Ever since Split Ends Salon owner Ann Askew met Ralph Smith many years ago, she had been envious of his spot on Signal Mountain. Smith owned Ralph's Salon in Signal Plaza for more than 40 years.
"I thought he had the Hamilton Place of Signal Mountain," said Askew.
When the space recently opened up, she jumped at the chance to move her salon from Walden to the heart of Signal Mountain.
Askew, who currently employs three stylists, plans to add five more at her new location.
"This is an area with a lot of traffic, so it's a great area to build or boost a hairdresser's business," she said, adding that she is currently interviewing potential manicurists and pedicurists as well. "We have a large calling for that."
The salon currently carries a range of retail items, such as styling products and jewelry, which Askew plans to expand to include sunglasses and scarves in the future.
Licensed in Tennessee and Georgia since 1971, Askew completed her training at the New York Vidal Sassoon Academy and had Paul Mitchell as an instructor before he started his own company.
She moved her salon Tangles from Highway 58 to Signal Mountain in 1996 and changed its name to Split Ends in 2002. The salon has always specialized in color and design cuts, said Askew.
"We look at a client's bone structure and can adapt a particular cut to them," she said. "Cutting is the foundation of everything, and education is something you can't slow down on."
In early spring, Askew said, she plans to bring in a stylist from out of town to work with her stylists.
She also plans to open a salon just for kids in the future.
"I think that would be a great addition," said Askew, whose daughter Dannette Casto has worked with her as a stylist for the past 25 years.