The Rural We: Sal Lopes
Less than a year ago, master stylist Sal Lopes opened his Salvatore Anthony Hair Studio in New Preston, Conn. Like many in the Rural Intelligence area, Sal is still doing the city/country commute, but with a home in Cornwall Bridge and now his own studio open Thursdays through Saturdays, we sense his growing attachment to this region.
My husband and I had a house in the Catskills for eight years. We decided to sell that home, and came to visit a friend in Sharon. We literally crossed the borderline and fell in love with the area.
We bought an 1840s farmhouse and are just about done with the restoration, which has been a labor of love. When we made the commitment to make this house our “home,” we sold our apartment in Brooklyn earlier this year, and now have a crash pad on the Upper East Side. My husband is vice president of creative services at Ralph Lauren. I still work two days a week in the city at Scott J salon, at the Upper East Side location.
Photo by Bleacher and Everard Photography.
We decided to be more here than not, but I thought, what am I going to do up here? Ira Goldspiel, who was our real estate agent, kept asking me when I was going to open up my own hair salon. I didn’t even know where to begin, so Ira suggested I look between Litchfield and Washington, Conn. I started scouting around, peeking into storefronts that were for rent. One day we were in New Preston and looked at the old Oliva (restaurant) building. It was a small space, but that was good because then I wouldn’t have to fill a lot of chairs. I’ve always worked at other salons and had to figure out what line of color I’d be working with. I’d only worked with Aveda and I called them up and asked if they’d be willing to take me on, which they did.
The doors opened on April 15, and I’m doing it! The response has been amazing. The biggest surprise for me is that there was a need for this in the area. I haven’t done any big advertising; it’s mostly word of mouth. But people like the two-chair salon. It’s so intimate that I have to introduce my clients as one comes and one leaves. I’m doing everything myself – booking the appointments, cleaning up, checking out.
The past two years have been spent working on our home, and now my studio as well, so we haven’t really explored much. We have two long-haired dachshunds that are everything to us. We’re just enjoying this beautiful area.
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