ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
Everyone on occasion needs a bit of a break from the stresses of the real world, and in Liberal, the Pure Bliss Salon & Day Spa is a great place for just that.
The salon is celebrating a full decade in business this year, and there is a lot of pride among the staff in having reached that milestone.
“I'm very proud of it, I'm so happy the business has lasted this long because small businesses can be hard to get going and keep going, so I'm very grateful we've made it 10 years,” Pure Bliss Owner Amy Williams said. “There were people who thought I wouldn't make it anywhere near this long, and look at us now. It was Feb. 29, 2012 when we opened this business. When we started, it was just Stanley [Cordova] and I and one or two other people. We've always been a full-service salon except for the waxing and body sculpting we do now. We do hair, massages, makeup, body waxing, eyelashes, hair extensions, body sculpting, brow tinting, and we have a tanning bed. Then as far as the massages, we do cupping therapy, which I got certified in about six years ago. We also do hot stone massages, body contouring, reiki therapy, raindrop therapy with essential oils, among many other things.”
“I'm also really happy about it, and I hope we make it another 10, and then even more!” Cordova said. “We put the work first and we always do our best to put the clients first and make sure we do the best we can by them. We're all very proud of reaching 10 years in business, and I can't wait to see what we do in the future. We started out with a manicurist/nail tech, who ultimately didn't end up staying, and then it was only a few of us for a long time. Now, we've got a complete, full staff, and it's nice to be able to have so many services available here. We also do wedding parties and other big events we travel to. We've been hired to do hair and makeup for a lot of weddings and other events that are out of town, and those are always great.”
Williams said there were several factors that went into her decision to open her own place a decade ago.
“I'd worked for several different salons and other places for other people, and I ultimately decided I didn't want to work for someone else anymore, I wanted to work for me and have my own place,” Williams said.
“And I'd actually worked at Sieber's Palace for a little while, and when she opened up, I told her I would like to work with her. I've been here the full 10 years the place has been open, and I've seen a lot of people go, and a lot of people stay,” Cordova said. “The goal ultimately became to work all together as a team and with each other with clients, and I think we've done a great job of that. All of us are independent contractors, which means we all work for ourselves, but we all work under Amy and the salon.”
Cordova added there has been an emphasis on keeping up on the educational aspect of the cosmetology field.
“The big thing for us has been keeping up with our education. I recently came back from a seminar in Las Vegas, and I know a couple of our other stylists go to Nashville and other places. I've also worked with the Miss USA pageant and other competitions, which I am very proud of, and the contestants I worked on actually won,” Cordova said. “One of the big things is to keep up with our education, because things change so much, and it's always great bringing some of the outside world and some of that outside knowledge to the salon so we can better serve the clients. We go to classes and conferences multiple times a year, so we're constantly learning. There have been a lot of changes as far as techniques in coloring, updos and other hairstyles, and there's also been classes we've taken on the nutrition of hair and how it's structured and how people can best take care of their hair, and how we can best advise in that since hair has several different amino acids and other things like that. And since I've been in cosmetology for more than 40 years, I've taken in a lot of those techniques and that knowledge, and I would say that's what makes me a hair master since I've done so much of that work. And not only are we stylists educated, we also work to educate our clients so they can best care for their hair. In particular with what I do, I would say a big change has been with the hair extensions. When I started out, you had to do the individual strands, but now, there are new ways to do that which don't require that much intensity. There have also been changes with coloring techniques and how those jobs are done and how they can actually last longer compared to the past. With everything changing and all of those new techniques and services starting to be offered in salons, that's why we have so much emphasis on keeping up with our education and certification and all of that. ”
The best part of working in cosmetology, Williams and Cordova agreed, is working with the clients who come into the salon.
“Definitely meeting the clients and helping them gain a new look that could possibly change their life, that’s the best because they absolutely light up when we get done with them,” Williams said. “Seeing that is always amazing.”
“I like to use the term 'unveil their beauty' because you can see a person and everyone says 'They don't see their beauty,' but I think of it as looking at a fresh piece of marble and then sculpting and working until the client looks their best and has the look that's right for them,” Cordova said. “The art of consultation is so important because no matter how many times you've done someone's hair, you still have to talk to them and find out what exactly they want, because there are a lot of clients who come in here and want something different than what they had before. We also talk about different products and different techniques – I've found that a good product is only good if the person handling it knows what they're doing, because there have been many times a product has been used incorrectly and that person ultimately didn't like it. It's important to talk to the clients and find out what they want. Part of being a hair master is that interaction with the client and talking to them about what they want and all of that. My favorite part is when the client is finished, because that's when everything's unveiled and the client can see what we've been working on with them. When we're working on a client, we want them to be able to put everything behind them, go to a beautiful place in their minds, and let us do what we do to help them look and feel better.”
As for the future? Williams and Cordova said there are many possibilities.
“I've always had a bit of a list of things I'd like to see us do at the salon, and we actually do most of them, so I'm very pleased with all of that,” Williams said. “Ideally, we'd need a full block to accommodate EVERYTHING we want to do, but if we can perfect our talents here as much as we can, that would be great so we can be the best stylists possible for our clients. And we also do referrals, because there are a lot of salons and places in town we know about, so if there's ever a time when we're super full and can't work in a client, we will refer them to another shop in town that can help.”
“The future is truly limitless because the only limits are what people put on themselves. Styles changes, techniques get updated, new products come out for us to use, so there will always be something new in those regards,” Cordova added. “One thing that will never change, however, is the idea that the client who is in the chair should be the center of attention while they're being worked on, because they deserve that. I would like to see us grow as a complete salon and have people do everything here. I'd like to see us continue giving back to the community in some different ways. We do haircuts for children for a couple special nights at elementary schools, we've done that at a couple of those in town. We'd also like to continue working with Southwest Miracles and other charitable entities in town and put together special packages for people to come in and use, which we have done in the past with Liberal Area Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence Services, and we loved doing that. We really want to give back to the community, that's one of the best things we can do going forward. This community has been so good to us in the 10 years we've been open, so we want to give back in any ways we can. We're all so good at what we do and so successful in our field, we want to do the best we can to give back in as many ways as we can.”