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Young mother overcomes challenges to open salon

Lauren Flaim learned early on to conquer her fears and to take chances.

What many young people don’t learn until much later in life, Flaim was forced to come to grips with when she became a teen mother at the age of 15.

“It made me feel that anything is possible,” she said.

Knowing that what wouldn’t kill her would make her stronger, Flaim, at the age of 21, opened Salon Amore in December 2009. At the time, it opened with 300 clients and now serves more than 800 people.

Flaim’s passion for beauty came at a young age.

“When I was probably about four or five, I played with Barbies and would cut their hair,” she said. “I knew what I wanted to do even then.”

In junior high, she always styled her friend’s hair, and her dreams were not derailed when she found out she’d be a mother.

“Quitting school was never an option for me,” she said. “I never considered it.”

After becoming a mom, Flaim went to school during the day and worked as a waitress during the evening.

During her senior year of high school, she found out about Rudy and Kelly Academy, which she said is considered to be one of the best salon schools in the area. She immediately knew she wanted to go there.

“It specializes in color, and I knew that’s what I wanted to go into,” she said. “Other salons specialize in roller sets and cornrows, but I wanted to excel in color. And Rudy and Kelly is one of the top 10 for color.”

Knowing what it’s like to work hard, Flaim saved enough money — all but the $4,500 in grants she received — to pay the $13,000 tuition.

After graduation, Flaim went to work at Bombshell’s Salon in Suffolk and then became self-employed at Salon on Pointe. With a growing clientele, she decided to open her own location — for which she researched locations and drew up her own business plan.

Flaim has since hired four other stylists, three of whom also graduated from Rudy and Kelly.

Flaim said she concentrates on providing a trendy, but child-friendly, environment with reasonable prices and always staying on the cutting edge by furthering her and her employees’ educations by going to salon classes and conferences. Salon Amore also offers hair extensions and Keratin Complex Smoothing Treatment.

To book an appointment or find out more about Salon Amore, visit www.salonamoreva.com.