New Canton Salon and Spa Proves It's a Cut Above
For Immediate Release
By Judy Bass
Nestled among the businesses and eateries on bustling Route 138 in Canton is an elegant oasis that‘s drawing eager clients from as far away as Connecticut, New Hampshire and Cape Cod just four months after it opened in November 2010.
This new establishment with the restorative feel of a getaway is Vanity, a jewel-like salon and spa located at 351 Turnpike Street. The moment you step inside, an atmosphere of sophisticated, hushed opulence envelops you, underscored by the Art Deco-style color palette of black, silver and mauve, plus sleek furnishings and soft, low-key lighting.
What sets Vanity apart is the fact that Angela Federico, the owner, and three of her employees all studied Cosmetology when they were high school students at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton. Federico graduated in 2005, as did Joelle Morse and Melissa Barrett; Lisa McDonald graduated in 2003. Another staff member, Arianna Jones, who works the front desk, is currently a senior at Blue Hills. Two other employees round out the group, Ashlie Lerner and Jennifer Bradford.
They are a youthful crew indeed. Federico is 23, as are Lerner and Morse, while McDonald, Barrett and Bradford are 25.
Their professionalism, knowledge of their craft and gracious demeanor were all on display one recent Monday morning when the salon was closed to the public. They hosted two Cosmetology teachers from Blue Hills, Karen Bonney and Francesca Killion, who brought several of their grade 12 students to Vanity for some hairstyling-technique pointers and to have their hair done if they wished.
Federico started with a few suggestions on how to conduct a useful consultation with a client – “Take your time!,” she firmly instructed the students, who were all listening and observing raptly – before her stylists expertly went to work creating beautiful new coifs for some of the girls.
“They had a blast,” Federico said later. “They were all such nice girls, interested and willing to learn.”
Business at Vanity has been extremely brisk, she noted, with referrals and walk-ins coming from a wide swath of the South Shore, especially Milton, as well as Canton, Stoughton, Randolph, Kingston and Hanover. The positive buzz built quickly. “It’s been crazy but it’s been really good,” Federico mentioned with pleasure.
Men, women, and children are welcome at Vanity. Along with haircutting and coloring, spa services are also available, including waxing, facials, and pedicures and manicures. Eventually, hair extensions will be offered too.
A major lure for clients is clearly the vibe, generated partly by the unique look of the salon. Federico said she wanted to give her clients a peaceful respite from the hectic outside world, so she deliberately chose mauve, a warm, calming neutral shade, as the predominant hue of the décor. It also makes a flattering backdrop for a wide range of skin tones.
“We pride ourselves on the atmosphere,” Stylist Ashlie Lerner said. “It’s a tranquil place [for people] to relax, talk, and have their own personal time.”
A key behind-the-scenes element that accounts for Vanity’s success is the easy camaraderie between the women employed there and their focus on teamwork. “We have mutual respect for each other,” said Federico. “All the girls who work for me make this place what it is.”
“We all treat each other equally,” affirmed Melissa Barrett, another stylist. “I love coming to work every day. It’s fun. We have great clients and a great team.”
For Federico, the opening of Vanity marked the actualization of a goal she has dreamed of since childhood. She worked at a salon when she was a junior at Blue Hills, then, many years later, everything just came together for Vanity and “it literally happened overnight.”
Federico expressed her immense gratitude to Blue Hills and especially to Karen Bonney, head of the Cosmetology program. “Mrs. Bonney was the first person I called when we opened. She gave me every single tool I needed to do it the right way.”
As for what it takes to be a good hairdresser, Federico immediately cited passion for it as the primary trait. “It’s a lot of work,” she cautioned. “You’re on your feet [all day] dealing with all the different personalities [of the people who come in.] You can’t really have a bad day; it’s all or nothing.”
Nevertheless, the rewards and the gratification are unbeatable. “If you can make someone feel good about themselves,” Federico declared, “it’s awesome.”
Vanity is open Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Their phone number is 781-562-0424.