SCRANTON — Nicole Shotto, owner of Halo Salon & Day Spa, has attentively established an armored connection with a clientele she’s been building for 20 years — since April 1995, she recounts. She’ll be expressing her gratitude full throttle with the Halo Pay It Forward First Anniversary Party from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20. Proceeds benefit Madi’s Wish and the Women’s Resource Center.
Shotto and her clients have seemingly been through it all together. Birth. Death. Weddings. Cancer. You name it, she said. Beverly Albright, from Clarks Summit, can vouch. She’s been Shotto’s client for more than 15 years, she said. “Not only do I like the service, but we’ve been through a lot together. I’ve been to her house for some holidays,” Albright said.
When a patron walks into Shotto’s salon, they’re greeted with a familiar smile from a friend and a glass of wine. And if they’re a new customer, they soon become family, Shotto said.
After years of invulnerable support, and one year following the launch of her newest salon inside The Electric City’s Green Ridge Plaza, Shotto is giving back to the people and community who supported her along the way. “I’ve been making money for the past 20 years,” Shotto said. “Now I want to pay it forward.”
Looking back, Shotto’s closeness with her clients solidified when she lost her mother, Augusta Muia, to Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, a rare liver disease, in 2002. Since her mother helped watch her two daughters, Tamara and McKaylee, while she was working, Shotto found herself having to work from a small space at home to watch her kids. Her clients followed her and stuck by her side.
“They would send me food and help watch the kids,” Shotto said. “They were great. It’s a tight bond you build with a client. It becomes an unbreakable bond. I watched their kids grow up. They got to watch my daughters grow. They got to see Tamara grow from standing by the shop asking to help out as a little girl to watching her go through beauty school and now work as a stylist.”
Shotto eventually matured her small working space into an at-home salon and day spa in Dickson City called Serendipity. Her clientele grew as her business flourished.
In 2014, Shotto said her styling career came full circle. She opened her current salon in the former location of Hair Shapers, where she had her first job as a stylist. Mariela Guzior and Lori Ganser, who worked with her at Hair Shapers, are also at the salon. Stylists Pamella Zarnoff, Laura Gombita, Dianne D’Amore and Tamara work at Halo.
Shotto said she hopes her dedicated clients and members of the community will attend the celebration.
“There’s a lot going on,” Shotto said. “We have over 30 vendors who will be outside in the parking lot selling everything from baked good to arts and crafts.”
The event will also have pony rides, an ice cream truck, raffles and discounted beauty products. Shotto said her salon will donate 100 percent of the proceeds raised and vendors will donate a portion of their sales to aforementioned charities.
Entertainment will be provided by DJ MC, a.k.a. Jason McConnell, and feature a live performance by Facing the Giants.
Shotto said she always aimed to provide an atmosphere for the community to get their mind off things. She hopes paying it forward will round off two decades of providing a space for people to feel great about themselves and form an unbreakable bond.
Reach Justin Adam Brown at 570-991-6652 or on Twitter @wkdr