Salon Soleil partners Lydia Cruz and Elia Pino inside their Wellington salon.
Elia D. Pino and Lydia Cruz are proud to have their own upscale beauty salon in the western communities. “At Salon Soleil, you can get the same kind of treatments you get at the fanciest places in Palm Beach or even New York,” Pino said.
Pino and Cruz took over the long-established salon in the Wellington Marketplace four months ago. They brought with them strong support that Cruz has established over 30 years as a beautician. She draws regular customers from all over South Florida. “We have people driving here from Miami, from Fort Myers,” Pino said. “She is that good. She already has bookings into 2008.”
Cruz, who is also Pino’s mother-in-law, is one of the few beauticians in South Florida certified to use Brazilian hair-straightening treatments.
“The process lasts for three months,” Cruz said, “and is so gentle that it doesn’t damage even the most delicate hair, even hair that has been colored.”
Pino said she and Cruz have long been interested in bringing the best quality beauty shop to the area. “We cut hair, style it, color it, straighten it,” she said. “We do facials, waxing and permanent makeup. We also do hair and makeup for special occasions.”
So far, the salon has been a great success. “We have as many as 60 and more appointments on Saturdays now,” Pino said, “and it isn’t even the busy season yet.”
As part of a customer appreciation effort, the salon brings in food for both employees and customers on Saturdays. “We always serve a nice breakfast with something like bagels from Panera Bread, and we had lasagna here today from Olive Garden,” Pino said. “We always serve food here on Saturdays. We want our customers to feel at home.”
Pino said that in the business world, it’s important to keep in mind that the customer is always right, and that if a business takes good care of its customers, then the business takes care of itself.
“There are some salons and spas that have gotten away from that and focus only on the bottom line,” Pino said. “Here at Salon Soleil, we are not only reemphasizing this concept, but working hard to create a positive atmosphere. When our customers walk out of our doors, we want them to not only look great, but to feel great about their whole being.”
Pino said Salon Soleil sets itself apart through the way the salon treats its employees. “In many shops, staff members are treated as independent contractors,” Pino said. “Here, they are employees; they get benefits. That has allowed us to make certain that every single staff member is licensed by the state. And they want to stay here, which means people will be able to come to us and work with a favorite stylist for years.”
Cruz emphasized the very high quality of every element of beauty work. “We use Goldwell products here,” she said. “Their products are considered the best in the world, and they do not let most shops use them. They are very particular about who uses their products on clients’ hair. But we use it because it makes the hair look a lot better.”
Pino and Cruz said their goal is to create a salon with a great sense of ease and style. “We are a happy group,” Pino said. “We want our customers to feel relaxed and happy as if they were with their own families as we work on them… We have a happy multilingual, multicultural staff. We speak English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Hungarian. Some of our customers enjoy coming in because they can speak to someone in a tongue in which they are more comfortable.”
Pino and Cruz live in Royal Palm Beach and say they have learned to appreciate what their neighbors want when it comes to beauty. That is why Salon Soleil aims to give great customer service using the finest stylists and beauty products, while creating a friendly, family atmosphere. “Come in and try us,” Pino invited. “Once you know us, you’ll love us.”
Salon Soleil is located in the Wellington Marketplace at 13833 Wellington Trace and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.