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Development News

Tonic Salon brings a splash of color to Grand Rapids' Eastown

Tonic Salon is a treat for the eyes, and maybe even the soul. Splashy orange chairs, bright against muted gray and soft white walls, hint at owner Daniel Dauser's playful side, and the daylight sifting through a bank of east and south windows brightens the spirits. But the overall feeling of this full-service salon in Grand Rapids' busy Eastown business district is one of calm, relaxing welcome.

Dauser, a hair stylist and yoga instructor who helped develop East Hills' Hotel Venus and East Grand Rapids' Seva Yoga, created Tonic Salon (1331 Lake Dr. SE) using the interior design skills he developed as an interior design assistant in Chicago. His goal was to create "a place where customers feel like they've stepped into another place that isn't their home, but is hip and trendy, yet not hoity-toity."

One aspect that attracted Dauser was that the building is LEED certified. The 1,000-square-foot salon includes four styling chairs, two private massage therapy rooms and a small kitchenette/break room.

The salon's list of services includes haircuts, color, styling, up-dos, waxing and massage therapy. In addition to Dauser, the stylists, who each rent chairs at the salon, are Jennifer Grace, Melody Stone and Raven Bassett. The two massage therapy rooms accommodate guests for massage therapists Jamie Hance and Ashley Wall.

"When I came here, I had the philosophy of build it and they will come," Dauser says. "I had no stylists, but when I built it, the stylists came on one by one. I didn't advertise -- I just suddenly had people calling or coming to the door."

Dauser opened the salon in June 2011 and says his $50,000 investment is paying off as business continues to grow.

Salon hours: Tues., Weds. and Thurs., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays and Saturdays by appointment.

Source: Daniel Dauser, Tonic Salon
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photographs: Deborah Johnson Wood
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