Mamoune Tazi, 29, knew when he moved to New York City from Morocco in 2008 that he wanted to come up with an interesting concept for his own business venture.
He’d worked with hair in his native country, but Tazi wasn’t sure what the concept would involve exactly—only that it would be something creative.
A year into his residence here, he met his would-be wife, Alena, now 24, in hair school (Carsten Institute of Cosmetology) downtown, and the pair moved to Norwalk, marrying in 2010.
“The feeling of opening a business is very exciting,” Tazi said Monday afternoon from Le Boudoir, the blow dry and beauty bar (tag line “come pretty, leave gorgeous”) that he and Alena are opening Friday at 160 Main St., just across from New Canaan Library. “I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment since I came to the U.S. Now that it’s happening, I feel like ‘Whoa.’ Time flies by. I had expectations about opening a business and it’s a completely different experience. Much more challenging—different, but in a better way. It’s gone very fast but it’s a long, long process.”
Customers entering the purple, black, gray and white 800-square-foot space, will be greeted by an upholstery wall with two makeup stations on one side and five neo-Baroque style chairs at hair stations, with two deep-massage shampoo chairs (scalp massages come with the service), on the other.
“We really wanted to create a place that looks nothing like a salon,” Mamoune said. “We want to create more of a cozy, intimate environment.”
Some of the first New Canaanites to experience that environment likely will be teens, as Le Boudoir for its grand opening is offering complimentary hair or makeup service to juniors getting ready for prom (they could use the decompression as much as any resident).
Asked what made New Canaan a good destination for their vision of a salon, Alena (a Utah native) said: “It’s a beautiful town.”
The couple has a two-year-old son and said they’ve been to New Canaan many times to walk around and shop.
“People are very, very friendly,” Alena said. “It’s unlike a lot of places in the Northeast. We were really happy with that. And we wanted to bring something different to the people of New Canaan.”
Parking for Le Boudoir will happen mostly along Main Street and its stylists are from towns such as Ridgefield and Norwalk as well as further out. (They’re also doing home service, so that’s the “Le Boudoir”-branded Fiat you see out on Main.) The salon includes iPads at each hair station, with more than 130 magazines for patrons to flip through (“If somebody wants to read a 1985 Time magazine, they can find it”).
“We can put the customer in the center of everything, rather than having a factory where you just do as many people as possible,” Mamoune said. “We want to give them an experience. Because the services we provide, it’s blow outs and makeup. It’s a service that’s a half-hour, 45 minutes. It’s a very fast-paced business. So we decided that if we make this half-hour a great, high-end experience, that will be great for the customer as well.”
“That’s part of our philosophy,” Alena said of the giving-back program.
Each month, the Tazis will take suggestions from customers as to a different charity to benefit.