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Primping in Fort Simpson
New salon in town prepares for opening day

April Hudson
Northern News Services
Thursday, June 11, 2015

From up-dos to manicures, the newest addition to Fort Simpson's business sector is getting ready to leave an impression.

NNSL photo/graphic

The Beauty Mark team is all assembled in Fort Simpson. Sarah Newman, left, Jessica Cummings and Kiyana Betsaka have joined owner Troy Belfontaine, not pictured, in his business venture. - April Hudson/NNSL photo

Bringing with it an esthetician and three hairstylists, Beauty Mark Salon is set to open within the next two weeks.

In the meantime, owner Troy Belfontaine is busier than ever making sure the salon's product lines arrive on time.

The salon will have full capabilities, with a hair-washing station and two stations for haircuts. In a separate room, customers will be able to enjoy manicures, pedicures, facials and waxing services with more privacy from the main salon.

Beauty Mark will also offer espresso and 25 varieties of loose-leaf tea customers will be able to bring with them on the patio or when they leave.

"I'm a dreamer; everything I do is 'go big or go home,'" Belfontaine said.

Belfontaine has lived in Fort Simpson off and on since 1996. He spent 15 years as a makeup artist and went to school for hairdressing.

"In Fort Simpson, there are no coffee shops, no salons. I thought to myself, 'If I'm going to live here, I want there to be those things.' So I decided to make that happen," Belfontaine said.

The team of professionals Belfontaine assembled come from all over Canada and from the Deh Cho.

Esthetician Jessica Cummings hails from Sussex, N.B., and did her schooling in Moncton. Although she specialized in medical esthetics in school, Cummings said she is excited to work in more traditional esthetics.

Raised in a smaller community herself, Cummings said she had no reservations about moving to Fort Simpson.

As for supplies, Cummings was pleased to find out her skin care line could ship through Canada Post.

"I purchased as much as I could before coming out here. I basically had two suitcases full of supplies, instead of clothes," she joked.

Nahanni Butte hairstylist Kiyana Betsaka will be joining the team, as well. Betsaka finished her degree in March.

"This is my first position out of school, and I'm looking forward to it. I've worked on people at salons before when I was doing my degree," she said.

Her experience involves assisting with hairstyles on a recent music video for Marianas Trench.

Hairstylist Sarah Newman, from Shubenacadie, N.S., is looking forward to the grand opening.

She spent a year and a half working in Truro, N.S., before hearing that Belfontaine was looking to hire, and despite never having lived outside Nova Scotia before, jumped at the chance.

"(Belfontaine) called the salon I was working at to let them know he was hiring, and I said, 'That's awesome.' I hoped no one had taken the job," she said.

"One of the main reasons I wanted to pursue hairstyling is because I knew I could do it anywhere in the world. My main goal was to travel."

The salon is all set up and will open as soon as the stock comes in and a plumbing issue is fixed, Belfontaine said. That could be as early as June 13, if everything goes according to plan.

However, the team isn't setting a date in stone yet, in case there are delays.

Belfontaine said he plans to hold ladies nights once a month and make it a social event. He is also thinking about expanding at some point in the future, if all goes well.

"When you open a business, you wait to see what support you get from the community. So far, everyone sounds really excited," he said.

Price lists are not yet available, but Belfontaine said they will likely be comparable to prices found in Yellowknife.

He is also working on a website, which will have an online booking service available to streamline the booking process.

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