WAPAKONETA — Lilly Elsass and her mom, Lori, stopped by Studio A Hair Salon last week. Lilly needed a haircut, and she’d been eager to get one from owner Audrey Comer.
Comer, 21, recently opened the salon, at 17 Willipie St., in her hometown. Lilly, a neighbor of Comer’s fiance, hopped up in the styling chair, sitting her 8-year-old frame on a booster seat.
As Comer started, she combed through the girl’s tangles, giving her mom tips on products that might help get the tangles out when her daughter swims.
The salon, in a storefront off of Main Street, is decorated in tan and brown hues — a decor Comer and her fiance, Zane Oen, completely changed when she got the space.
The space has been a salon since the 1990s, but Comer knew the space needed updating and she had an atmosphere in mind to set the tone for customers.
“It’s cozy and small and you can talk to people,” Comer said. “It’s a comfortable environment where you can relax and get your hair done and you don’t feel rushed.”
Comer, and the salon’s two other stylists Stefanie Jordan and Ashley Comer, like to chat with their customers and get to know them.
“It’s also nice to see people feel better about themselves when their hair is done and different,” Comer said.
A Wapakoneta native, Comer likes the “small town feel” of the city and that people know her and recognize her.
“It seems like everybody here is really nice,” she said.
Comer, 21, has worked at three different salons since graduating from Apollo Career Center at 18. She’s worked in Lima, Wapakoneta and Botkins.
But having her own small salon has always been a dream.
“I heard about the space, it’s a good location,” Comer said. “I just enjoy [doing hair], it’s like not even working.”
The salon specializes in cut, color and extensions and takes appointments and walk-ins.
Comer said she has seen a demand in the area for hair stylists. Though there are other salons in Wapakoneta, some don’t take new customers, she said.
The salon is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.