Elysian Beauty Studio owner Sara Bruno knows there’s probably a good reason why both hair stylists and therapists use the term “clients.”
She and her staff are living proof, as she sat down with the Sun Rise this Monday to discuss her business and a relatively new technique they have implemented.
“Low-key, we’re therapists,” Bruno said. “We become each other’s family. They tell us intimate details about their lives. You kind of know what they’re going through … In that time they’re in your chair, it’s your time to make them feel like that in this moment, they’re the only person that matters.”
Bruno said the family feeling at Elysian – a word which means “divinely inspired” and is featured prominently on one of the salon walls – is vital to its vibe. She said a stylist and client could start as strangers when they walk through the door but end an appointment as friends.
“There’s certain things that people go through that, I take it home with me,” Bruno said. “It’s hard not to, the way you care about people. You shoot a text, ‘Just thinking of you,’ or, ‘You’re on my mind.’ That fosters and builds a relationship and confidence.”
Bruno, who has been in the business for more than a decade, opened Elysian last year with the concept of creating a beautiful and calm space away from the bustle of everyday life. There are two beds, screened from the rest of the room by translucent, white curtains, for eyelash extensions. A few cushioned chairs for hair appointments sit directly parallel to them.
Bruno said her aim was to capture an “industrial chic” look.
“Life is so crazy. To come to the salon and hear loud music and tons of commotion, I didn’t want it to be that kind of a space,” Bruno said. “So I created something that was divinely inspired by us. We’re a bunch of creative women who are vibing together and turning out good work and making our clients feel the chill vibe.”
Bruno said Elysian offers a newer service called microblading, which she described as a semi-permanent “tattoo form where you can create hair strokes.” She is skilled at the art and teaches it as well.
Bruno said microblading has been practiced in the United States for about five years now, and she said it creates hair strokes that look natural. She said that it’s a “cry fest” at the end of the two-hour session.
“So for people who have thinning brows, or I work with a lot of people who are cancer patients, young girls with alopecia, I can create brows for them,” Bruno said. “You get to know them and what they’ve been through, and then to give them something like that is just incredible.”
As Elysian approaches its first anniversary in June, Bruno said business has been “awesome” thus far. The salon is getting ready for prom season, too, which is almost on the horizon. She especially excited about a $75 hair-and-makeup deal, shouting out her expert braider on staff, Tori. Bruno said she plans to add volume eyelash treatments in June.
“We have a lot of people who see us going through, but I still think we’re kind of a hidden gem because they don’t really know what we do or what we’re all about,” she said. “There’s a lot of services that we do offer that others may not in the area.”
Bruno said she got into the beauty business because she enjoys “the way you can make people feel.” She said it’s a gift to be able to inspire confidence in other women.
“All day every day, you’re giving, giving, giving, giving to everyone else,” Bruno said, relaying what she says to clients. “You’re beautiful, you’re powerful, you’re a gorgeous woman and you’re part of this group.”
Every client may be different, but they all end their appointment as a member of the Elysian family.
“Then when they start to develop relationships with us, you’re just like me,” Bruno said. “You’ve got the same problems as I do. You walk the same as I. So it’s nice to be able to give women confidence and really foster that empowerment with them.”