Holland salon celebrates five years with community eventWritten by Holly Tuey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Holland salon is celebrating five years of business this weekend by throwing a party for the community.
An Va Spa and Salon was opened in 2008 by Angela Zaborowski and Valerie Gecik. The owner of the former Dia Salon was looking to retire, so Zaborowski and Gecik took the opportunity to advance their careers and bought the building that would become An Va.
“We needed a unique salon that could take new stylists, new aestheticians, new nail technicians and grow them and we also needed a place for more seasoned stylists,” Zaborowski said.
The two had worked together in the industry for years and said they were considering opening their own salon eventually when the opportunity to buy Dia came up. Both in their early 30s and at a tenuous time in the country’s economy, they knew they were taking a risk.
“Everyone said we were crazy, but we just had to do it,” Zaborowski said. “We’ve had challenges, because the industry is ever-changing, but it keeps us on our toes and keeps it fun.”
Since opening its doors, An Va has expanded space, staff and services. Eighteen staff members work together to offer common services such as hair styling, manicures and waxing, as well as new and unique options like dermaplaning, body polishing and eyelash extensions.
The owners said they are currently in the process of revamping and updating the entire salon and continuing to grow the spa and its services. But they said what makes An Va successful is its approach to staff education, which they said fills a void in the industry.
“We’re always wanting our team to grow,” Gecik said.
She and Zaborowski said they support their staff in endeavors as long as they are professional and education-based. The stylists at the salon are not employees but independent contractors who can take their career where they want.
“Education is our foundation,” Zaborowski said. “It’s how we started and got where we are.”
In addition to traveling out of state for educational purposes, An Va also supports staff members if they want to bring new information, products or services to the salon. One staff member is teaching L’Oreal Professional products to the rest of the staff in-house.
“It’s a very happy environment. Everyone is there to help you,” said Tiffany Holdgate, who has worked at An Va since the day it opened. “This was the first place I worked independently and they made it a very easy transition. … If you have any concerns, [Gecik and Zaborowski] are there to help you out.”
Giving back to the community has been important to Zaborowski and Gecik since the beginning of An Va. Each year at the staff holiday party, they donate to charities chosen by each staff member. These have included the Cherry Street Mission, Toledo Food Bank and Sara’s Garden in Wauseon.
“We recently went downtown and fed the homeless with Fellowship Matters,” Gecik said. “We’re constantly looking at ways to give back to the community.”
They have also donated back-to-school supplies and held coat and blanket drives for families in need.
“We try to change it up so no one gets bored,” Zaborowski said.
The celebration on Oct. 19 is another way the salon is giving back to the community. The event is free for anyone to attend, whether they’ve been a client at An Va or not. It runs from 3-7 p.m. and will feature product giveaways, swag bags and discounts on products and services. Toledo musician Jeff Stewart will perform and there will be free food and drinks.
“We’re giving back to clients and the community for all the support,” Zaborowski said. “Everything’s on us – food, drinks, music – to say thank you for the continuous support and helping us grow.”
For more information, visit www.anvaspaandsalon.com.