Sisters Carley Rochester-Cobb and Gretchen Camera say their Gallery Salon and Spa at 165 N. Main St. is a truly family affair.
For 20 years these sisters have not only have offered a wide range of beauty products and services, but also have kept a friendly welcoming atmosphere and maintained a building that is clean and safe.
Both have been working together there since their mother, Vanessa Thomas, purchased the former Hair Gallery in 2002. They say their family-friendly attitude has always been part of the Gallery’s ethos.
Rochester-Cobb said before managing the Gallery, she had worked for an insurance company for a few years.
“It was an OK job, but as soon as Mom purchased the property and said she couldn’t manage the business without me, I put in my notice.”
She said she not only mans the front desk and handles the bills, maintenance and payroll but sees to the daily cleanliness of the store. Rochester-Cobb said they are still mindful of COVID protocols while managing the salon’s 2,500 square feet of the space.
“This place is cleaned every day,” she said.
In March 2022, they had discontinued the requirement to wear a mask, but customers have the option to wear a mask if they wish to and can request the Gallery employee wear a mask during an appointment.
Head stylist Camera, said she has also built on the family-style orientation of the Gallery in her management of their 18 employees, all who work directly for the salon.
“Some salons have just booth rental beauticians, who are pretty much their own business,” she said.
Camera said that hiring all their employees lends continuity to their services, which results in long-term customers.
“Some of our customers have been with us since we opened,” Camera said.
Their hair services include cuts and styles, color services, conditioning, texturing and perms. Their spa offers skin care, facial enhancements, chemical peels, waxing, lashes and brows, as well as manicures and pedicures.
Speaking of pedicures, the sisters say they also keep their equipment updated as well. In 2022, they purchased three new Gulfstream pedicure chairs with state-of-the-art Shiatsu Roller Back Systems.
“At first, I wondered about the extra expense (of buying the new chairs), but then I sat in one of them and it was just “AAAAAAAAH”. I was sold,” Rochester-Cobb said.
They are continuing expand their services to keep up with new trends.
For example, Camera said they had just hired a nail technician and will be starting acrylic nail services.
Since opening in 2002, they have expanded from five chairs to eight. Also, while they started out with one suite in the building, they now have expanded into three suites. Thomas said these expansions allow for good separation between various specialty areas.
Both women say they just love their location.
“We are situated right in the middle of downtown as well as on the corridor to Bowling Green State University so students have easy access to our services.” Rochester-Cobb said.