By Lisa Zola-DeLibero
Keeping things nice and simple is the mantra for Mane Street Salon, a place that specializes in customer service with a comfortable environment.
Owners Sandy Morgano, 53, and Sandy Gagliardi-Manfredi, 38, met when they were both working for the same salon in Hamilton for 11 years. They loved what they were doing, but Morgano wanted more, and thought about starting her own business.
“I always wanted to have my own place,” Morgano said. “But I didn’t want to do it alone. I saw an ad for a place at 1450 South Olden Avenue, which is where we are located. The ad said the place was turnkey, and it pretty much was. So I asked Sandy to be a partner with me, and here we are, 10 years later, still loving what we do everyday.”
Morgano, the mother of two, son Robert, 24, and daughter Emily, 17, who also works at the salon, along with Gagliardi-Manfredi, also a mother of two, sons Aiden, 6, and Owen, 4 months, are hard-working women who know what it takes to run a successful business.
“We have a mutual respect for one another,” Gagliardi-Manfredi said. “We keep our relationship professional. We always have each others’ back, and we never have any issues.”
When one of the owners wants to go on vacation, or has to take a few days to take care of family, the other Sandy makes sure that things continue to run smoothly.
“We always want to make sure that the business is running great for our customers,” Morgano said. “We love people, and the truth is, we get paid to socialize, and we also receive instant gratification in what we do. Our customers are always happy with how they look, and there is nothing better to us than that.”
Like the owners, who each graduated from Mercer County College with a degree in cosmetology, the staff at Mane Street Salon is highly trained. Hair stylist Lindsay Jenkins, a 2006 graduate of Hamilton West, is a favorite to the young customers.
“Lindsay actually teaches us and keeps us current on the newest styles and fashion,” Gagliardi-Manfredi said. “Even though we go to Atlantic City or New York City to hair and fashion shows, having Lindsey here is great because she knows what is in, and what customers are looking for.”
Jenkins loves working with the Sandys.
“Both of them have been mentors to me, and they have given me so much support the past 10 years, which is how long I have been working here,” Jenkins said. “One of the things that we are very proud of is that we give back to the community. We have gift cards and door prizes, as well as a basket raffle that we do around the holidays. It doesn’t cost our customers anything, but they can win these prizes, and it makes them feel good.”
Also employed at the salon are Michelle O’Brien and Kelly Hoffman.
“We have such wonderful employees,” Morgano said. “Michelle came over with us from the other salon, and Kelly, who is an up and coming assistant, has been with us for five years. Customers love these girls. In fact, at Christmas time, Kelly gets more gifts that all of us.”
The salon is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9-4. Most customers have scheduled appointments, although the salon does take walk-ins. Specializing in the newest custom coloring and modern highlighting techniques, Mane Street also sells popular brands of hair products like It’s a 10, Paul Mitchell, Rusk and Matrix Biolage.
“We are always staying up on education as to what is new and what changes are going on out there,” Gagliardi-Manfredi said. “Right now, the look that’s in is Retro Hollywood Glamour, which is old school with a punky twist. “
Customer Alex Kaminski travels and hour and a half to come to Mane Street salon, and her cousin, Courtney Luther, who moved to Iowa, travels much further to come to this place that they rave to everyone about.
“I absolutely love it here,” Kaminski said. “I live in South Jersey and drive pretty far to come here. But it is so worth it. Lindsay does my hair, and I don’t even have to tell her what to do. She just knows.”
For customer Donna Shemansky, a Robbinsville resident whose sister recommended the salon, she feels like she is coming to talk with friends, who have been her support system the past five years, while at the same time, gets her hair done.
“When you find something you like, you stay with it,” Shemansky said. “I am always happy with the way my hair looks when I leave. Always.”
Mane Street Salon is located at 1450 South Olden Avenue. Phone: (609) 890-3200.