By Ian Nadeau
Atlantic News, Thursday, December 13, 2001
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
[Atlantic News Photo by Ian Nadeau]
HAMPTON -- For more than 30 years, Shapely Shapers Professional Clinic has sculpted the hairstyles of Hampton residents with a creativity and precision exclusive to true artists.
As the years have passed, the beauty salon has seen its fair share of changes which have led to the smaller, modernized incarnation found today. But while the shape of Shapely Shapers has certainly changed, their commitment to complete customer satisfaction has not.
Since relocating from Depot Square in 1973, Shapely Shapers had occupied the whole of the facility located at 860 Lafayette Road. A little over a year ago, owner Hope Dube decided to confine her operation to roughly half of the space it once inhabited and upgrade the equipment and appearance of the remaining area.
Dube says the new layout is ideal for her purposes, since she is now the sole stylist for the salon. "I love it," she says. "It's just right, nice and cozy."
After putting 900 square feet of her building up for rent, Dube made some major improvements to her new salon. She purchased a brand new pedicure chair and set to work refurbishing the interior. The new Shapely Shapers is truly a streamlined, state-of-the-art two-chair salon.
The remodeling has helped Dube maintain her emphasis on quality, not quantity. She prefers to handle only one client at a time and will spend as much time as needed to "finish it right."
She believes understanding the exact nature of the client's request is one of the most important functions of a hairstylist. "A lot of haircutters do what they want," Dube says. "I try to listen to what the customer wants and do that to the best of my ability."
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed by her loyal base of clients, who have regularly frequented her establishment for many years. "I'm very fortunate, I have a very good clientele — very loyal," she says.
In her time in Hampton, Dube has seen many of her clients grow up. "A lot of clients have stayed with me over the years," she says. One of those clients is Bob Preston of Preston Real Estate, who is currently helping her rent out the other half of the building. Dube is looking to rent the space to a business that would have good synergy with Shapely Shapers.
She believes the space would be perfect for a chiropractor, dentist, insurance agency, massage therapist, mortgage company, physical therapist or real estate agency. In addition to cutting hair, Shapely Shapers does coloring, facials, pedicures, and waxing.
Her facial treatments have been met with rave reviews. She sets the mood by dimming the lights and lighting a few candles, before applying the facial treatment. Then, as the treatment takes effect, Dube soothes her clients with arms, neck and foot massages.
"I really give a good pedicure," she continues. The first-rate massages that also accompany her pedicures put Shapely Shapers a cut above the rest. "I like to give a good massage," explains Dube. Shapely Shapers recently added a whirlpool foot spa to further enhance the foot therapy.
The Hampton beauty salon currently offers a number of special hand treatments to keep hands from becoming dried out during these cold winter months.
Dube says her favorite aspect of this business continues to be the creating aspect of it. "I love to be creative," she reveals. Creativity seems to come naturally to Dube, a watercolor artist in her spare time. Her artwork is prominently featured on the walls of the salon, adding a touch of beauty to the surroundings.
Dube began her watercolor career at the age of 50, after an enlightening meeting with astrologist Dusty Bunker. In the course of a chart reading, Bunker suggested the hobby to Dube, who confessed that she had not been much of an artist beforehand. She took to the craft immediately. "I like to do my artwork," she says, adding that her customers also seem to really enjoy the exhibition of her artwork.
For her annual Christmas raffle, Dube will be giving away her "Summer's Dream" piece to one of her lucky customers. For those who aren't lucky enough to win the prize, Shapely Shaper gift certificates make excellent Christmas gifts. The salon also stocks Paul Mitchell hair products and Nelly DeVuyst skin care products. During the cold winter months, Dube recommends that everyone avoid taking excessively hot showers, although she admits that she herself is the worst culprit in this area.
"It feels so good, but it does so much damage to your skin," she explains. Instead, she suggests taking a shower in moderate temperatures and moisturizing afterwards.
Eventually, Dube would like to rent out the second booth in the salon, but she says the new stylist would have to be compatible with Shapely Shapers and their current hours of operation. Shapely Shapers is open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9- 4, Friday from 9-3 and Saturday from 9-12. Dube takes some pre-booked evening appointments, but recommends that clients plan ahead of time.
For the time being, she says, she likes being on her own focusing on her loyal customers. "I've been here a long time," she says. "I have been part of the community for a long time — I used to do fashion shows and hair competitions. Now, I'm happy to just be in my little space with my clients."
Shapely Shapers Professional Clinic is located at 860 Lafayette Road.