Michelle Leger and Melanie Leger, co-owners of The Cut Hairstyling, have a lot in common. In addition to professions as hairstylists and sharing a business for the past 20 years, as of recently, the business partners also share a last name.
The pair are not related, but merely a result of coincidence, as Melanie’s recent marriage led to the two having identical surnames.
“My new husband’s last name is Leger,” says Melanie. “Apparently it is a very common name in Quebec.”
The business partners purchased and assumed control of The Cut on February 1, 1997. Before joining forces in the business world, they worked together for a short time early in their careers.
“We worked at another salon and had the opportunity to purchase the business,” says Michelle. “We both had young families at the time; it just made sense to buy it.”
While Michelle and Melanie were enthusiastic about the venture, not everyone around them shared the same confidence.
“A lot of people, even my dad, said, ‘A partner? I don’t know if that’s a good idea,’” says Melanie. “Nobody thought it was the right thing to do.”
Despite those concerns, the business and partnership have flourished.
Now, 20 years later, an open house from 4-7 pm on Thursday, February 9, will celebrate two decades of success. Clients are invited to drop in for a visit and refreshments in order to share in the celebration.
“We’re going to have the giant Save-On-Foods wheel with our own prizes on it,” says Michelle. “People can spin and win haircuts, nail prizes, products, gift certificates and other great giveaways.”
Melanie says the open house is also an opportunity to give back and send a big thank-you to everyone for his or her patronage.
“We really want to thank customers and regular clients who have supported us over the last 20 years,” she says. “We wouldn’t be here without them.”
A team of trained hairstylists with a blend of experience and youthful enthusiasm join Michelle and Melanie in providing complete hair services to women and men.
While taking the hairstylist program at Vancouver Island University, Jana Moore works two to three days per week at the salon to hone her skills. Serena Coe, who graduated from the same program, has several years of hairstyling experience to offer clients.
“We also have Jennifer Thompson, a licensed hairstylist,” says Michelle. “She’s new to Powell River and brings a lot of experience to our salon.”
Autum Street, who completed her apprenticeship with Michelle and Melanie, completes the team.
“Autum is a big part of our business, working at the salon and supporting us for two years,” says Melanie. “She’s on maternity leave now, after having a baby in December.”
Over the years, the salon has expanded and grown, adding products and services along the way. High-quality products from a variety of brands are kept in stock, including KMS hair products.
“We also carry a men’s line now: American Crew,” says Michelle. “We’ve had a good response as men are styling more now.”
In addition to hair services, aesthetics have been available for the past year through aesthetician Denise Arnold-Carolei and her business, Adorable Nails and More.
“We never offered aesthetics before, but now clients can access those services here,” says Melanie. “Denise has 20 years of experience in the industry and recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with us.”
While the businesses operate under the same roof as separate entities, coexisting has been beneficial to both.
“This is something we talked about doing for years,” says Melanie. “It has worked out perfectly.”
According to Michelle, The Cut’s history goes back more than 40 years, starting with original owner David Persson. While ownership changed hands a few times over the years, it remained in the same building at 4660 Marine Avenue.
“I believe it’s the longest-running hair salon in Powell River,” she says. “It was next door until we moved into this space 11 years ago.”
To book an appointment at The Cut, call 604.485.6412, Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, search for The Cut Hairstyling on Facebook. To reach Adorable Nails and More, call 604.344.0200.