Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of Business: Off-the-cuff remarks end in Bliss

Bliss — A Full Service Salon is located at 123 Mt. Nittany Road in Lemont.
Bliss — A Full Service Salon is located at 123 Mt. Nittany Road in Lemont. CDT photo

All it took was an off-the-cuff comment. Mel Glasgow didn’t know that telling Karrie Argiro they should open a salon together would be the beginning of Bliss — A Full Service Salon.

“I can’t even remember the exact day, but in a casual conversation I said we should do it,” Glasgow said. “Karrie took it from there.”

Argiro had wanted to open another salon since her first one closed in 2012. She said her partner backed out during an expansion three years ago.

The co-workers turned friends are now co-owners of Bliss inside the Centre for Well-Being in Lemont. It opened earlier this month.

They are working in a 900-square-foot space that they could expand to 1,000 square feet in the future. For now, they’ll keep it simple.

“We have a nice, happy, comfortable work environment without the stress, and I really prefer the kind of smaller setting,” Argiro said. “I think larger-clients can feel a little shuffled here and there, but in here, it’s less hectic and a little more fun.”

Scott’s Landscaping perseveres

A fire can destroy a business. Scott’s Landscaping, however, never stopped after its Centre Hall building was turned to charred ruin in November 2013.

“That kind of set things back, but we’ve pulled things back together,” owner Scott Burk said. “I would describe it as a large bump in the road. It was our entire office destroyed and our shop facility. It was the entire operations building of the whole company. No business owner plans enough for an event like that. ... You don’t know where to start after that.”

Burk and his staff didn’t just pull things together. They were back out working days after the blaze.

Scott’s Landscaping has a building again, in the same spot where the old one was destroyed.

“I continually say our staff put up with an uncomfortable year with temporary offices, but there was no complaining,” he said. “Some businesses may have sat back and lost ground, and we experienced 20 percent growth last year. It made the team closer, but I hope it doesn’t happen again.”

The only thing left to do, Burk said, is to landscape around his own building.

Given that his staff has grown from 65 to 85 since the fire, it sounds like he has a few extra hands to help.

Bella II no more

It doesn’t hurt to re-create your business brand. That, in a way, is what Ciara Semack is doing.

Semack became sole owner of Bellefonte eatery Bella II in October, and she’s changing the name on the door to The Blonde Bistro to brand the business after herself.

She does, after all, have golden locks.

“I was really trying to come up with a name that fit me, and I went back and forth until The Blonde Bistro stuck,” Semack said. “People hear the new name, and it makes me happy when we tell people and they stop and giggle because it fits me. They’ll remember that name and their experience here.”

Semack said she is waiting for the new sign, but expects it soon. She also will presentnew menus this week.

“We are going to keep all of the favorites, of course, like the made-from-scratch lasagna, our red sauce and large pizzas for take-out,” she said. “What’s really new is that we’ll have dedicated lunch and dinner menus now.”

Running the business by herself has been more hectic.

“I’m here open to close six days a week, and I’m here on Monday doing inventory,” Semack said. “I’m capable of doing it. It’s a daunting task, and not many people are capable of handling it, but when you have a great staff and procedures in place, you can do it. We’ve had a fantastic six months doing it together.”

In case you missed it

Doan’s Bones opened a barbecue and deli joint in downtown State College. Brad and Andrea Groznik began a public relations business in the Centre Region. And Pete DeLosa became a franchisee owner of Rainbow International Restoration.