By Valerie Woodrum
VP, Montvale and Downtown Drive Branch Manager, NMLS # 662920
The staff at The Gallery isn’t paying attention to what other hair salons are doing; instead, they are studying how other niche industries go above and beyond for their clients to provide memorable, high-end service.
“Our customer service sets us apart. We don’t look to be educated by other businesses in our industry – we look to the hotels like the Four Seasons and high-end restaurants,” said Vicki Korte, who owns The Gallery with business partner Tracy Garman. “We continually educate our staff with field trips to places that provide superior customer service because that’s what we provide for our customers.”
The Gallery originally opened in 1992 on Wabash Avenue, but soon outgrew their original space and moved into a newly constructed building in Montvale. While their initial vision included both salon and spa services, they have narrowed their focus to solely the hair salon in the last five years, Korte said.
The Gallery particularly specializes in dimensional hair coloring for its clients.
“We have an ammonia-free color line from Davines (a product company based in Italy), and we also offer regular hair color by Paul Mitchell with three levels. We get really detailed with our color and do a lot of education with that,” Korte said.
The Gallery prides itself on continuing education within the 15-person staff team. The stylists at The Gallery frequently attend educational conferences and seminars in locations like Chicago and Louisville.
“We also have an apprentice training program; we hire students right out of school and they go through an apprentice program, so by the time they go on the floor, they are as experienced and knowledgeable as any of our designers,” Korte said. She notes the salon offers stylists with different levels of expertise and, as a result, different prices points. “We offer services at price points for everyone.”
Illinois National Bank checking account customers can get 50 percent off their first haircut or blow dry service at The Gallery through BaZing,* a benefit available with INB checking accounts. Simply download the BaZing app on your smartphone to take advantage of this deal on your first haircut.
While at the salon, don’t be surprised when you’re offered iced tea, lemonade, soda, cheese and crackers, wine, beer and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
“We’re really friendly and welcoming,” Korte said.
*Merchant offers subject to change without notice.