The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

August 16, 2013

New salon opens in Clinton

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Clinton native Justin Leu has finally fulfilled a long-time dream — owning a hair salon.

On May 14, that dream became a reality when he opened the doors to Alleure Hair Studio and Massage Therapy at 307 S. Second St.

“I have always wanted my own salon so when the opportunity presented itself I couldn’t pass it up,” Leu said.

The opportunity came in a hand-me-down fashion, when previous owner Sarah Gossard decided to retire her business, Sarah’s Classic Designs, and offered the space to her cousin, Leu’s step-mother.

“My Dad and his wife bought it and asked if I would be interested, which I was, so about two weeks later we were here,” Leu said.

After a few design changes and a little revamp of the space, Leu and three other stylists moved in and created a place all their own.

Each stylist brought a list of clientele to the new salon, but Leu said after being in the location for only a few months, he has already seen the growth of the studio.

“Downtown Clinton has really great foot traffic so after about a month I could already see that the clientele was getting bigger,” Leu said.

He and his team of stylists are not the only people occupying the space at Alleure. A massage therapist is also on site two or three times a week, and has booked up a long list of massage appointments.

“Kami (Shumake) was here when it was Sarah’s Classic Designs so when that closed we asked her to stay,” Leu said. “She has a really strong client base so I’m glad that she did.”

With five employees on staff, Leu and his team are a pretty tight-knit group, making the environment comfortable and inviting to new clients who may wander in.

Two of the three stylists he has on staff have previously worked with Leu and collectively they have more than 10 years of hair styling experience.

“Our clients know all of the stylists, so they are comfortable with any one of us to do their hair,” Leu said.

Now that they have built a strong base and have a steady stream of business, the staff at Alleure plans to increase its advertising efforts and try to grow even more.

“I would like to promote more so we can build a professional, steady business and hopefully expand in the future,” Leu said.

He would like to eventually own a building or build a new one to develop the studio in a larger space, but for now, Leu is happy to be a part of downtown Clinton.

“I feel like downtown Clinton is getting bigger and I am glad to be a part of that,” Leu said. “And I’m happy to be back. Clinton has always been home to me.”