Not one word immediately came to Johnny and Shelly LaRose in describing the décor, atmosphere and vibe of their newly-opened salon in Marysville.
But a word for something else did.
“I’ve seen how far she’s come just in the 10 years we’ve been together,” Johnny LaRose said, while his wife wrapped up a haircut on a client Tuesday morning. They’d spent the latter half of 2018 building up the space for Chateau LaRose Salon at Michigan Avenue and Gratiot Boulevard before quietly opening in mid-December.
Putting his 20 years in construction to use, Johnny LaRose said he wanted to “build my wife something beautiful.” For Shelly LaRose, a hairstylist and makeup artist, she said she had “always dreamed of being a salon owner.”
“She’s come really far,” Johnny LaRose said. “She makes me proud.”
Shelly LaRose recounted hearing a similar remark from her grandmother at the end of last year — putting emphasis on how personal her work has become.
“I walked her through the salon on FaceTime and two weeks later she passed,” she said. “She said, ‘Shelly, I am so proud of you and Johnny.’”
The salon itself is decorated and furnished simply — gold-trimmed styling chairs matching the ornately framed mirrors on the walls and solid, dark colors juxtaposed across the main room. A sleek black couch and customer service counter with bar-like stools greets visitors. Behind the primary styling and manicure and pedicure stations is a room for facials and waxing, as well as another room where Johnny LaRose said he’s still setting up a tanning bed.
“If you had to give a name for this, for someone who’s never seen it?” Johnny LaRose asked.
Shelly LaRose said she didn’t think it was “rock” but thought the chairs were royal — and that’s where the décor started. She compared it to planning a wedding after identifying a wedding dress and said they took it from there.
“I think we’ve created a space that’s comfortable for men and women,” Johnny LaRose said.
His wife agreed. “It’s masculine and feminine,” she said. “That’s actually what I wanted.”
Previously a nail salon, they had demolished part of the interior and removed its checkerboard flooring.
“She says it feels like home,” Johnny LaRose said.
The couple originally met in Tennessee. Johnny LaRose’s band planned a benefit for a bar his future wife’s grandmother owned after it burned down. They had raced much of the last year trying to open her new salon and spa while her grandmother battled an illness.
Johnny LaRose is a Smiths Creek native. His wife said coming to the is “basically starting my career all over again.”
Johnny LaRose recalled her previous job where she rented space as a hairstylist but had to visit clients’ homes for manicures and pedicures because the salon didn’t include those amenities. He said it just made sense to bring it all to one spot.
“I built it, she runs it kind of a thing,” he said. “I do the management here and the front desk and stuff. … She’s been wanting me to slow down.”
The name of the salon itself came from a friend who called their house “Chateau LaRose.”
“The House of Larose, you know? We decided to incorporate that here,” he said. They wanted it to be a higher-end salon, but also, “we want people to come over — almost like they’re coming over to your house,” Johnny LaRose said.
Shelly LaRose said her favorite thing to do for clients is balayage — or hair color design — and that’s she has been doing a lot of cut and colors since they opened.
“And I love makeup artistry. Those are my tops,” she said. “I love it all, but I can’t wait for the makeup to (take off).”
Johnny LaRose said he’s enjoyed watching his wife take on new challenges.
“Let’s say somebody comes in, ‘I want Smurf blue hair with silver streaks and everything else.’ At the time, she gets right into it,” he said. “For me, just watching her do it, that’s a pretty cool feeling.”
“It’s a journey — like hair is a journey,” Shelly LaRose said. “So, you come in, I’d (have) three to five pictures of what you’re obsessed with and I’ll customize a look. And if it’s going to take a while to get there, we’ll go through the journey. Like I’d already have a plan for the next time when you walk out the door.”
In addition to the tanning bed that’s still being installed, Shelly LaRose said she’s also looking forward to working with younger stylists at her salon, and she wants to find a way to memorialize her grandmother.
But she said she’s also ready for change.
“Just keeping up with the fashion industry, it’s constantly changing. Color theory is huge,” Shelly LaRose said. “… A hairdresser can be a hairdresser, but at the end of the day, most of us are artists. We evolve all the time. It’s cool to see new ones come out of school and see how they evolve and the clientele they attract.”
For more information, visit Chateau LaRose Salon on Facebook, or call (810) 479-9809. They’re located at 825 Michigan Ave., suite 3, in Marysville.
Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.
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