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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

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In Living

Joy Guzikowski (center) and Andrea Maleu (right) met while working just four doors down from their new salon. Paula Wenthur (left) does nails and manicures.

Bay View's Phoenix Hair Studio rises from family tradition

Andrea Maleu and Joy Guzikowski say they didn't realize the name they chose for their new salon would become a literal interpretation of the dreams of branching out on their own.

The pair worked together just four doors down the street at the Bay View Hair Studio when the owner retired last year. So when they opened the Phoenix Hair Studio this spring, naming the new shop after the mythical creature that rose from the ashes seemed appropriate enough.

Both Maleu and Guzikowski are third-generation hair stylists, so when the home of Maleu's mother burned to the ground -- which was also her grandfather's home -- Maleu realized that "Phoenix" meant something even more real to her.

"My grandfather built my mother's salon on Howell, and he told me to go to hair school, but it took me a good eight years," says Maleu, co-owner of the salon, 3044 S. Delaware Ave. "The fire was devastating. It was a miracle that my mother survived. 'Phoenix' means death and rebirth, and the day that they signed off on our occupancy, I realized that it was the day of my grandfather's birthday."

The Phoenix Hair Studio is tastefully decorated, but not over-the-top. Maleu and Guzikowski started working on the building last December, and put it together in just over a month. The pair's modesty is reflected in the salon's prices, too: $25 for a haircut for women, $20 for men and $12 for kids under 10.

"We want to keep our prices fair, reasonable and honest," says Maleu. "Sometimes prices can go overboard, especially in this economy.

"We accommodate the client. There are a lot of stylists who say, 'This is what you should have.' We like to hit a common ground, a happy medium. The clients still feel like they're in control, but we can put our artistic spin on it."

For now, the studio employes just three people: business partners Maleu and Guzikowski, and Paula Wenthur, who does nails and manicures. Eventually, the salon might add massage or aesthetics services to the list of options it provides.

Most of the pair's clients have made the short journey up the street, too. It's split between men and women, says Maleu.

The salon's business neighbors, including its landlord, Hector's restaurant, have been very supportive of the new shop, says Maleu. "Everyone has been super cool," she says.

"It was collective chaos in the beginning," says Guzikowski. "But now we're settling in and making this our own."

The Phoenix Hair Studio is open Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


shimmery1 | April 4, 2009 at 12:26 p.m. (report)

I've been a client of Andrea's for almost 3 years. She's straightened/cut/colored my hair better than anyone I've ever been to see in Milwaukee. Plus, she's fun to be around. I'm so happy that she's fulfilling her dreams and I wish her and her partners continued success with their new venture. It's sure to be a success!

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JJM | March 25, 2009 at 1:29 p.m. (report)

I have been going to Andrea for cuts/hair coloring for well over a year now - and would not go anywhere else! I recently visited her at her new location was extremely impressed with what these ladies have done with their new space. I wish them both all the best. - Kris

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