owners and listen to their stories, learn from their mistakes. Always have a budget and stick to it! Be aware of your numbers, budget for everything, and then some – plan for the unexpected. It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment with buying the fun stuff, make sure to keep track of every dollar spent and prioritize what is most important to spend your money on in your space.”
Katie shares what she would do differently if she had the chance to go back in time…
“If you are an owner and a stylist, plan to take more time off behind the chair. It’s very hard to set back and things get overwhelming quickly. Learn to separate your old role as a stylist from your new role as CEO. You are now running a business and your business and team of stylists are your main priority. You will need to have specific days dedicated to each role/job or your mental and physical health will suffer. Build your business first, because if your business is successful… you are successful.”
Buy-Rite Beauty places high importance on building community and supporting salon owners throughout their whole journey. We are proud of these sisters and love sharing their success. Thank you for your business Mane Haven! We can’t wait to see what you do next!
Mane Haven’s salon features our luxurious Oasis Backwash Unit.
Connect with Mane Haven:
1300 S Main Street
Unit P & Q
Lombard, IL 60148