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Nicholas Penna, Jr. Shares Details on His Blow Dry Bar Concept

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This is proving to be a big year for SalonCapri owner Nicholas Penna, Jr. and his team with last week's Newbury Street salon opening and in just a couple months, the launch of a "blow dry lounge" concept called Styled. The salon is set to open in March at a buzzed-about location within Chestnut Hill's The Street complex. Given its unique situation as an established full-service salon extending itself into the standalone blow dry bar market, we had to see what Penna, Jr. had to say about the venture.

What inspired you to enter the blowout market?
Awhile ago the industry was trending this way. The old method of going to a salon was social and something you did once a week. People wanted to be styled. So I wanted to sit back and watch and see it unfold. We knew it was going to catch like wildfire. Mom and pop shops started opening up around the country, and basically I wanted to keep my eye on the market and see what people were doing wrong and then come out and do something really right. We had a great concept but we wanted things to settle and people to understand what the business is all about, then deliver something hot and hip.

What distinguishes Styled from the slew of other blow dry bars opening up?
I think it's the connection with SalonCapri. At the end of the day, I'm a hairstylist. This isn't a business decision for me, this is what I do, this is my passion. I'm a second generation hair stylist. SalonCapri, our brand, was started by my mother and father and I've literally been a stylist since I was 18 years old. What I want to give people is a really quality job; I don't want it to be focused on the fact that you can get a blow dry for $35. I'm a strong believer in education, and I think that that's where we will set ourselves apart from the rest. Our stylists are going to be educated with the SalonCapri method. Our director of education is going to be teaching top notch styling to the people who will be working in the salon.

What made you pick the newly redeveloped "The Street" destination in Chestnut Hill?
It's hot. Bottom line: the location is incredible. It's the corridor between the western suburbs and Boston. It's very accessible for both sides. Obviously we know Newton well with our salon in there for thirteen, fourteen years. We know our clientele. We also feel that it's a nice central location to hit all different parts of Greater Boston. That being said, The Street is building what I think to be a game-changer for retail. You have very cool business going in there, anchored by a luxe theater, a Sports Club LA, Pinkberry, your first Shake Shack coming out of Manhattan?it will be a the place for people to have drinks, catch a movie, and get a fabulous blow dry.

Growing up here, that's the area our parents took us. It was amazing, it was posh, and to see it being revamped again will open up so many doors for that area. I think you're going to see a lot of people coming out of the city to see a place like The Street.

Are there any add-on services that Styled will be offering?
We want there to be a focus on treatment, so we want you to have beautiful hair with SalonCapri treatments and great retail.

What are the decor features of the salon?
We're putting in a lot to the design. We want it to speak well for our brand and The Street too. We hired a local firm out of the South End, called studio 3.0 architecture, and they're doing a funky, cool space. Very metropolitan, like a hip Back Bay townhouse. Tufted benches. Gray wood floors, a lot of white millwork. Incredibly hip lighting.

Sign up for the Styled newsletter here to stay updated on opening plans.

· SalonCapri Opens a Newbury Street Location Today [Racked Boston]
· Chestnut Hill Shopping Center Rebrands Itself as 'The Street' [Racked Boston]
· Styled [Official Site]

Be Styled

49 Boylston Street, Newton, MA 02467