Samantha Johnson celebrates the grand opening of her new business, Sam E's Salon at 28 North Fourth St., with the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce, friends family and other members of the community.
Samantha Johnson celebrates the grand opening of her new business, Sam E's Salon at 28 North Fourth St., with the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce, friends family and other members of the community.

Archived Story

New salon opens in downtown Niles

Published 9:00am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

When Samantha Johnson first opened up her salon at 28 North Fourth St., the interior renovations were far from complete. The floor was carpeted and all she had was a folding chair and a shampoo bowl.

Even still, clients came in.

Not necessarily a bad problem to have with a new business.

“I’ve been in business for 15 years,” she said.

Johnson moved to Niles from Traverse City about a little more than a year ago and has been cutting hair out of her home until she recently opened up Sam E’s Salon.

“I went through cosmetology in high school,” she said. “I’ve been doing hair since I was like, 12. It’s my passion. It’s the only thing I enjoy.”

Her passion is rather evident. She’s run her own businesses in Traverse City and Grand Rapids and Same E’s Salon is what she only hopes to be her first venture here in Niles.
“I plan on opening more,” Johnson said. “But this is my baby, this is where I’m going to get started.”

Sam E’s Salon offers full salon services, shampoo, cuts and styles and Johnson is hoping to add manicures, pedicures and massage to the list as soon as possible.

In the meantime, she’s keeping busy.

“I have been so busy with walk-ins,” she said. “God has blessed me so much. Even though it’s small in here, people just come in. My clients and my friends their (support) has just been so overwhelming.”

Its good news for a new business, but just how does she plan to stay competitive with several other area salons?

“I’m confident,” she said. “I can do hair in my sleep.”

And, as it happens, she’d like to join forces with the competition.

Johnson isn’t only hoping to benefit her clients through hair care but the community as well.

“My thing is, why can’t they all come together?” she said.

She’s hoping to pull together a hair show to benefit area homeless. She’s done such events before, with proceeds going toward helping shelters or in providing hair care to women at domestic abuse shelters.

“It makes them feel good about themselves,” Johnson said.

But she doesn’t want to stop there. She’s also hoping to be in the position of performing ambush makeovers, giving women a chance for a whole new look.

Johnson definitely has a plan. But first thing’s first.

“I do need staff,” she said. “I need stylists bad.”

She’s hiring and the hope is to find quality people to join a working environment that’s fun and caters to her clients.

Coupled with her passion for taking her business beyond those clients and influence the community, the promise is that Sam and her staff will be a part of something bigger.

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