Today's beautiful people don't take a day off, choosing to maintain their health and beauty routines even throughout the worst economic situation since the Great Depression.
Maybe that's because their beautifully coiffed hair and nails make them feel the opposite of depressed. Connie Stephens, owner of Eclipse Spa Salon, to which many entrust the maintenance of their high beauty standards, said beautiful hair and nails make her clients feel good.
"I've had clients say to me that they're going to get their hair done and they'll let something else go," Stephens said. "The beauty services have become more important to people. It's not looked at so much as a luxury, but more a necessity."
These days, she said, everyone is asking for avant-garde hair color. Its bright choppy stripes or fading ombre effect are fun and liberating.
"You see young people with all these different colors of hair," Stephens said. Nails painted in shades of blue and green make clients of all ages happy, too, and gel or shellac nail polish is the latest trend, gaining popularity in the last year. Stephens said the treatment may cost more than traditional nail polish, but it lasts two weeks. Color is cured under an ultraviolet lamp for extra durability without having to resort to acrylic nails.
Stephens said her clients travel to her downtown salon from the far reaches of Chattanooga and even from out of town, including Atlanta and Nashville. Local professionals like to set up appointments during their lunch breaks so they'll have their weekends free, she said.
"If they move out of town they may continue coming back here, at least for a while," said Stephens. "You develop a special relationship with your clientele because they're sitting in your chair and they talk to you about a lot of different things, and so you get to know them pretty well."
Tourists, out-of-town business people and high schoolers in town for, say, a music convention also find their way to her door, and nearby hotels refer their guests.
Stephens said no matter where her clients come from, they're all particular about what they want, and that's where Eclipse shines.
"We like to do what we do well," she said. "They have our undivided attention while they're here and I think that is one of the greatest things that we try to do."
She and her staff listen and give clients what they ask for in detail, she said, and one employee is known amongst clients to be a miracle worker with light blond hair color.
Stephens said soon Eclipse will expand its manicure-pedicure alcove to accommodate small groups, so friends can come in and get services together.
Giving back to the community has always been important to the business, Stephens said.
"It's supporting the things that are going on in Chattanooga," she said.
She supports the causes of clients and non-clients usually by donating gift certificates. Most recently she donated to benefit the Chocolate Fling and the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee.
"I like making people look good and feel good," Stephens said. "I enjoy making them happy."
Eclipse Spa Salon is located at 810 Broad St. and offers tanning, facials, perms, updos and more. Stephens opened the salon in 1990, right after the Tennessee Aquarium opened just a few blocks away. She said they "rolled up the sidewalks" at 5 p.m. then, but "now it's gotten so vibrant."
For more information, visit www.eclipsespasalonchattanooga.com or call 423-267-3144.
PACKAGES, GIFTS FOR EVERY OCCASION
For Mother's Day consider giving a facial, manicure
or pedicure with the experts at Eclipse Spa Salon.
Eclipse offers wedding packages: special hair and
makeup treatment for the bride only or for her maids,
too, complete with massages, mimosas and refreshments.
Salon owner Connie Stephens said she's even
orchestrated grooms' parties with massages and haircuts.