Grace space: New salon opens in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY – The many meanings of the word “grace” struck a chord with Marcia Roehrich as she pondered what to name the Traverse City salon she recently opened with three friends.

Grace is about embodying a sense of refinement, seemingly effortless beauty or charm, kindheartedness and honor?all characteristics that fit the image the friends want their business to convey. Equally important is giving this sense of beauty to their clients.

“It’s such a compliment to be called graceful or gracious,” Roehrich said. “We just want to inspire people.”

Grace Salon, at 531 Union St., was slated to open Nov. 29, six months after Roehrich and fellow stylists Shari Stelzer, Kate Rice and Molly Shumsky purchased and extensively renovated the two-story, 2,400 square-foot Old Towne building.

The women, who met years ago at Traverse City’s Pavlova and most recently all worked side-by-side at Front Street’s Valerio’s, decided to go off on their own about a year ago. Having their own place, in a building they owned, was important to each of them, said Roehrich, who has nearly 28 years of salon experience.

Sharing the same work ethic made the decision to go into business together an easy one, said Shumsky, a native of the area with 12 years of styling experience.

“We all have good camaraderie with one another,”she said.

The women take their business seriously when it comes to treating a client right. They feel strongly in having one, consistent front desk receptionist who focuses entirely on client needs.

“The front desk is the first impression of a salon,” Rice said.

Working as a team also is critical, they said, which means clients won’t ever feel ignored by any of the stylists. “We all know each other’s clients, and we take care of each other’s clients,” Shumsky said.

Grace Salon offers hair, nail and brow-shaping services. In the future, the salon will offer massage and facial services in its upper level.

“Casual, not too high energy” and “modern retro” is how the owners describe their salon, which features Tuscany colors like brown, yellow and sage on its walls. The salon’s styling stations and front desk were custom made by local craftsman Nathan Gilmore.

“It’s upscale, but it’s warm and comfortable, down-to-earth and inviting,” Rice said. “You don’t have to be ‘done’?got your heels on, have your hair done?to come here and get your hair done.”

Plenty of parking is available in the back of the building, which is on the corner of Ninth and Union streets. The salon welcomes men, women and children.

Grace Salon will host a grand opening Jan. 21, featuring food, wine and music. Call the salon at 941-1973 for more information;