By Cathy Wharton
For Hometown News
When Simone Weiss was growing up in Germany, the Berlin Wall was a vivid and constant reminder of physical and ideological separation. The country and the city of Berlin were divided into two camps: East and West.
When the Wall came down in 1989, the country once again became unified, allowing all citizens to pursue their individual dreams. For young Simone, it would be to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. Having spent much of her youth at her grandmother's hair salon in Germany, she would soon learn her calling. "I knew that some day I would continue the tradition," Ms. Weiss said.
In the early 1990s, Simone Weiss came to the United States on vacation. At the time, she spoke no English; but upon meeting her husband-to-be, she decided to stay. After moving to this area, Ms. Weiss saw an opportunity to open her own business -- a hair salon in Ormond Beach. The salon's owner was ready to sell after many years of operation. In 2001, Ms. Weiss bought the business, and then changed its name to "Simone's Salon."
In the Rivergate Village Shopping Center, Simone's European-Style Salon started out with just five employees. Today, there are 14, including co-owner and business partner, Denise Ahearn, an expert hair stylist, whose successful career started in New York.
One of the hair stylists at the shop is Jennie Nawrocki, who has worked at the salon for nearly 28 years. "It's a wonderful place to be -- it's home," Ms. Nawrocki said, "We cater to our clients -- we still have some from 40 years ago."
With such a number of experienced and dedicated beauticians on staff, Simone's Salon continues to create a loyal clientele. "We're busy all the time," Ms. Weiss said.
Though the business concentrates basically on the middle-aged and senior groups, Simone's full service family salon caters to customers of all ages -- men, women and children alike, and walk-ins are welcome.
Three years ago, the business expanded to take in an adjacent empty shop. With double the amount of space, Simone's was also able to increase its services. The salon's spacious interior now has two hairstyling rooms, one with manicure tables, plus smaller private rooms for pedicures, waxing and shampooing. The salon's services include color treatments, keratin smoothing/straightening treatments, perms, hair extensions, formal up-dos, and facials.
One of the featured styles at the salon is the famous "Simone Cut," a unique razor-cut hairdo that Ms. Weiss developed and uses for herself.
Another important feature of the salon is it uses only the best products in the hair care and beauty industry, including Matrix, Scruples, Kenra, Aquage, Nioxin, Simply Smooth and other quality names that keeps Simone's clients looking great.
When it comes to pricing, Simone's Salon is competitive, but often charges less than some of its counterparts. "Our rates are within a fair market, according to the economy. We also offer discounts and monthly specials," Ms. Weiss said.
A quick look at the price list shows haircuts starting at $18; a shampoo, cut and style for $32; color and style for $45 -- all based on the style and condition of a client's hair. Prices can also vary depending on the client's additional needs or requests. A complete list of services and corresponding prices are available at both the salon and on its website.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, and throughout the month of February, Simone's is offering a "Sweet Heart Special" -- shampoo, haircut and style for $30.
Simone's Salon is at 114 S. Nova Road, Ormond Beach in Rivergate Village shopping center. Hours are 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday and Saturday; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Closed Sunday. Contact: (386) 672-4282 or www.simonessalon.com.