Butterfly Studio salon manager Adlin Palencia began her career at age 18, working for some of the most prestigious salons in the New York City area. While working at John Barrett Salon, she met stylist Kattia Solano, who decided to open Butterfly Studio Salon in 2001 with the help of a partner. Palencia joined the Butterfly Studio team as a desk assistant a year after the space opened. The rest, Palencia says, is history.
“I started at the front desk, but there was a change in management. When the position became open at Butterfly, it just felt right, and I’ve been with Solano for 16 years,” Palencia says.
Within two years of opening their doors, Butterfly Studio Salon expanded with Solano becoming the sole owner during the transition. The 1,200-square-foot, six-chair loft was replaced with a 4,000-square-foot studio in the heart of the city’s Flatiron District.
“This area was very premature...It was nothing like it is now. We only had a team of six," Palencia explains, expressing her gratitude for being able to expand so quickly.
The one-time staff of six is now a strong team of 40—with each stylist, colorist, technician and assistant trained to follow “the Butterfly way.”
“We’re an education-based salon...90 percent of our team members have grown with us as assistants and have become successful colorists and stylists,” Palencia explained. “We have built up our reputation because of how much knowledge we put into our team. We think education is extremely important and it’s the reason why we’re so successful. ”
In an area booming with salons, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition. After years of working for different salons, however, Palencia had a specific vision for what she wanted her own salon to be and what she felt the hair industry was lacking.
“Kattia realized that she wanted her space to have a friendly, positive energy… that’s so important and you don’t get that a lot in this industry.” Palencia explained.
Aside from its stunning visual appeal, complete with spacious, all-white decor and walls lined with artwork and products, Butterfly Studio is admirable for their dedication to their client’s happiness. Their mission is simple: To make every client feel welcome and valued when they come into the salon.
“Our clients feel like they’re important and like they’re being taken care of individually. We can be very busy, but I also feel like clients feel connected with everyone because of how involved we are and how much we care about them,” Palencia said. “What I love to see is clients engaging with everybody. The assistants, the front desk, the technicians. There’s never a time where a client might not feel comfortable with one person in our space.”
With their commitment to client satisfaction, it should be no surprise that Butterfly Studio puts that same level of care into selecting the perfect products for their space. The salon offers products from Kérastase, Shu Uemura, and Oribe. Each brand, Palencia says, is geared towards a different type of client.
“We have curated our retail space to accommodate a little bit of everybody,” Palencia said. “Some people adore Oribe because of the styling element. Kérastase is highly effective and technology-driven. If you have that client that may be dealing with compromised hair or extreme dryness, hat’s their go-to. Shu Uemura has its own niche. It’s more for a client that wants to experience the oil, the beautiful fragrance, and the beautiful packaging.”
After experiencing a high demand for all-natural hair care products, Butterfly Studio also brought in the natural hair-care line Rahua.
“The reason we brought that in is because clients are much more aware and going that natural route,” Palencia explained. “That’s been very successful in our space.”
Butterfly Studio offers a full range of hair services including women’s haircuts ($120), men’s haircuts ($90), blowouts ($70), and Kérastase Fusio Dose treatments ($50+) along with a wide variety of makeup and eyebrow services.
The Butterfly studio team members are masters of any hair service, but their color services are their most sought-after.
“We customize a lot of color...In regards to a single-process, it might not be a plain, single-process. We’ll create dimension in it so this way there will be movement within the color,” Palencia says.
Along with a single-color service ($125+) , the salon offers many other color services including highlights and balayage ($175+), and The Butterfly Technique ($150-$175), a low-maintenance highlighting technique exclusive to Butterfly Studio. The method involves an under 20-minute application of eight to ten face-framing highlights.
“What we started noticing was a lot of our clients were bringing in their children that might still be in high school or they’re introducing them to color and they’re hesitant...If they love it, they of course come back for more. It’s more for that client that wants a pop of color but doesn’t want to commit to a full head or half a head of highlights,” Palencia said.
Butterfly Studio Salon is located at 149 5th Avenue #2, New York, NY. To book an appointment, call 212-253-2100 or visit their website at www.butterflystudiosalon.com.
Follow the salon on Instagram @butterflystudiosalon and on Facebook for more information.