MONROE — Claudette Jacobs and her husband, Myron, want to help Union County men and women look good on the outside and feel good on the inside. The Jacobs plan to open a new suite on Nov. 1, 2021.

The working business name is The Park Suites. The suites will be located within The Park at Monroe Plaza at 1936 Wellness Boulevard, behind Olive Garden on Highway 74. It is currently under construction.

They said there will be 24 positions available for stylists, estheticians, massage therapists and maybe counselors. Each of the 24 people would operate like a small business, but rent space from the Jacobs.

The Monroe location will be similar to the Jacobs’ Sun Valley Salon Suites off of Old Charlotte Highway. At Sun Valley, each stylist has their own room that they can personalize and take one client at a time. They opened Sun Valley Suites in 2015.

The Monroe location, however, will have four to five rooms for two stylists if a pair is interested in working there.

Claudette said the Monroe location will have an “upscale” atmosphere. Because each stylist is operating like a small business, prices for a wash, cut, style and/or coloring is at their discretion.

“For some reason people don’t look at Monroe as an area that’s upscale, but I disagree with that,” Claudette said. The Jacobs want to show, through the Park Suites, that Monroe can be an upscale area. “Everyone is welcome to come in and take a look at it once it’s open. I think they are going to really enjoy the space like they do here (in Sun Valley).”

She said the Park Suites is a new concept for Monroe much like Sun Valley Salon Suites was a new concept to Union County.

“What we provide in each salon suite is a complete room ready for someone to walk in and start their business, so they would have a shampoo chair, a styling chair, mirror,” Claudette said.

In a message sent after the interview, Claudette wrote: “…if anyone is looking for a cost effective way into business ownership without the large overhead cost — this is the setting. Everything is covered in the price that they pay for your space. No additional cost.”

Opening a new business post COVID-19 came with its challenges. With the cost of materials continuously increasing, the Jacobs report it cost almost double to build The Park Suites compared to building costs for Sun Valley Suites.

“From 2015 to 2021, assuming we are going to do the same kind of set up, same equipment as we’re doing (in Sun Valley) over there (in Monroe), it would be basically be double. That’s just for the equipment, and the construction costs on a per square footage basis will probably be 25 to 30% more,” Myron said.

According to Claudette, stylists were clamoring for a private room in Sun Valley Suites because many stylists had to temporarily close their business during the pandemic.

The Monroe location is the second business the Jacobs own in Monroe. They also own Echo Nail Spa below the intersection of Highway 74 and Dickerson Boulevard. They opened Echo in December of 2013 in a shopping center beside Bob Mayberry Hyundai before moving to their current location in July of 2017.

The Jacobs are able to cross-promote their businesses to clients. Because Claudette is familiar with regular clients, she can pair the client with the stylist she thinks would be best for them.

Claudette said there are “quite a few” clients who use both, getting their nails done at Echo and their hair done at Sun Valley Salon Suites. Claudette says that she “loves” working and living in Union County. She says the county is a favorable place for small business owners.

“I have nothing bad to say about Union County. It’s a great area, people are supportive and you’ve got to give it a chance,” Claudette said.

The Jacobs chose to open a suite in Monroe because they wanted to contribute to commercial development in the city. They see the area as a thriving place and want to keep it that way.

“I know people love Charlotte, but for me Charlotte is too congested. Union County is just a peaceful place and people are very friendly and welcoming,” she said.

Originally from Connecticut, they moved to Union County for the small town feel, friendly people, low taxes and close proximity to Charlotte.

Claudette earned a cosmetology degree, then worked in corporate America for a while before going back to the salon industry.