By Katie Demeria
FRONT ROYAL -- Blake Pierpoint is used to hectic.
When she first opened Blake and Company Hair Spa six years ago, she was recently engaged, planning a wedding and building a house.
Now she is expanding the business, something she said she has wanted to do for several years, and simultaneously expecting her first child.
"I'm used to hectic," she said.
The timing was perfect, Pierpoint said. The building connected to hers at 1021 North Shenandoah Ave. became vacant a few months ago, and Pierpoint will officially take over on Aug. 1.
The hope is that by September, work will be completed and she will open The Spa at Blake and Company -- before her due date in October.
Pierpoint said she has been hoping to open a traditional spa in addition to her hair salon for several years. She said she wanted to make everything perfect with the salon first, but is now ready to make the next move.
"We've been really successful," Pierpoint said. "We see about a 10 percent growth in sales every year."
Before opening Blake and Company, she worked with a salon in Warrenton.
"They didn't think we'd survive," she said.
Despite those misgivings, Pierpoint opened the elite hair salon. She had the experience to do so -- at that point she had won various awards for her work and was even involved in the popular television shows "America's Next Top Model" and "Project Runway."
"It was awesome," she said. "Such a cool experience."
The Salon at Blake and Company is meant to sound like a destination, Pierpoint said. She wants her clients to feel like they are going somewhere special when coming in for a manicure, pedicure, massage or facial.
She is in the process of obtaining her ABC license so she can serve wine to customers, and plans to partner with the Front Royal Daily Grind and provide breakfast or lunch, with a mimosa, on Sundays.
Right now Pierpoint employs seven local individuals. They have a total of 5,000 customers in their system, she said.
With the spa opening she will expand her staff and hire five more employees.
One of those new hires includes a master esthetician, Pierpoint said, trained to give facials and peels. It means the procedures will be done with more medical knowledge behind them, she explained.
"We're going to be the furthest [business] from Reston that does peels," she added.
The expansion will include some significant construction work. Pierpoint plans on adjusting her break room to create a hallway between the salon and spa so salon customers can easily go to the spa after an appointment, or vice versa.
But the spa itself will also have another entrance to create a sense of privacy.
Pierpoint said she hopes to make visits to her salon or spa an experience for clients. She called it an elite salon because, while they do offer traditional services, she also tries to make it a relaxing destination.
"We're a salon, but we're not," she said.
To learn more about Blake and Company, visit www.blakeandco.com or call them at 540-635-4033.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com