From cuts to color, highlights and more, Courtney McIntyre and Annie McIntosh know hairstyling. Running a business was a new venture that the hairstylists-turned-business partners decided to undertake amid the pandemic.
The duo – who have a combined 20+ years’ hairstyling experience – met at a Hair Cuttery in the Lehigh Valley, where they both had worked. Prior to meeting, each shared a dream of owning their own salon one day.
Then COVID-19 hit, Hair Cuttery filed for bankruptcy and subsequently went under new ownership. The salon ownership that McIntyre and McIntosh had in the works was put on hold – but not forgotten.
“We went back to Hair Cuttery after the pandemic,” said McIntyre, of Bethlehem Township. “We looked at each other and thought ‘let’s do this on our own.’”
For McIntosh, of Easton, “the toughest part was accepting the possible failure because of the pandemic.” Still, they were undeterred.
“We just said ‘let’s take a leap of faith and live our dream,’” said McIntosh.
Together, they opened The Deca Salon in Emmaus in October. McIntyre and McIntosh sought guidance from SCORE Bucks County mentor Steve Wolfson to get their entrepreneurial grounding.
“We had no idea where to start,” McIntyre said, adding that Wolfson, with 40 years’ experience in multi-locations retail and business start-up, provided great insight. “He’s so knowledgeable.”
Wolfson described the salon owners as “very detailed” and said they are “hard workers with a solid reputation.”
“We mentored everything that was needed from the ground up, including the site lease, concept, pricing, potential customers, advertising, equipment, personnel, etc.,” Wolfson said. “This is going to be a well-run business.”
In addition to the business partners, McIntyre’s sister, Macie Taylor, a licensed esthetician, provides waxing, facials, and lash extension services. The owners also hired a third hairstylist as well.
The owners intend to keep in touch with Wolfson as additional questions and business needs arise. SCORE provides free mentoring services throughout the life of a business.