Any parent will tell you that taking a child for a haircut can be adventure — but of the stressful ilk. Deborah Gideon knows the drill. As owner of the kid-friendly Cuts N Curls salon, she's built a thriving enterprise around eliminating anxiety from the periodic trim.
Gideon's Solon-based business is a salon, toy boutique and party center all wrapped up into one colorfully energetic package. The surroundings are fun and upbeat, with brightly painted walls and a checkerboard floor. Children watch movies from the comfort of car-shaped styling chairs, while the electronic ping of video games ring out in the background.
"Kids love it here, and parents are de-stressed because it's so chill," says Gideon. "It's a happy vibe."
Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, Cuts N Curls has become a destination stop for busy families, Gideon notes. The Pepper Pike resident started the salon in August 2007 with a focus on children, but expanded her services to include adults. After moving to a larger space following her initial launch, Gideon offers cuts for kids and their parents, as well as ear piercings, color and highlights, and manicures.
The fun doesn't stop there, as Cuts N Curls hosts birthday parties that invite little girls for a day of glitter spray, temporary tattoos and age-appropriate dress-up. Gideon also sells a selection of organic and nontoxic hair products, accessories, nail polish and toys.
Put together, these elements are designed to create a relaxing atmosphere that makes a potentially scary experience enjoyable. Gideon's staff has also been trained by Autism Speaks Cleveland to accommodate special needs children.
"The word-of-mouth from the autistic community and mommy blogs has been unbelievable," says Gideon. "People have had terrible experiences over haircuts, and they cry with relief when they're here."
While the salon has nearly 6,000 clients in its database, Gideon's staff caters to the needs of individual customers; all the more to make them feel safe and comfortable, she says.
"We have notes on kids with food allergies or if they like Elmo or the pink car," says Gideon. "It makes them feel good, like there's something special going on here."
Creating an accessible environment has fostered bonds not just between stylists and their pint-sized clients, but with parents as well.
"People say we've made their lives easier," says Gideon. "I don't take that lightly."