After 20 years in business, Salon Eclipse still shines

Eclipse Salon20 Year 39
A seasoned salon with talented hair and nail artists, Salon Eclipse leads the area in offering the latest trends. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Mary Malik

Salon Eclipse is celebrating 20 years of beauty, and owner Renee Rustifo-Kay has even more than that to celebrate. As a stylist, business owner and mentor to new stylists, Renee is celebrating her personal success and the success of those around her.

“Twenty years have flown by,” Renee says. “I started working in a salon while I was in college studying finance. My plan was to graduate college and go to law school. I did graduate college, but I realized while working in that salon that I loved it. I decided to forego law school, buy the salon myself, and, with the help of my finance degree, run it myself.”

Renee continued the original business model of a booth rental salon and today has eight hair stylists, one of whom also does nails, and one dedicated nail technician.

“People come and go in this industry,” Renee says. “But here, we function more like a traditional salon. We’re unique in that we work together and help each other learn, grow, and succeed. We share much more than just this space.”

Renee Rustifo-Kay (standing left) is a stylist, business owner and mentor to new stylists at her Salon Eclipse

Just spending time at Salon Eclipse on a recent Wednesday morning, I could feel the energy and the fun, friendly atmosphere here. These women are all independent contractors running their own small businesses, but the camaraderie is obvious.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve taken these young, very talented stylists, worked with them on the business side of their careers and turned them into entrepreneurs,” Renee says. “Watching them grow in their own businesses has been very rewarding.”

And their clients are reaping the benefits of the Salon Eclipse culture. Each stylist has her own personal style and specializes in various hair trends along with all the traditional skills involved with their trade.

“We’ll match clients with a stylist no matter what they’re looking for, male or female,” Renee says. “Trends in hair and nails come and go and our stylists keep up with the very latest, but also have the skills that a more traditional client is looking for. We do it all.”

Whether it’s a short cut, long style, baby lights, fashion colors like blue and pink or the new sew-in extensions, there’s a stylist at Salon Eclipse waiting for you.

“Baby lights are more delicate and natural looking than traditional highlights,” Renee says. “And since long hair is popular now, the sew-in extensions are the latest technique and are easier on your hair than other options. We have stylists who are excellent at this.”

“I’d say the trends with both hair and nails is that really anything goes,” Renee says. “We work with every age group. We offer Keratin treatments for smoothing hair and all the latest nail trends as well.”

And if you have the same question I asked about perms, the answer is “yes,” they are still a thing—but not the way we might remember.

“Perms are popular with the younger guys,” Renee says. “It’s more of a soft, wavy style of perm on the top of the head with a tight cut on the sides. It’s a popular look.”

In her 20 years in the business, Renee has seen trends come and go, but one thing has remained constant—her commitment to her fellow stylists and their personal and professional growth. Now that’s something to celebrate.

Salon Eclipse is located at 8891 Mentor Ave. in Mentor. To schedule an appointment call 440-255-9002.