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TrendSetters owner Cathy Fancher-Caldwell creates a custom style for Robert Wrobel of Grand Island. The salon is at 2094 Grand Island Blvd. (Photo by Karen Carr Keefe)
TrendSetters owner Cathy Fancher-Caldwell creates a custom style for Robert Wrobel of Grand Island. The salon is at 2094 Grand Island Blvd. (Photo by Karen Carr Keefe)

TrendSetters: Custom style, trendy look

Sat, Mar 23rd 2024 07:00 am

By Karen Carr Keefe

Senior Contributing Writer

TrendSetters Hair Design owner Cathy Fancher-Caldwell has established her business to be a place of beauty, serenity and confidence.

The studio, at 2094 Grand Island Blvd., has an ambiance that helps you leave your cares at the door.

“We love to make everyone feel welcome,” Fancher-Caldwell said. “So, first we introduce ourselves, get them relaxed and we always believe in a thorough consultation to deliver the best results.”

“I would say the best part of the job is creating a custom style for someone and helping boost their self-confidence,” she added. “I love seeing people smile and be happy.”

One custom style that brought smiles and confidence was the new look Fancher-Caldwell designed for Alexis Wrobel’s daughter, Grace Promowicz, for a special occasion.

“When my Grace, with autism, graduated from high school, Cathy opened the salon for her on Sunday and did her hair and makeup for free. Grace was beaming!” Wrobel said of her daughter, who is now 20.

Fancher-Caldwell said, “That is one of the best parts of the job when you know you made that person feel so much better and just uplifted them if they’re going through a hard time or just feeling down about themselves. … Sometimes I get teary-eyed behind the chair because you know they’re feeling so much better.”

Earlier this week, Alexis Wrobel’s husband, Robert, was getting his custom haircut. He said he’s been a customer of Fancher-Caldwell’s previous and current establishments – for more than 10 years.

“When I grew up, it was my mother doing my hair. My mother was a hairdresser,” he said.

Fancher-Caldwell said, “I have a really diverse clientele. I have clients aged 2 to 90-something. We are inclusive and we welcome everyone.”

With the name TrendSetters, it’s not a surprise that this business sets trends.

“What’s trending now? In 2024, I would say bob haircuts are huge,” Fancher-Caldwell said. “Even though they started in the 1920s, they are making a huge comeback this year.”

A bob is a shoulder-length haircut.

“It could be layered, it could be blunt, but they’re definitely really big this year. We’ve seen a lot of that on the red carpet,” she said. “Most people describe it … and we help them get a custom look for themselves.

“Color wise, I would say the trends – they give them names now – ‘Cowboy Copper’ is big. They call it ‘Expensive Brunette,’ and ‘Old Money Blonde.’ Styles come back, and they are definitely renamed.”

For between visits, customers get advice on keeping the look they walked out with.

“There’s definitely products that can help maintain your style, and we always recommend coming back in a certain amount of weeks, depending on what your look is, to upkeep it.”

Fancher-Caldwell has owned TrendSetters since 2021. Before that, she owned and operated Hair Envy Salon in the Grand Island Plaza for 11 years.

“I definitely think we rebranded. That was my start-up salon (Hair Envy). And I would say, This is my adult salon – definitely more refined,” she said about TrendSetters.

Grace Promowicz, now 20, got a makeover at TrendSetters for her high school graduation. (Photo by Cathy Fancher-Caldwell)


Fancher-Caldwell loved the décor when she bought the salon from previous owner Karen Benniter.

“When I saw the salon, I thought it was very elegant and refined, and I added to it,” Fancher-Caldwell said. “We’ve added chandeliers, many new products, we repainted and we’ve redone the floors in the back.”

She uses essential oils to impart a subtle, relaxing fragrance as soon as you walk in the door.

A longtime Islander, Fancher-Caldwell graduated from Mount St. Mary Academy and went to Erie 1 BOCES in 1995 and 1997.

“In ’96 and ’97 I won stylist awards – The Lockport Cosmetology Award and the Buffalo Cosmetology Award,” Fancher-Caldwell said.

She moved to Southern California and went to the Paul Mitchell Academy in Costa Mesa.

“Since then, I’ve done a copious amount of training and continued education,” she said. “I’m certified in advance haircutting. I’m a master colorist. I’m certified in multiple hair-extension methods and I am a certified blonde specialist.”

She has been in the cosmetology industry for 29 years.

“I follow in my family’s footsteps in being an entrepreneur. My family grew up on Love Road – the Fanchers – and they had the landscaping business and greenhouses and a florist shop.”

TrendSetters has three stylists.

“We are looking to bring on more experienced, licensed professionals,” Fancher-Caldwell said.

The other two stylists are Josie Young, who has been working with Fancher-Caldwell since 1992, and Hannah Macri, who started at TrendSetters last year.

“We truly value education here. We value a professional, welcoming experience for people and thorough consultation,” Fancher-Caldwell said.

“I think a lot of times, people think cosmetologists are beauty school dropouts. But you actually do have to have a solid education to be a cosmetologist. We are licensed professionals. We go through rigorous training and testing. And you need to have strong math and science skills. We are licensed in hair, skin and nails.”

TrendSetters focuses on hair styling and also offers air-brush makeup.

“We are happy that we get to be part of the Grand Island community,” Fancher-Caldwell said. “We hope to become a generational salon. My daughter is interested in following in my footsteps.”

Eden, soon turning 15, assists her mom on Saturdays.

“She does have plans to take over one day,” her proud mother said.

Husband, Justin, is a Grand Island High School graduate.

TrendSetters is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursdays; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

“We value everyone’s time, and it’s by appointment only. It will never be a lot of people at once, so it’s a quiet, relaxing experience, ” Fancher-Caldwell said.

Fancher-Caldwell is glad her business is located on Grand Island: “I’m grateful for the warm community. I’m grateful for my clients that have been with me – some of them have been with me now for 10-plus years.”

The salon offers a range of services, for women, men and children – from cut, shampoo and style, to buzz and clipper cuts; full color, highlights, color correction; and Brazilian blowout, perms, brow wax and special occasion styles.

For more information, go to TrendSettershairdesign.com. The salon is also on Facebook and Instagram. The phone number is 716-775-8435.

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