Time to step away: Longtime Woodstock hairdresser sells business

Anna Houghton, left, owner of Anna Marie Studios, washes Edinburg resident Kayla Pennington's hair on Thursday. Houghton recently purchased her business on East High Street in Woodstock from Carolyn Foyle, longtime valley hairdresser and owner of Vivid Hair Designs and Spa. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Carolyn Foyle, longtime valley hairdresser and owner of Vivid Hair Designs and Spa since 2003, has sold her business at 110 E. High St. to Anna Houghton, who reopened the salon as Anna Marie Studios on Sept. 1.

Foyle, who has practiced cosmetology for 50 years, said that the more her clientele aged, the more she realized that it was time for her to step away. She will still be working in the building in a lesser capacity to help Houghton during the transition.

“‘I’m staying with her to help her,” Foyle said. “We have a computer program that she’s going to have to learn. She wants me to mentor her too, a little bit. I’m going to stay there and work about three days a week and then I’ll be moving to Florida.”

Houghton said that the new location will be a big help as her up and coming business expands.

“It’s a bigger building,” Houghton said. “I have four stylists instead of the two I have now. More shampoo bowls, more dryer chairs. There’s a parking lot, which I don’t have on Main Street. There’s a point of sale system so I’ll be able to come into this century.”

In addition to helping Houghton work out the kinks at her new location, Foyle said she also plans to offer counsel for Houghton in any way she can and said she sees Houghton doing big things in the cosmetology field.

“I see good qualities in Anna Marie,” Foyle said. “I think that she will be successful in just about anything she does. She’s young, she’s ambitious and shes not afraid to take chances. I think she’ll be in the building a while but eventually I see her moving into something bigger.”

Houghton, who operates Anna Marie Studios at 138 Main St. in Woodstock, bought the salon turnkey, including retaining some of Foyle’s former employees.

“‘ll be inheriting her employees over there,” Houghton said. “There’s a stylist there, Debbie, who will be taking on Carolyn’s customers and any customers that want to stay, we’ll be happy to accommodate.”

Both Houghton and Foyle emphasized the importance of maintaining relationships with clients, and that to grow as a business, hairdressers must grow with their clients and always keep an open mind in relation to trends and styles. Foyle said that her customers are what she will miss most.

Houghton offers all around hair care, but said her specialty is color. A 2001 graduate of Triplett Tech, Houghton said the idea to open her own hair salon was a whim after a few years of working for a different salon. She said that she’s excited to take this big step and see what the future holds.

“Carolyn has helped me along with this very much,” Houghton said. “She has been in this county doing hair for a long long time and she’s built it up to a point where she can retire and I hope to do the same thing. … I’ve been wanting this so badly.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com