co-owners of Style Up Hair Studio (l-r) Alana Saindon and Kelsey Burk
It’s not just about getting your hair cut and styled at Style Up Hair Studio. It’s also about getting comfortable and relaxed. In the lobby of the hair studio, there’s a cozy white fireplace with a big stylish “S” over it. The polished wood floors, black furniture, and black framed mirrors make for a chic but homey atmosphere. And you’re guaranteed to look your best when you leave.
Co-owners Kelsey Burk and Alana Saindon opened the studio at 4005 West River Drive in downtown Comstock Park in December 2014. They did their own interior painting and decorating in the 540 square foot building they lease. The two are enthusiastic about their location.
“I really like the downtown atmosphere,” said Saindon. “Our building is really cute…people driving by see our storefront…people who work in downtown Comstock Park come here…people in the residential area in back (of the studio) walk here.”
Saindon noted that the proximity to the expressway is convenient for their customers who come from farther away such as Middleville. Burk said the building housed a hair salon years ago, and before that a bakery. More recently a photography studio was located there. Burk grew up in Comstock Park and said she’s seen the downtown area grow and improve.
Besides haircuts for women, children, and men (which come with a shampoo, blow dry and styling), services offered at Style Up include coloring, full or partial highlights, and makeup for a full face, just eyes, and false eyelashes. Burk gives makeup lessons. They do freelancing and will travel for special events such as weddings. They don’t have set hours at the studio so appointments are best, although they try to be there most afternoons and take walk-ins. They have two other stylists who rent chairs.
Both Burk and Saindon have children and have tricks to deal with kids who don’t want to sit still for a haircut, like handing them an empty spray bottle to play with. Plus there’s always the smart phone for kids to watch something on Netflix.
Growing the business is a priority. They want to add not only customers but also stylists. Advertising is mostly word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. They have a referral program to encourage people to bring in customers. The two keep up on the latest trends and new ideas through classes, YouTube, and a Facebook page for a cosmetology group.
Burk and Saindon donate hair to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss.
Both Burk and Saindon attended Kent Career Technical Center, where they met, during their senior year of high school. Burk graduated from Comstock Park High School, and Saindon grew up in Plainfield Township and graduated from Northview High School. The two then continued at the Technical Center full time for a year after high school. They both worked at a number of salons before renting a space at Westgate Salons on Alpine Avenue in 2012. After a couple of years they decided sharing a single chair was difficult and they needed more space, prompting them to move their studio to its current location.
Burk showed an interest in hair and makeup as a youngster by getting into her mother’s makeup and jewelry, and in high school she was the go-to person for new hairdos and makeovers. She says her work “feels like hanging out” while she tends to her customers. Saindon said hair has been a passion of hers since she was young. She likes the freelancing side of her profession saying, “I couldn’t pick anything better to be doing than making a bride feel beautiful on such an important day.”