Going with the Glow: Florence salon offers hair, makeup, massage and more

  • Hairstylist Justin Foucher works with Rachel Blow of Easthampton at Glow Beauty Bar in Florence. At top, Kate Jaksik, owner of Glow Beauty Bar, talks about the Florence spa. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Kate Jaksik, owner of Glow Beauty Bar in Florence, preps Lori Doppman of Florence for a facial. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hairstylist Juli Marchetto works with a customer at Glow Beauty Bar in Florence. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Kate Jaksik, owner of Glow Beauty Bar, talks about the Florence spa on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Kate Jaksik, owner of Glow Beauty Bar, talks about the Florence spa on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A massage room at Glow Beauty Bar in Florence. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

For The Gazette
Published: 8/11/2019 11:54:42 PM

Pampering possibilities are seemingly endless at Glow Beauty Bar in Florence. Clients might get a spray tan made with all-organic ingredients, or a facial with a special pressurized pen to infuse serums directly into their skin. Technicians use a similar tool, called a HyaPen, to give lip-fillers without a needle.

While waiting for hair color to set, customers can even get their teeth whitened.

“We’re not just like a one-size-fits-all salon,” said esthetician and Glow Beauty Bar owner Kate Jaksik. “Everyone who comes through our door can find something to make them feel beautiful, more confident or just pampered in general.”

Jaksik opened the Florence location, at 40 Main St., Suite 102, on Nov. 1 after spending $40,000 and five weeks renovating. She originally opened the spa in Hadley in 2014, but that location was no bigger than the Florence location’s waiting room.

Only skin care and massages were offered in Hadley, though a Turners Falls hair salon counterpart was open until this May. Previously, Jaksik also had a salon in Austin, Texas.

Jaksik still operates Glow Bridal, which offers on-site wedding makeup and hair service, in Austin and Florence.

Stylist Justin Foucher says salon services are more intricate than ever. “Babylighting,” or highlighting tiny sections of hair to mimic how it might look if naturally lightened by the sun, is currently popular among his clients.

“Five years ago, if somebody came in, it was like, a full foil highlight and root retouch,” he said from behind Glow Beauty Bar’s front desk, reflecting on the 13 years he has been working with hair. “Now, we’re working on three- or four-hour appointments … because thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, everybody’s inspiration photo is usually a process.”

Social networks such as Instagram (@glowbeautybarsouth) are important to Glow’s advertising. Jaksik frequently updates the salon’s Instagram and Facebook with before and after pictures, screenshots of positive customer feedback and information about promotions. Hashtags for specific techniques and procedures also help potential customers find the salon.

“I think if you’re not on social media in this day and age, you’re losing a lot of business that goes towards the 20s-30s demographic,” said Jaksik. “Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising is constantly evolving, so I’m constantly trying to keep up with the trends for that.”

By following other salons’ profiles and joining private groups for technicians to share work, Jaksik learns what other salons are offering and creates lines of communication through which she can ask questions, then receive and offer feedback.

“Honestly, this community was just where I wanted to be,” said Jaksik, an Amherst native, said on why chose Florence. Drive-through traffic and proximity to hubs such as Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Smith College mean Glow Beauty Bar stays visible.

“We didn’t go into downtown Northampton because we have this awesome parking lot,” she said, explaining that Glow’s clientele from Hadley and Turners Falls were worried about finding parking.

Among other offerings, Glow promotes skin care services that combine the cosmetic and pharmaceutical. Many of the salon’s facials incorporate the nano-infusion technology that infuses serums into clients’ skin; prices range from $170 to $220.

Jaksik says the $90 CBD facial — using cannabidiol, an ingredient in cannabis that’s touted for a variety of medical uses — reduces inflammation caused by acne or rosacea, bridging the gap between customers who prefer organics to chemicals but still want to see changes, she said.

“People who have really sensitive skin are hesitant ... about going into a spa and having work done because they think, ‘Well, they’re going to inflame my skin and make it worse,’” Jaksik said. “The CBD facial is not going to cause any sort of reaction — and, it’s super calming.”

The Valley is home to many who choose to defy traditional beauty by leaving legs unshaved and avoiding makeup. But Jaksik doesn’t think this deters business.

“Just because it is a crunchy area doesn’t mean people don’t want to feel beautiful,” she said, seated on a bench outside the Florence salon. “Maybe they don’t get the leg waxes. But maybe they like getting their hair cut, and that experience for them means a lot to them.”

To ensure the salon offers the most cutting-edge services, Jaksik pays for employees to attend conferences and classes across the country each year. The entire staff, Jaksik included, travels to New York City each March to take classes and visit vendors at the Javits Convention Center during the International Beauty Show.

Currently, Glow is working on a monthly membership program that will offer customers a number of specific services at a fixed rate and discounts on additional services and products.

Glow is also offering discounts to customers who present gift cards from Northampton’s Brooks & Butterfield day spa, which closed its doors in May.

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