BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — When clients walk through the door of Definitions of Design Salon & Spa, the receptionist at the front desk makes it a priority to greet them with a friendly hello and send them off with well-wishes following the end of their appointment.
That care is a pillar of the work emphasized by owner Peggy George. She wants her clients to feel appreciated and a part of the family as soon as they walk into the business at 467 W. Dussel Dr. in Maumee.
Salon and spa work – haircuts and colorings, pedicures, massages, manicures, facials and more – create a more intimate environment than most jobs.
“I see some clients every four to five weeks. That’s sometimes more often than they see some of their family. The bonds I have made over the years with people are very strong,” Peggy said.
She has been serving some of those clients for more than 40 years. Peggy received her license in April of 1978 and has been working on clients’ hair ever since.
She’s built relationships with her clients and wants them to know they’re in a comfortable and welcoming environment when they walk through the doors of her salon.
For the people who work at Definitions of Design, it’s also important for them to be a part of a family.
“My girls are all self-employed here. Since we came here 23 years ago, my girls all became booth renters … my front desk receptionists are my only employees. You work together when you’re in an environment where you have a back room and you all talk. There’s something about community, there’s something about working together,” Peggy described. “Hairdressers were not meant to be in a small, little room where you don’t talk to people.”
For Katie Wesley, having the opportunity to be independent but still feel a part of the family is one of the reasons she’s stayed with Definitions of Design.
“Peggy’s also like family. She’s here to help us get ahead or if we need anything,” Katie added.
“Peggy is the nucleus of our entire salon. She’s our ‘mother’ and she’s taken every single one that has worked here under her wing and helped us to fly,” echoed Julie Rodriguez. “She has taught us so much and allowed all of us to grow in our own ways. We all get to be individuals, but we all complement one another.”
Continuing to learn from one another and educate themselves on the changes in the industry is also important to Peggy.
For everyone working in the salon industry, Peggy’s noticed a similarity between those who stay in the industry and thrive: They’re willing to work together and learn from each other.
“Education is so important to me because of how much things change. You have to have education. Once you get out of beauty school, that only gets you so far,” Peggy said. “Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you need to keep changing. If you do not keep changing in this industry, it will leave you in the dust. It will change without you.”
Peggy’s techniques and approach to the job have changed over the years in order to better meet the needs of clients. She’s changed her product lines and more over the years because of the education she continues to receive.
It’s also been important to educate clients about the products and tools they use on their hair.
“It’s good to help people know what to use, to educate them, because that’s our job,” Peggy said. “If we don’t help our clients with that, we’re not doing our job.”
After their appointments, when clients are standing at the front desk to pay, it’s not uncommon for Peggy to provide them with more information on what will work for their hair based on the style, type and color.
She knows her years of experience should be spread to others, whether that’s clients or other salon workers.
“I want to inspire some of the younger generation to do their own thing and to work hard,” she said.
Ever since her business opened, she’s aimed to educate and inspire.
On November 7, 1983, Peggy cofounded Definitions of Design with C.C. Forche. Since 2017, she has been the sole owner of the business, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary with an open house on Sunday, November 5, which will include raffles, music and snacks.
The business originally opened on Airport High-way, moving once more before finding a home on West Dussel Drive in Maumee.
“This has been a wonderful spot for us,” Peggy said. “Maumee was very welcoming.”
The location makes it easy for clients from all over the area to get to the salon and feel comfortable when they stop in.
Those loyal clients, whether they travel from down the street or out of town, have also been vital to keeping the doors open during hard times.
“A lot of businesses didn’t make it through COVID, but the support of my clients who didn’t want me to go under is how I made it through COVID,” Peggy recounted. “People really stepped up to help me. That was amazing. That was a big lesson, that people were ready to help. It was nice to know my community didn’t want me to go under.”
It was during that time, when many businesses had to close, even temporarily, that people became more aware of what Peggy knew all along: People feel good when they look good.
“I think people don’t credit salons for what they are and what they bring to the world,” Peggy said. “Being a hairdresser has been an amazing career for me. We work hard and we are a part of people’s lives.”
The Definitions of Design Open House is on Sunday, November 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Guests can enter to win a grand prize drawing from Lanza. Those who bring a salon newcomer as a guest will receive a punch on their product card and the guest will receive a gift, too.
The salon and spa is located at 467 W. Dussel Dr. in Maumee. The business can be reached by phone at (419) 891-0188.
More information about Definitions of Design can be found at definitionsofdesign.com.