By Jillian Risberg
A Wharton hair stylist and salon owner is doing her part to help women become the best version of themselves.
Amy Murphy has 14 years in the business and was attending beauty school when she was only in high school.
From there, she worked in three local salons before opening her first out of her home in the highlands of Morris County.
That’s where Murphy does hair, nails, facials and waxing three days a week by appointment only for her longtime clients.
The stylist needed something bigger, so in November 2014 she decided to expand and bought Entourage Salon.
She heads up there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to do administrative work for the business.
Murphy says she never would have done well in a departmentalized salon.
“Where you go to a colorist to do your color, then a stylist to cut your hair and a nail tech to do your nails,” she says. “There’s all these different hands in everybody’s work.”
She prides herself on being able to offer all their services under one roof.
“Some just specialize in one thing and they do that really well and that works for them and their clients. I enjoy being open seven days a week, flexible hours and times. We take walk-ins and appointments, so I love that we’re able to cater to many different kinds of people.”
The salon definitely fits into Joanna Maglio’s life.
“I have used many of the stylists with a great experience each time. From waxing, nails and pedicures to haircuts, color or a simple blowout. I would highly recommend Entourage to anyone who wants to be beautiful,” says the Roxbury teacher’s aide.
Everything fell into place and seemed like a good fit when Murphy opened. She has some of the original team, as well as some new people and says it’s been going well.
“I think that a lot of people think that they want to open their own salon,” she says. “But they don’t realize how hard it is, and I’ve seen a lot of people who are good hair dressers but not good owners or vice versa.”
According to the stylist, she has changed throughout her career.
“I’m very type A, meticulous about the way that I do things — sanitation, cleanliness, disinfection. My clients laugh that they could eat out of my pedicure tub,” Murphy says.
She says, it’s very hard for her to work hard on building something and then have other people not take care of it the way that she would.
“I just needed to have everything myself — to be the only person who could make a mess and no one to complain about it,” the stylist says.
While on maternity leave Murphy entrusted her clients to her Level 2 stylist, Dani and it was then that she realized she was able to give up some control.
“There are other people like me out there who do a good job and take care of their surroundings,” she says.
Her goal was to create a space where she could have like-minded people and coach them to success.
Now Murphy enjoys sharing her knowledge with the staff and watching them grow in their careers.
“I’m really proud to see that we have stylists that are good with kids, stylists good with the older clientele, stylists good with short hair, stylists good with men, stylists good with the trendier color techniques, and stylists good for updo’s, bridal and makeup.”
So there’s really someone for everyone, according to Murphy. Whoever walks in the door she’s confident in recommending one of her stylists and knows they will do a fantastic job.
“I’m just constantly amazed and impressed and proud of the talent we have in the salon,” she says.
Murphy is constantly helping them (and herself) learn and evolve by offering continuing education classes in style, technique, even social media on how to promote your brand.
Catherine Regenthal loves Entourage because she says one is always treated like family.
“I can go in and tell Dani exactly what I want and she makes my hair perfect (even better than the pictures),” says Regenthal, of Green Township. “I am so glad I walked in a few years back for a cut and color.”
If you’re new to town and left your fave stylist behind, who can you trust with your tresses?
“I’d say the best place to start when you’re new to an area is word of mouth,” Murphy says. “That is definitely our biggest referral. I think it’s also important to tell people what you’re looking for.”
And she lets the work speak for itself.
She starts by asking a potential client questions: how do you maintain your hair, what kind of color do you like, do you want something low maintenance, what’s your style.
“So when a client comes in not only do they have a choice based on their look and what kind of services they need, but also what their budget allows.”
After years of using other salons, Marilyn Ryan found Entourage and couldn’t be happier.
“The new owner and stylists are experts in color, cutting and styling,” says Ryan, a retired AT&T manager, from Hackettstown. “Their prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.”
“Entourage is the best salon in the area. When I leave there my hair looks beautiful.”
The guest experience is what they remember.
“It’s not just about cutting hair, it’s about the way you make people feel,” Murphy says.