RAMSEY, N.J. -- A flight attendant with experience catering to first class clientele is bringing that level of service to salon goers in Ramsey.
"Everyone deserves to sit in first class once in awhile," said Mahwah resident Lynn Williams, who opened Runway Blowout Lounge in March.
A flight attendant with American Airlines for over 30 years, she's spent 20 years flying first class, both Europe and Transcon.
She's catered to celebrities like George Clooney and Brittany Spears and President Gerald Ford and other White House dignitaries.
She even served a mysterious businessman escorted onto the plane by customer service.
"That didn't happen often. As his flight attendant I thought it was important to understand how I should cater to him so I Googled him," she said.
It turned out he was the head of Google.
"Something I learned in the airline industry: I want each customer to feel like an individual because they’re the success of the industry just like my customers are my success here. It’s crucial to make people feel like an individual instead of just someone walking in," she added
Although she's not a hairdresser, it's her attention to first class customer service that prompted her to open Runway Blowout Lounge.
"The products I use are huge, the ambiance, my insanely talented team of stylists and the top level customer service. I do pride myself with giving extra time and don’t rush anyone out."
Her shop is designed to evoke a feeling of calm and she makes it a point to balance the right music and lighting, depending on what's going on in the shop.
The decor, colors and massage loungers were chosen with peace in mind and she offers a club membership for regulars
"We have quite a few regulars and I’m promoting an annual membership that brings the prices of blowouts down and gives a discount on our product line and other services. I've heard people say they’re part of 'the club.' It evokes a feeling of togetherness and family.
It was that feeling of closeness that drew Williams to open a salon. Like an airline crew, a salon works like a close-knit family, she said.
"I really do enjoy spending time with this select group of individuals that I handpicked that I can truly be proud of here," the mother of five said, noting she still flies about six days a month, catering to first class.
She imparts that airline first class customer service training on her staff, reminding them to "Up their game."
"I want clients to leave here feeling like it was the best blowout they’ve ever gotten. If they don’t, then we’re not doing our job. I always try to raise the bar."
Part of that is in the products. Williams brought in Kerastase products from Paris that are used on runway models during fashion week.
"I use the finest luxury hair care products on the market. It's expensive for an owner to use but I committed to bringing the best to customers. It’s almost unheard of for salons to use high-end products in their salon back bar."
The most important lesson she's learned from the airlines and with celebrities is one she brings to her business.
"Everyone deserves your time and everyone deserves to be treated liked your only client," she said.
See the salon's website for more information or call (201) 818-8901.