PITTSFIELD – It was during a visit to Nantucket in the 1990s that Brandi Scalise first fell in love with the word blue.
“I came across a store called Blue – I don’t know what type of store it was – and the name just struck me,” Scalise said. “I don’t know if it was salty air…I came home and started smiling…one day I’m going to have a [hair] living room named Blue.”
A day has finally come for Scalise. The veteran hairstylist recently opened Blu Salon & Spa in the Williams Street Plaza space in Pittsfield that once housed Lotus Salon & Spa, which closed last year. Scalise, who was a hairstylist and manager of the old salon, said she took over the business in July after Lotus closed and ran it under her old name until earlier that month. The move to Blu Salon & Spa coincides with the completion of Scalise’s total renovation of the space, which she says cost around $100,000. Scalise, which said it has a 10-year lease with place owner Berkshire Eye Center, will hold a grand opening for its newly named salon on February 1.
“I just wanted to make it my own,” Scalise said, referring to the massive renovation project. “It wasn’t my style, and it wasn’t my space.”
Blu Salon & Spa now has six stylist chairs, five treatment rooms, three pedicure chairs, two manicure stations and a sauna. There are also three new shampoo bowls, which Scalise says are equipped with “cool technology” that puts no pressure on the neck of the person being groomed.
“[They] look like big recliners you could take a nap in,” said Scalise, which has 15 employees.
Scalise, who grew up in Pittsfield and still lives in the city, had never owned a hair salon before, but has been involved in the hair business since 1994. Originally, she wanted to be an accountant, but her aunt ran the cosmetology program at Pittsfield High School when Scalise attended PHS, and she suggested hairdressing might be something her niece could do while taking accounting classes in college.
After attending Berkshire Community College, Scalise became a personal financial adviser at a local bank. But finance turned out to be the wrong career path.
“I didn’t like it,” said Scalise, who has also owned several rental properties since 2004. “My aunt’s career choice suited me better.”
It seems Scalise isn’t the only hairstylist to love the word blue. A Google search for hair salons that include the word spelled “Blu” with the words, salon, spa, or both in the title yielded four such businesses located in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Scalise Salon is independently owned and not affiliated with any other company.
“I think it’s just a favorite name,” Scalise said. “There are a lot of places called blue. … I didn’t realize that.”
Blu Salon & Spa is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. More information can be found at blusalonspa.mysalononline.com or on the salon’s Facebook page.