Salon Week Goes National
August 20, 2012 | by —Victoria Veilleux
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC LEVIN | Style & Beauty
Maria Lekkakos and master hairstylist Marc Harris.
Power couples are a bit of an anomaly in the salon industry, but celebrity esthetician Maria Lekkakos and master hairstylist Marc Harris are making waves together in this competitive field. The owners—and in Harris’s case, also CEO—of successful salons bearing their names tied the knot in Boston in August. In addition to their new marriage, Lekkakos and Harris are excited about their endeavor to unveil Salon Week in New York and New Jersey in October.
The two conceived the idea for Boston in 2010, and last April they recruited 20 Boston-area salons to participate in the nation’s first Salon Week. The promotional weeklong event offered customers service discounts much like its forerunners, Restaurant Week and Spa Week. “We wanted to make sure that we got the best salons to band together in doing this so that we could protect the integrity of each other’s brands,” says Harris. Lekkakos and Harris hope that a biannual Salon Week will bolster awareness of premium salons on a national level, with plans to roll out Salon Weeks in Chicago and LA by spring 2013 and additional US cities the following fall.
Lofty goals and fierce determination yoke these beauty powerhouses to one another, though individually they each have great pull in the industry. As Miss Massachusetts 2004, Lekkakos set the stage for a career in the spotlight. Besides running her salon, Lekkakos is esthetician to the Hollywood elite, including Salma Hayek and Rosario Dawson. She is also the hired spokesperson promoting Mary Kay’s new Botanical Effects line. Harris contends that his Southie roots hardly groomed him for beauty school, but that he always evoked a stylish edge and quickly realized during his training that he could skillfully wield a razor, creating innovative cuts that stylists would one day covet. Now he has made Back Bay his home turf, where he oversees 100 employees.
The couple’s paths first crossed at a friend’s party. Harris, with two drinks in hand, was searching for a friend and struck up a conversation with Lekkakos. He was shaken, she was stirred, and the friend never got his drink. M. Lekkakos Salon, Spa, & Boutique, 154 Main St., Wenham, 978-468-9540. Salon Marc Harris, 115 Newbury St., 617-262-2222; 125 Broad Street, 617-443-8633; The Sports Club/LA, 4 Avery St., 617-375-8510.