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Wilson on Hair Styling Industry and The Harbor

by Anne Fox

Chet Wilson, a Dallas native, devoted the last 28 years to his trade — hair styling — and has decided to open a new salon at The Harbor in Rockwall.

Wilson became a hair stylist in response to his dislike of corporate settings and his love for the industry. After working in the industry, he realized there was a need for salon suites owned by someone who understood the industry.

“So many of these salon suites are owned by business people and I wanted to give the hair stylists a place to work based on the perspective of a hair stylist,” Wilson said.

His goal was to create an upscale salon that stylists would want to be a part of. Wilson has already opened a thriving salon in Plano and is opening a location in Frisco in January 2016.

Wilson’s success at developing suite style salons is shown in one of the reasons Rockwall was chosen as a location — he was asked.

“Rockwall chose me. The management company who runs this center approached me because they took over The Harbor,” he said. “They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

Wilson said the environment of the salon is what is most important. He would rather have a smaller salon with a better environment than a larger salon with stylists who don’t want to work. In order to accomplish that, Wilson put into work his stylist-run salon views and attempted to create a place with draw for customers as well as stylists — including temperature control for individual suites.

“I just create an environment that I would want to work in. We spent more money to do that, but I think it attracts the higher end hair stylists and their clientele. It’s a step above what you normally see in our industry.”

Wilson said he did consider the history of short-lived business at The Harbor, but believes in the new management, which Wilson said recognized the impact his salon would have.

Currently, the Plano salon brings in 250 people a day and offers a variety of services that the Rockwall salon will similarly offer.

“We have 250 people a day coming to our salons. We have everything here — a doctor who does injectables, a weight loss management coach, aesthetics, hair, nails, skin. They wanted us to come out there because of that draw we have.”

Wilson said Rockwall is a destination and he thinks it’s the owner’s priority to change the face of the Harbor and return it to what it once was and hoped to be.

“There’s no reason why it can’t evolve and get back to that,” Wilson said. “They are filling a lot of vacancies. I don’t think there are any office spaces left. I think we were one of two larger spaces to be filled out there. They are making huge strides in that direction.”

City Salon Suites & Spa opens in July.

Wilson on hair styling industry and The Harbor