Studio Seven celebrates a roaring 20

Studio Seven in North Franklin Twp. celebrates a roaring 20

November 10, 2013
Alisha DeLuca, left and her mother, Nancy Frazier, co-owners of Studio 7 in North Franklin Township, celebrate their 20th anniversary at the salon on Franklin Farms Road. - Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Studio Seven is still stylin’.

Ten days after its 20th birthday, a salon specializing in making customers look good is maintaining its glitter. It is a family operation offering a family of services: hair care, skin care, makeup, massage, manicures, pedicures, tanning, airbrush tanning.

It also is offering discounts throughout its birth month.

Nancy Frazier and her daughter, Alisha DeLuca, are co-owners of the facility on Franklin Farms Road, a two-minute drive from Washington Crown Center. DeLuca is in charge of the North Franklin Township salon, which seems spacious enough – 6,000 square feet on two floors – to accommodate 33 employees performing a number of functions.

It isn’t efficient space, though.

“We’re going to renovate within two years,” DeLuca said. “We have to make better use of our space and make the Studio Seven experience topnotch. And one thing I’ve learned is that the experience is important in this day and age.”

The experience, apparently, is positive enough to attract a significant clientele from the region. A visitor on a recent Friday morning encountered the proverbial beehive of activity, with employees darting about and patrons entering, and being served, rapid fire.

Frazier shrugged. “This is a slower day, especially this early.”

She should know. Frazier, a Kris Jenner lookalike, has been doing this since the late 1970s, when she started Frazier Hair Designers in Washington. More than a decade later, and two miles to the west, that evolved into a new, expanded business when she and her husband, David, opened Studio Seven on Nov. 1, 1993.

“I’ve always liked the number seven and studio seemed like a name suited for this building,” Nancy said.

David, who is retired from Joy Machinery, is no longer the co-owner, but he has been integral to the makeup of the place. “David has done a lot of remodeling here,” said Nancy, mother of two and grandmother of four from South Franklin Township.

Her roles likewise have shifted. Nancy is at the salon only one day a week now. She devotes more time helping cancer patients with their cosmetics.

Her daughter has handled the baton transfer with aplomb. “Alisha has taken this to a higher level,” Nancy said.

DeLuca, 39, has shifted Studio Seven’s focus more toward hair and skin in recent years. The staff does have a collective 284 years of experience with hair.

She also prefers to shift the focus for success to the staff, which she said is well educated and stresses quality customer service. Many are longtime employees.

“We have a fabulous team. Over half opened with us (in 1993),” said DeLuca, who lives in South Strabane with her husband, Ben, and their sons Italo, 13, and Rocco. 9.

She said it most assuredly is a winning team, too.

“I can give them a career path,” DeLuca said, “but they have to have the passion. Up to 10 times a day, they take a cape off a customer and they look and feel amazing.”

One, Kassi Lowther of Washington, is a designated national artist.

Though the current staff is all-female, DeLuca said the studio has had male employees and isn’t opposed to hiring men.

Studio Seven’s service goes beyond clients, though. Alisha said their business this year has donated $6,200 to area schools, clubs and churches, and has run fundraisers for other causes.

“We’ve always been very strong in the community,” said Frazier, who also has been an American Cancer Society volunteer for 20 years.

DeLuca said her mother two years ago was nominated for a local Athena Award, which, according to the Athena International organization, “recognizes exceptional women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community and help other women to succeed through mentorship.”

Civic pride is part of the Studio Seven makeup as well.

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Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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