By Lanier Laney
“The word ‘Aria’ is of Italian origin and is defined as a piece of music written for an operatic solo. In more generic terms, it is used to define individualism and as something that stands apart,” says Elizabeth Parker, salon owner. “I chose this name for all of the above meanings. I have been involved in music ever since I learned to talk. All my life I have been involved with community, school and church choirs. I also play piano and, once upon a time, the flute. I am currently a member of The Sea Island Chamber Singers here in Beaufort.”
Her partner Lynn is known as one of the best hair stylists in Beaufort, and together they have opened the new Salon Aria downtown, just off Bay Street.
Elizabeth describes how she met Lynn: “Lynn and I met in Beaufort when I applied to work at his Redken Salon in Habersham. We’ve known each other for five years. Two and half years ago, our relationship became more of a personal one. We share a very high mutual respect for each other and we believe that is the key to success for any business and/or personal relationship.”
Lynn attended several world-renowned academies such as Sassoon, Jean Louis David, and Tigi. Says Lynn, “I am always researching and surfing the Internet for the most current fashion trends and hair styles. It’s almost like a drug; when I find something that jumps out at me, I get so excited and instantly start thinking of one of my clients whose looks and personality would compliment my new found style. I find myself thinking, ‘I can’t wait to do this haircut!’ I am inspired by European (especially British) hair fashions as they are consistently about two years ahead of us when it comes to their style. The haircuts you see on the majority fashion-forward Americans today were most likely done years ago in England, Italy, etc.”
That’s why they both believe in regular trainings from Redkin and trips to major hair shows. Says Lynn, “We like to keep our clients evolving so that they don’t get stuck in an outdated look. Fashion evolves each season — both color and cut. In 2013 we hope to go to the big hair shows in London and Paris that occur just before the major fashion shows.”
Elizabeth trained at an elite Redken Salon in Atlanta. She said, “As a little girl, my biggest fashion influences were all of the Disney princesses. I remember being Ariel for Halloween when I was 7 and even wore a long red wig to make the costume seem more realistic. I probably wore that wig for three months, everyday after school, until I went to bed. I love HAIR!”
Elizabeth’s specialty is color. Says Elizabeth, “I find color to be my passion because even the slightest color change of brightness and/or depth and shine can dramatically improve someone’s appearance taking in consideration the skin pallet, eye color, face shape and even lifestyle for maintenance purposes. A clients’ color transformation is instant gratification for both the guest and myself, and best of all, it can be altered slightly or dramatically at anytime. I especially recommend varying or tweaking someone’s color when seasons change. For example, our skin tends to be lighter in the fall/ winter months, so balancing the color to marry with tones of the skin is always important and always exciting. I get bored doing the same-old, same-old, so even if the change is as subtle as slightly altering a low light tone, it opens up new future possibilities and prevents complacency. “
As a child, Elizabeth would vacation on Edisto Island, and Lynn used to visit his grandfather in Summerville, where he fell in love with the Lowcountry. They both moved here six years ago and love how Beaufortonians are so friendly, social and polite. Since being here, they both have been involved in the Locks-for-Love charity and helped raise money for breast cancer awareness.
Their beautiful new salon off Bay Street has been open since October 2011. As a business owner, Elizabeth said she has implemented a “level program,” inspired by the salon where she worked in Atlanta. This system guarantees a life-long career path in which the goal is for the stylist to become a salon stockholder. With this particular system, Elizabeth and Lynn are pioneering a way for future employees to become co-owners of the salon. They look forward to welcoming more hair stylists to the Aria team.