Salon Bellezza made a major move this week from the southwest corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard to the southeast corner of that same busy Collier County intersection. Although relocating only a short distance away, it was a big move for the local beauty salon, which has operated for more than 20 years.
“It’s been a wonderful ride and it’s bittersweet to leave that corner because people felt like they knew we were there. The only reason we moved is because it was so close in proximity. I didn’t want to give this corner up,” said Melissa Columella, who co-owns the local hair and nail salon with her husband, Michael. “We were there for 20 years. We locked the door for the last time on Sunday. That was very emotional.”
The Columellas relocated from Philadelphia to Naples at the end of 2001 and opened Salon Bellezza—Italian for beauty—in the Publix-anchored Shoppes of Pebblebrooke five months later. On Wednesday, they reopened in a new, slightly larger space across the street in The Pointe at Founders Square, best known for its collection of restaurants.
For the first 10 years, the full-service salon operated in a 1,200-square-foot space at Pebblebrooke. “We desperately needed to expand but had nowhere to go until 10 years later,” Columella said. “A neighbor (an insurance agency) moved so we expanded 10 years ago into the second suite and renovated everything. So, we had the second 2,400 square feet for 10 more years.”
Although the old salon still felt new to her, she wanted contemporary décor for her new, more than 2,900-square-foot salon as opposed to the original’s Baroque look. “I had a vision that I wanted to make (the original salon) look like the inside of a woman’s bedroom, the inside of a jewelry box,” Columella said. “It was comfy. It was warmer colors and women loved it. It was beautiful.”
While still stunning, the new location is starkly different. “For this one, I wanted it to be brighter and definitely more modern. So, we went with that,” she said.
A wall in the center of salon provides a surprise element: a huge mural by popular local artist Marcus Zotter. The design theme is garden-influenced, so the mural depicts a woman’s face framed by a butterfly, flowers and plants.
While the new space is open, some of the décor is still a work in progress, Columella said. The pedicure-manicure room will be designed to be a greenhouse, for instance, and greenery and more surprise elements will be added behind the reception desk and waiting area.
The salon is a family business; the Columella’s daughter, Maria, provides many of the services offered in the salon. In addition to 12 stations for hair styling, the salon offers pedicures, manicures, facials, waxing, microblading and scalp micropigmentation.
“Our staff is wonderful, so we’re blessed” said Columella, noting that she has one employee who has been with her 20 years and others who have been employed there 15 years, 10 years and nearly 10 years. “I created something beautiful for them. They are all lovely and deserve a beautiful place to come to work.”
The new Salon Bellezza is in Unit 132 of The Pointe, between Outback Steakhouse and Fuji Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro, at 8845 Founders Square Drive.