Young hairstylist turns dream into reality with her own salon in Vandergrift – TribLIVE

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Lydia
“I used to cut my Barbie doll’s hair when I was a toddler,” said Zacharias, 24, of Vandergrift. She’s owner of Lydia Leighs Salon located at 180 Columbia Ave. in Vandergrift.
Zacharias said she was unsure of her career path when she graduated from Belle Vernon High School.
“I wanted to be a therapist for kids, but I just went for cosmetology and I really ended up liking it,” Zacharias said. “Growing up I was always doing my hair and other people’s hair.”
A random trip to Vandergrift scoping real estate listings — her boyfriend buys and flips homes — led Zacharias to find what she said is a perfect location for her new full-service hair salon. It opened in July.
The couple relocated to Vandergrift and remodeled the building with a modern, industrial vibe.
She’s worked as a stylist at urban salons throughout Pittsburgh for the last six years, but said choosing a small-town location for her business was a priority.
“We walked around the town, went to the brewery, checked out the streets,” Zacharias said. “I liked the people and they got my attention. They were friendly, welcoming and I’m definitely a small-town person.”
Zacharias received her cosmetology training at Douglas Education Center in Monessen.
Salon services range in price from $30 to $250.
Zacharias offers her clients a one-on-one experience, by appointment only.
“I like to focus on the client,” Zacharias said. “Clients want their stylist to be one-on-one and not interacting with five different people.”
Zacharias said she specializes in highlights, color, balayage and blonding.
So far, her clientele has trended younger.
“My typical clients include college, high school, teens and professionals,” she said. “Sorry, but no wash and sets here.”
Zacharias said if she can open up her own business as a twenty-something, anyone can.
“I want to reach out to the younger people. You can do anything you set your mind to,” she said. “Regardless if you’re 24 or 50, it can happen, with anything, not just with a salon.”
Vandergrift Mayor Barb Turiak said she’s happy to see a new business occupying a once-vacant building.
“It’s a perfect spot and I hope she does well. We welcome her and I’m excited she’s here,” Turiak said. “We always appreciate people coming into our town.”
Zacharias said her biggest challenge has involved inventory issues.
“Buying everything for the services, it’s crazy,” Zacharias said. “When you work for people you don’t realize how much you need because you’re not ordering it.”
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