Emerald Bay Salon relocates to State Street

Lisa Depies
Emerald Bay stylists Karla Humphrey, left, and Janni Robertson stand behind the counter in their new salon location. The salon moved from Exchange Street to 131 S. State St.

The stylists at Emerald Bay Salon are tickled pink about their new location.

The Geneseo salon recently moved from Exchange Street to a new location on State Street. The salon is now located in the former dry cleaner’s building, next to The Cellar. The location most recently was home to RutabagA’s art gallery.

“We’ve been wanting to move for the last two years, but we hadn’t found a site that was the right fit,” said stylist and business owner Karla Humphrey.

The move was part of an effort to downsize and simplify, said Humphrey.

She owned the salon’s Exchange Street site, but wanted to get away from the stresses and responsibilities of being a property owner.

“We wanted to spend more time with the clients, and less time on the other things. We were looking for simplicity,” she said, adding she’s happy to now be a renter. “We’re blessed to have wonderful landlords.”

The new location required “minimum renovation” for the salon. “The main thing we needed was a bit of plumbing work done so we could install our shampoo bowls,” said Humphrey.

Downsizing drastically reduced the amount of square footage available in the salon, but Humphrey welcomed the challenge.

“Less space meant we had to be more creative,” she said.

“Moving allowed us to eliminate stuff we didn’t need anymore,” added fellow Emerald Bay stylist Janni Robertson. “We embraced the tiny-house movement.”

Because of new state regulations, the salon eliminated its tanning beds last August and had no need to devote space for that at the new site.

A change in location feels like a fresh start for the salon, said the stylists.

“Everyday feels like a girls’ day,” said Humphrey. “It doesn’t feel like going to work. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do.”

Humphrey and Robertson said they’re embracing being a part of the downtown business area.

“Everything is new and fresh, and we’re right in the center of the business district,” said Robertson.

At the salon’s old location, the windows were tinted, a difference Humphrey and Robertson said they didn’t notice until they’d moved to their new site.

“The light is awesome. It’s just so bright and cheerful,” said Robertson.

The two stylists have been friends for the past 16 years and have worked together for many of those years.

“Janni and I complement each other so well,” said Humphrey.

In addition, the pair also view their clients as part of their circle of friends. “We really are like one big family,” said Humphrey.

Since opening their salon on State Street on Feb. 28, Humphrey said she and Robertson have heard nothing but positive comments from their clients.

“They love it. They tell us they think it’s cute and bright,” she said.

Though the location is new, the salon’s hours and phone number remained the same — as did the tradition of offering customers fresh cookies.

“We didn’t want to rock the boat too much,” said Humphrey.

Emerald Bay is now at 131 S. State St. The salon is open Tuesdays through Saturdays and appointments and walk-ins are both welcome. The salon can be reached at 944-8383.

“Come spend the day at the Bay,” encouraged Robertson.