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Mary Loos-Velez

Mary Loos-Velez Cosmetology Graduate Opens New-York Style Salon in Avon Lake

Mary Loos-Velez , Cosmetology, Class of: 2001
Dream big.

That's what Mary Loos-Velez did; designing her very own beauty salon for a class project during her first year in the Lorain County JVS Cosmetology Program.

"That assignment really got me thinking about what I wanted my salon to look like - a New York City style salon with state-of-the-art equipment, great atmosphere, maybe a wall with a waterfall," said Loos-Velez, a 2001 JVS graduate.

"The waterfall is still in the planning stages, but there is definitely a wall in my shop for one, and a spa, too, sometime in the future," said Loos-Velez, owner of Elements Salon on Avon Belden Road Avon Lake.

To say that Loos-Velez knew her calling early in life is an understatement.

"I began cutting my Barbie dolls' hair when I was 3-years-old, and by age 5, I was French- braiding my own hair, which isn't easy," she said.

Ten years can be an eternity, but that was Loos-Velez' timetable for opening her salon.

"I always wanted to be the boss, work for myself," she said. "I knew it would take time. But I was determined to make it happen before I turned 30, and the JVS was a good place to start," said the 28-year-old entrepreneur who oversees 13 workers.

"My goal in the next year is to become the Bumble and Bumble Network Educator for the salon. This involves traveling to New York City many times to achieve this. We are in the process of helping a stylist reach the goal of doing hair at Fashion Week through the Bumble and Bumble University Model Project in NYC," commented Loos-Velez. "At our salon, the staff believes that customer service and education is the most important part of the job!"

One of the most important skills Loos-Velez said she learned at the JVS was to listen to her customers.

"Some people are unsure of what they want, but I love talking about hair, guiding them through my products and helping them select a color and style," she said. "It's like dining at a restaurant. If the food is good, they'll tell their friends about it and come back again."

While most of her clients are women, Loos-Velez and her staff also cater to men, who also enjoy coloring their hair.

Loos-Velez also received advice and support from her father, Jim, who operates Murphy Brothers Body Shop; her mother and salon receptionist, Kathy; and her husband, Aaron, who handles the bookkeeping.

Styles change all the time," she said. "I try to return with new ideas and ways to improve on what I'm doing."

Elements Salon also participates in Wigs for Kids, a national non-profit organization which provides wigs for children who experience hair loss due to cancer and other illnesses.
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