- Kristin Finan American-Statesman Staff
Janet St. Paul was ready to get out of New York City.
After working with clients who included Diane Sawyer, Sigourney Weaver, Martha Stewart and Vanessa Redgrave and achieving the title of master stylist, the New Orleans native craved a fresh start. Austin seemed like a natural fit.
“It’s not Dallas and Houston and it never will be. That’s not what people move here for. They move here for a softer way of life, kinder people, connectedness to their family,” said St. Paul, who moved to Austin nine years ago and opened her 680-foot Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty in 2011. “This was a city that totally welcomed me, clients welcomed me and had open arms and were willing to try it. I’m indebted to the city for giving me a new home and place to land that I absolutely love.”
Now, St. Paul is in the process of expanding to a 2,600-square-feet full-service salon that will open June 1 at 110 San Antonio St. The new location will be the flagship U.S. salon and a professional education destination for Phyto Paris, a French botanical hair care brand.
“After a year and a half of careful planning and consideration on the location, we could not be more pleased to have chosen Austin as the destination for the Phyto Paris North American flagship salon,” said Phyto Paris COO Francois Hourcastagnou in a statement. “We believe Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty brings the vision of our brands and the uniqueness of Austin together beautifully.”
St. Paul said visitors to the new salon can expect something “unique and different.”
“Most clients come into the salon armed with an arsenal of what they want, but they don’t know how to fix what they have,” she said. “What we try to combine for them is, ‘OK, here’s what’s realistic for what you have on your head, this is how it fits your face shape and this is how it fits your lifestyle, so here’s the direction we should go.’ We will combine what she wants in these elements, then we show her how to really style and take care of each piece of that — shape, haircut and color.”
Clients can also expect a New York-trained staff, she said.
“When (a client) comes to the salon, she’ll be blown away by it being a true New York experience,” St. Paul said. “My four top hairdressers all have lived and worked in New York no less than 11 years. It’s completely New York, and what that looks like is a true listening to and making something different happen. I often say we are fixers. If (a client) is not happy with X, Y or Z, we’re going to fix it and get you where you want to be and why.”
In addition to hair and wedding services, the salon will offer facials, skincare, waxing, makeup, brow and eyelash services. A grand opening is planned for September that will benefit area Court Appointed Special Advocates groups.
“I am so grateful to Austin for accepting us,” St. Paul said. “We’re going to pay it forward.”