by Larry Austin
A lifelong dream to open a salon has culminated in Shear Paradise.
About two-dozen supporters watched Lisa and Kevin Dilliot cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the Shear Paradise salon Wednesday. The venture is Lisa's first business, and she said "the love and support" from family has led her "lifelong dream to open a salon" to come true.
"I'm excited. I get to make people feel good, and I'm responsible for that, other than (working) under somebody," Lisa Dilliot said.
She's been making people feel good for 24 years, the last 14 as a stylist at a salon chain in Williamsville. Kevin, her husband of 17 years, grew up on the Island, and the couple made this home seven years ago. Lisa said it was Kevin's first cousin, Fred Claus, who suggested Lisa and Kevin look at a Whitehaven Road property when it became available several months ago.
"And he asked us if we were interested in buying a salon, and we both said no," Lisa said. "And he's like, 'Well, just go check it out.' So we checked it out, and we loved the potential of this location."
The location at 1871 Whitehaven Road was a salon before, but the inside has been completely remodeled by Lisa's husband, brother and sister-in-law. She said one step inside the door reveals something "totally different" from what it was previously.
"We opened everything up," Lisa said. The floor was ripped out and 540 replacement tiles were added. A more open floor plan makes the salon look brighter and "to me, more welcoming, more up-to-date."
Becoming a businesswoman is exciting, but a little daunting too, Lisa said.
"It's very different going from a chain salon to a regular salon," Lisa said. "You're not told what to do. You actually get to make the decisions of how it's running and how businesses actually work."
The Dilliots will have stylist Morgan Green at Shear Paradise as well.
Satisfaction and comfort are a top priority, Lisa said, at what she calls a "family salon" that will provide hair styling and facial waxing.
"I always do my best to listen to my clients' needs and wants," Lisa said. "Consultation is the key. It makes for a fabulous day when I have made someone feel great about their look."