FLORENCE — The Highlights Unisex Hair Salon recently had its own makeover, including being upgraded and relocated to its new location at 501 Delaware Ave., Suite 4.
Owner Antonette Trifiletti opened the new location at the end of December at the former firehouse where the salon occupies the entire second floor.
Ms. Trifiletti has owned Highlights for the past 15 years but has been in the business for nearly 30 years.
Mayor Craig Wilkie took a few minutes before cutting the ribbon on Feb. 23 to provide a little history on the former firehouse.
”There is a history here,” Mayor Wilkie said. “From 1979 when the township building burnt down until 1982 when the municipal building was built is where the police station was.”
Mayor Wilkie noted until the new firehouse was built the fire district offices were located in this building until around 2006.Council President Ted Lovenduski and Councilman Jerry Sandusky were in attendance as well as newly re-elected Fire Commissioner Charlie Bauer. Family, friends and clients were also in attendance to support the grand opening of the salon.
”As a township, we are happy to see that Highlights has not only relocated within the town, but more importantly that they have done so well to be able to grow their business,” said Martin Eckert Jr., liaison to the Florence Township Economic Development. “Having the larger space allows them to better serve their customers and it’s a testament to them that they approach their business with those thoughts in mind.”
He wished them continued success.The owner’s daughter Ariana Carannante, of Roebling, made a toast on behalf of her mom and thanked everyone for attending the ceremony.
”Our transition from our salon on Fourth Avenue, which was supposed to be temporary to here has come with many obstacles,” said Ms. Carannante “All because of my mom we have great accomplishment and a beautiful place to share with you.”
Originally, Ms. Trifiletti was going to pursue nursing, but later opted for another path.
”I couldn’t bare the blood so I decided I’m going for hair,” said Ms. Trifiletti, adding it “turned out wonderful.”
”I was at my Hornberger location for 11 years,” she said. “I went to Fourth Avenue temporarily and it was supposed to be for six months and it ended up being for three and a half years and I didn’t want to stay there anymore.”
She estimated that she has between 300 to 400 clients and four staff members.”Today we would like to give back to everybody for being with us over the years,” Ms. Carannante said.
Free services were being offered throughout the day including manicures, hair blow dried, and makeup tips. A free goodie bag with some hair products to guests.
Andrea O’Hare, of Roebling, an employee who was busy providing manicures to guests who were interested.”I love it here,” said Ms. O’Hare, adding that she has been recently hired.Amy Wilkie, 14, of Florence, took some time out her day with her dad, Mayor Wilkie to get pampered and had her nails done.
”It’s fun,” said Amy. “It’s nice.”
Gloria Aydelotte, of Burlington, visited the salon for her first time.
”They are very wonderful,” said Ms. Aydelotte. “They have so much (advice) to give. They really know their stuff.”
Ms. Trifiletti highlighted extensions, nails and make-up as some of the services the salon provides in addition to anything having to do with hair.
Donna Meredith, of Florence, has been a client of the salon for past 12 years and “wouldn’t go anywhere else.””My hair turns out absolutely beautiful every time,” said Ms. Meredith. “I don’t even pick out my stuff. She does because I trust her and her daughter. It’s a blessing.”
Denise Voorhees, of Roebling, has been coming for years and keeps coming back also due to the “atmosphere” of the salon.
”She’s personable,” said Ms. Voorhees. “You can talk. In other places you are just in and out.””I’m glad that they were able to stay in the community,” Mayor Wilkie said. “It’s a great reuse for a long standing building. Small businesses as we know are the life blood of America.”
Mayor Wilkie noted that this business is one of businesses that can participate in the “Shop Burlington County First” campaign, a buy local initiative.
”The idea of the buy local is the residents can turn around and get one of these (“Burlington Bucks”) gift cards $10 or $25 and go to businesses that participate,” Mayor Wilkie said, adding that former Freeholder Director Joseph Donnelly initiated this last summer.For every $100 spent locally in independently owned stores, shops and restaurants, $44 to $83 is re-circulated in the local economy. When $100 is spent in national chains, only $14 to $43 stays in the local economy, according to the campaign website.