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CITY OF PEWAUKEE - An area salon will celebrate its grand opening Feb. 18 with a cocktail party at its new location.

Operating since 2004, Salon Brillare, 1830 E Meadow Lane, has moved into a 3,200-square-foot location in Grandview Plaza. Construction started on the space in August, and was completed in December.

"We are very excited, since we doubled our square footage for our new salon space, and we are ready to celebrate," said Salon Brillare owner Janet D'Amato.

The salon is geared toward independent stylists and nail technicians who can operate their own businesses under Salon Brillare's umbrella. It employs 18 people who each run separate businesses. There are several chairs and nail technician rentals available.

The business will also host a grand opening cocktail party from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, for friends, family, and current clients, as well as new clients, stylists and nail technicians. There will be food, drink and giveaways, along with live music from Ryan McIntyre. Complimentary paraffin wax hand treatments will also be available. Proceeds from the giveaways will go toward a close friend of the salon's breast cancer treatments.

Getting it started

The idea for the salon started as a conversation between D'Amato and a friend. Before Salon Brillare, D'Amato had worked for another salon for 14 years before she decided to branch out and start her own salon in 2004.

At first, D'Amato didn't envision herself as a salon owner. Over time, her view changed.

"When I rented for the first time, it was the first time I realized that it maybe was something that I wanted to do," D'Amato said. "Over the years, I've been told by a lot of people that I'm good at helping people grow and launch their businesses, so I think that is part of my passion as to why our business has been so successful. We continue to grow in numbers."

It wasn't without anxiety, D'Amato said, as she was raising two kids and had left a good job at her previous salon at the time.

"I just did the leap of faith, and if I hadn't been pushed by one of my friends, I might not have done it," D'Amato said. "It was even scarier when I applied for a business loan and did that on my own. It felt like just blind ambition because I don't know if I really knew what I was getting myself into. It's been a lot of work, but its paid off and its been worthwhile."

The future

D'Amato's leap of faith led to her opening her first location in Grandview Plaza for seven years before moving to a 1,600-square-foot location in the same shopping center in 2011. She operated Salon Brillare there for five years before moving to its current location in December 2016 after the previous location's lease had expired. She is excited to celebrate the salon's grand opening.

With the new location in hand, D'Amato hopes to fill the open chairs and nail technician rental spots she has open. If she can do that successfully, she would consider opening another location with a rental style of salon.

That success and potential for the future stems from the philosophy of Salon Brillare's name. Brillare is an Italian word meaning "to shine."

"My idea when I opened it, and why I gave it the name, is that I wanted to give all the independent stylists and hairdressers a chance to shine on their own, as well as we help the clients feel good and give them a chance to shine," D'Amato said. "I

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