Turning up the volume
Woman makes childhood dream a reality

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News Staff

Nov. 8, 2017

Emily Balistreri works on the hair of Lindy Fiste of Hartford on Tuesday at
Volumize Hair Studio in Slinger.
John Ehlke/Daily News

SLINGER — It was a momentous occasion for Emily Balistreri when she opened the hair salon, Volumize Studio at 103 Kettle Moraine Drive South, Slinger, about seven months ago.

For her, the opening was the culmination of a path she set for herself when she was in elementary school.

A career in cosmetology began when Balistreri attended a career fair in the fifth grade. Many years later, she can still recall the moment when she realized what she wanted to be when she grew up.

“I always knew that I liked being creative with hair,” Balistreri said. “I am just an artistic person. I remember walking into the gym and the first station was the hair salon station. I was immediately drawn to it. The lady presenting, she had addressed me in the audience because I had a bunch of different colors in my hair and she said, ‘You look like a cosmetologist.’” That interaction ignited a passion within her that led her to owning a hair salon. The woman who gave the presentation offered her a position at her salon when she entered high school, starting as a receptionist and makeup artist before putting herself through cosmetology.

She graduated in 2011 and rented a space with an owner of a hair salon. Renting space, or a chair, from an owner is starting to become a regular practice. A cosmetologist will pay the shop owner for a fee for the space and the individual retains the profits from the services that are provided.

“It was great,” she said of the experience. “It was great stepping stone for where I wanted to be in the future. I got to meet a lot of stylists and learn what I was doing, master my craft.”

That is what Balistreri did for four years before finally claiming her own space in Slinger.

The exterior of Volumize Hair Studio is seen Tuesday in Slinger.
John Ehlke/Daily News

“I am just very much a leader,” Balistreri said when she decided to operate her own location. “I have a lot of ideas. I have a standard that I expect for my business and I like to offer the general public an exceptionally clean facility. When you are not the owner, it is not easy to do because you are not in charge.”

The stylists offer a variety of services, from several styles of precision haircuts and specialty hair colors. The location also offers massages for clients to diversify the service. The individual was an occupational therapist and offers different services that include a hot stone massage and kinesiotaping.

As the owner, Balistreri offers the same opportunities to her staff that she had. They are all renters with at least a decade’s worth of experience in the industry. They rent space from her but operate their own hours and services—retaining the money they generate from the services they provide.

“I just want to make sure that my passion for this business is relayed,” Balistreri said. “It is my passion and I take a lot of pride in offering this.”