When Cindy Raymond first took her boyfriend to the house she hoped for them to buy and turn into an upscale salon, she warned him ahead of time not to judge too quickly.
"I said 'Put your rose-colored glasses on and don't take them off until I tell you'," Raymond recalled.
Raymond had a vision for the vacant, run-down structure at 129 Main St., which had formerly been a residental home/dentist office but sat empty for years.
In 2008, after extensive renovations, she opened the doors to 129 on Main Salon and Spa, and business has been growing ever since, Raymond said. Today, the salon employs six hairstylists, two massage therapists, two estheticians and three nail technicians.
The salon provides services such as facials, waxing, massage, hair design, pedicures, manicures, shellac manicures, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. It also sells boutique-type items such as costume jewelry, scarves, and handbags.
Raymond, who has been in the salon business for 20 years, said she modeled the spa after several high-end salons she had visited over the years.
The waiting room, with its fireplace, Oriental rug and classic furniture, looks as though it could be someone's living room. Raymond typically serves snacks or baked goods and offers wine to customers who are receiving treatments and services.
"I envisioned this being a place where people could come and relax -- kind of a sanctuary," she said. "I wanted people to have a nice, comfortable, warm feeling when they walked in."
The salon features Redken and Pureology hair products and has just introduced a new high-end skin care line from Belgium called Nelly Devuyst.
Laura Blankinship, who was in the salon getting a haircut last week, said she drives to 129 on Main from Naugatuck. She's said her stylist always greets her with a hug.
"It's awesome here," she said. "Everyone is super, super nice."
The salon is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information, visit the website at http://www.129onmain.com.