Young entrepreneur operates salon and photo studio out of Millworks complex in Dexter
DEXTER — An activity that began in high school has now grown into a large component of a business owned by 23-year-old Courtney Nichole Gay with her Courtney Nichole Salon & Photo Studio at the Millworks complex in the renovated woolen mill building in downtown Dexter.
“We opened in April,” Gay said. She said in addition to herself the salon includes cosmetologists Miranda Durant and Peyton Watson and Allyson Gudroe who offers aroma therapy services when she is not teaching at the Ridge View Community School across town.
“I started the photography in high school, I started taking friends’ senior pictures my senior year and now I still do a lot of it,” Gay said. “I do a lot of high school senior pictures, families and I am doing a lot more weddings, that’s keeping me busy this summer.”
Gay said she had been working in a salon in her hometown of Newport when she decided to start her own business combining her talents. “I wasn’t sure if my clients would follow me up here, but they did,” Gay said.
“I like the fact I get to talk to people all day and do stuff I like all day,” she said. “Most of the time it doesn’t feel like a job.”
“I like being able to meet new people and make people feel beautiful,” Gay added.
She said the Millworks location works well for both the salon and photo studio. The Church Street address provides high visibility for the salon.
“We do have walk-ins and we get a lot of kids, there’s a lot of kids in town,” Gay said.
“This room was open and I just decided to do it,” she said. “We have a good view, I kind of like that we are on this side of the building. It goes with the vibe, it’s peaceful,” Gay said, as a small stream runs behind the salon on the side of Millworks opposite Route 7.
“I picked the color and went with a rustic kind of feel,” she said about the salon decor.
Gay said Millworks owner Frank Spizuoco enables her to use the upper level of the building for photo shoots, as she said this spot provides her with great lighting conditions. “I also do a lot of photography outside,” Gay said.
“We don’t have set hours, anywhere from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and usually it’s Monday to Saturday,” Gay said, with salon and photo shoot appointments available.
Courtney Nichole Salon & Photo Studio is located at 16 Church Street in Dexter. For more information, please call 924-2265 and see “Courtney Nichole Salon & Photo Studio” on Facebook.