Kennett Square’s two newest merchants are making pampering their business.
houppette, at 101 W. State St., and Blown Away, at 110 S. Union St., will both have their grand openings in September. From luxury makeup, skin care and bath and body products to a blow-dry bar and salon, the two businesses are creating a luxurious experience at the crossroads of the borough.
houppette, pronounced oo-pet, is “all about helping women feel beautiful and supporting women,” according to owner Cristi Miller.
Located at State and Union streets, it will be the second location for the store that’s modeled after European perfumeries. Its flagship store opened in Greenville, Del., in 2001, and is currently run by manager and co-owner Elizabeth Johnson. A soft opening for the Kennett location is planned for Sept. 3, with a grand opening set for Sept. 17.
It carries luxury makeup, skin care and bath and body products, casual clothing, scented soaps, accessories and more, and it offers bridal beauty, professional and special occasion makeup applications, and makeup lessons and parties. houppette will be partnering with Blown Away for special-event makeup.
On a recent Wednesday in August, Miller and store manager Heather Schaen sorted through supplies and reviewed product orders they had already placed in preparation for the Mushroom Festival.
“We want our customers to be happy,” said Schaen. “We want them to feel confident with their purchase when they leave.”
The store’s Web site, houppette.com, echoes that sentiment.
“The houppette girls know a little something about how lipstick, lacquer and maybe even a little liner can bring some sunshine to a woman’s day, and we hope to help her enhance her personal beauty so she feels she can take on her world with confidence,” according to Johnson.
Miller first had the idea for houppette in college, when she was traveling in Europe for a month. She fell in love with the concept of the perfumerie, where women can shop and receive personalized attention and customized product knowledge not often found in department stores.
“In all the little villages, perfumeries are where you buy your perfume and cosmetics,” she said.
For fans of the Greenville store, the Kennett store will have similar products but will also carry items unique to it, such as accessories and clothing.
“It looks like a fancy store, but the vibe is very down-to-earth. There’s something for everyone,” Miller said. “We are a neighborhood store.”
For Miller and Schaen, Kennett was the perfect location for the second store. Both women have lived in Kennett for about 20 years and love the atmosphere of the town.
“Kennett has such a great energy,” Miller said. “It’s a fun place to be a part of as more than just a resident.”
The reception houppette and Miller have already received from Kennett and its residents has been heartening.
“This is a great location,” said Schaen. “People are saying they’re excited.”
houppette in Kennett will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, go online at www.houppette.com or call 302-421-9036.
For Jen Singer, finding the vacant storefront at 110 S. Union St. in Kennett was a sign that her dream of one day owning her own salon was meant to be.
That dream became reality when Blown Away opened its doors Aug. 17, becoming Kennett’s first blow-dry bar.
“We love the location,” the West Grove resident said, sitting in one of the white-leather armchairs at the blow-dry bar. “Kennett Square has been very welcoming.”
Blown Away, which in addition to the blow-dry bar is also a full-service salon, will hold its grand opening in September, but the response to the soft opening has exceeded the long-time cosmetologist’s expectations. She said the first call on opening day was for five blow-outs. She booked 20 blow-outs by the end of that first day.
Three days after the soft opening, Blown Away’s Facebook page had almost 500 followers.
The salon offers customers a trio of services.
First is the blow-dry bar. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it offers customers a shampoo, scalp massage, and one of five blow-out styles. People can walk in, or make appointments online or by calling.
A typical blow-out can last three to five days and takes less than an hour to complete. Stylists also use the European blow-dry technique, taught to them by Denise Rossi of Boston. With the European blow-out, Singer explained, “we have the ability to get you in and out – dried, styled and out in 30 to 45 minutes.”
Second is the salon, which offers women, men and children everything from cuts to colors to hair treatments, all using environmentally and health-conscious products. The hair color used by Blown Away is L’Oreal Inoa, which contain no ammonia, according to Singer. A keratin smoothing treatment for hair called Cezanne is formaldehyde-free. Unite-brand hair products used at the blow-dry bar are available for sale and are strictly vegan and not tested on animals.
Located off the main room is a space that Singer hopes will be popular with male clientele – the Blown Away men’s area. Described as a “man den,” men and boys can get their hair cut or colored, all while relaxing in a masculine-themed room with a TV and X-Box video gaming system.
Third is Blown Away’s partnership with houppette. Bridal parties who come to Blown Away can have their makeup applied by houppette’s staff.
“They will come here and do the makeup application after blowouts,” Singer said.
Singer described Blown Away as a different take on a salon. Its doors are open for those who want to stop in, say hello, and have a cup of coffee, regardless of whether they take advantage of what Singer and her staff of three full-time stylists have to offer.
“I want to be the Cheers of salons,” she said. “We are all about convenience. We are here to make you happy and beautiful.”
Singer’s husband and business partner, Rand, turned the empty storefront into his wife’s dream, doing all the construction and transforming Jen’s vision into reality. The building’s new owners also helped get Blown Away up and running.
“The new owners of the building have paid to get the building safe,” Rand Singer said. “They really helped get us up and running.”
Now that the doors are open, Jen Singer said she will be hosting events at the store, such as the Sept. 18 session with lululemon – a yoga class taught by Ambassador Cassie Plumb.
That day, the salon will close at 6, and yoga will be held from 6-7 p.m. After the class, participants can buy hair products and gift cards at a discount. The event is free but does require advance reservations.
For more information about Blown Away, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, go online at www.vagaro.com/BlownAwaySalon, or call 484-291-1090