By Brad Lucht
It hasn’t been easy for Toni Parker.
First came the floods. Le Salon was forced to close after the shops at 103 Square were overcome by Indian Creek one too many times.
She thought she had found a new home at Watts Mill, but a non-compete clause in a tenant’s lease killed that location.
Finally Parker settled on the old bridal shop, next to Price Chopper. But there were problems.
Plumbing problems. Electrical problems. Problems with the gas and phone service.
A friend advised her to abandon the project.
“I’m not a quitter,” she said. “I finish what I start.”
She’s glad she did. KC Looks Salon and Spa opened November 1 and has been drawing rave reviews ever since.
Parker credits her construction company, Rock Creek Construction, as well as her many long-time operators. “I have had the best people here helping me. They’ve been great,” she said.
The majority of Parker’s operators have more than 20 years experience. “There isn’t any kind of hair that can’t be cut in this salon,” Parker declared. “I have the best operators in Kansas City.”
Parker’s oldest daughter, Traci Williamson, has worked with her mother for 25 years and teaches cosmetology. “This new location is probably one of the best salons I have seen, not only within my mother’s realm of salons, but by any standard,” Williams said. The full service salon does makeup, permanent makeup, pedicures, manicures, facials, and hair processing. “There are so few in the community who do this,” says Williams. “This is a very unique experience.”
Ida Tygart has been a hairdresser for close to 50 years.
“I wanted to be a hairdresser since I was 14, and I am now 77, and I’m still doing it, and I love it!” she exclaimed.
Tygart doesn’t care for the haircutting chains. “Those fast service ones, it’s just in and out. The main focus is volume,” she observed. “I’d rather have more of a personal relationship. I don’t like my clients to feel rushed. I’m giving them their money’s worth. I am particular about my work.”
Another stylist is Carlyn Platt, who has worked for Parker for almost 20 years.
“I went to college for commercial art. I was only four credit hours from graduating from college, and I quit. My brother –in-law said, ‘You always like doing those dolls. Why don’t you do hair?’ So I went to school for nine months and I’ve been doing hair ever since. I was 19, now I’m 63.”
Platt finds the new salon to be much bigger than their previous location. “It’s so spacious. It was really worth waiting a year for.”
Rose Marie Arello is another stylist that has been with Parker for over 20 years. Hers is a remarkable story.
“I came from Italy in 1960, on a ship. I was 14,” she begins. “I went to beauty school at 16. I opened my own shop at 19 at 538 Olive. Took off 12 years to have my three girls. Now I’m 71! Working three days a week. I’m still pretty busy.
Manis and Pedis
Bernadette Everette is a Master Nail Technician & Pedicurist. She specializes in diabetic pedicure/manicure maintenance care. She has been doing nails for 27 years.
Everette stresses she is a professional, not an artist. “I’ve been doing it so long I can tell by feel and sight what kind of nail disorders you have, the medications you’re on. I can tell if something is going on with you just by doing your feet.”
Three makeup people work at KC Looks, including a specialist in weddings and one in permanent makeup.
Suzy Eckart, a permanent makeup artist, concentrates on tattoos of the face, such as eyeliner, eyebrows and lips.
Permanent makeup involves a two-step procedure. The customer comes in for an initial visit and service, then six to eight weeks later they return for what is known as the perfection visit. The makeup is fine-tuned, the color adjusted.
Eckart explains it shouldn’t look like your dressy makeup. It is designed to be an everyday look.
“This is great for people who are allergic to makeup, or maybe don’t have the time to put on makeup every day. It’s good for somebody who has hand-to-eye coordination problems, like Parkinson’s. You can also use it if you have been in some kind of accident, to hide a scar. It has a lot of benefits that aren’t just vanity.”
Eckart is licensed as a tattooist, but explains that it’s a different technique than actual tattooing. For example, the ink is not the same. Everything used is developed specifically for the face. Disposable needles are used.
Like many other operators at the salon, Eckart loves the new location. “This is gorgeous. You feel more inspired, working in a place that is this pretty. This is probably the highest end salon in the area. They have done a beautiful job.”
KC Looks Salon and Spa is located at 1024 W 103rd Street, between Price Chopper and Westlake Hardware. They can be reached at 816.941.0666.