YSU Student Opens Salon on Campus

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Starting a business was never the intended career path of Alexandra “Alex” Galantis, who opened a full-service salon, AG Beauty Salon & Spa, 137 Lincoln Ave., in April.

Galantis became a nail technician three years ago to support herself through while attending Youngstown State University while doing something she loved.

“It really wasn’t in my original plan to open a business,” said the 20-year-old, adding “I was going to become a teacher” and do nails on the side.

“I went to school at Raphael’s [School of Beauty Culture in Boardman] the summer between high school and college. I really wasn’t planning on doing much with nails, but it grew into something more, and I eventually decided to open the salon,” said Galantis.

She will graduate from YSU this fall and plans to use her teaching degree as a backup plan.

A Campbell native, Galantis knew that opening a salon close in the YSU campus area would be the perfect way to provide full salon services to a community that previously lacked these types of services.

“[The salon] is kind of in the middle of everything, it is not too far from the surrounding areas,” said Galantis, adding that she “really wanted to stay in the area and help bring more businesses back to Youngstown.”

She hopes that her salon will gain a loyal customer base of YSU students, faculty, staff and community members. Galantis, an early childhood education major, has already seen fellow students and some professors stop in her salon for services. She offers a 10 percent discount for YSU faculty and staff.

AG Beauty Salon & Spa offers “pretty much any kind of service you can think of,” said Galantis.

From hair cutting and coloring, to extensions, hair tinsel, nails and aesthetics, the salon offers more than 10 beauty services.

Lindsey Melton, hair stylist and blonding specialist at AG Beauty, said the salon is her ideal work environment. Her mother was a hair stylist and she grew up in a salon.

Melton has been at the salon since April and says she prides herself on being able to do almost anything when it comes to hair.

The Kansas City native says she loves the Youngstown area and the Galantis family has been very welcoming since she started at the salon.

A client of Galantis’ since her start as a nail technician, Julia Williams, says she was “so excited when [Alex] told her she had plans to open a salon on Lincoln Avenue.”

A YSU student herself, Williams spoke about the convenience of the location for busy college students.

“It really is perfect to make an appointment in the middle of my day in-between classes since I can walk down to the salon from campus. It’s much easier for me to make my appointments on time,” she added.

Galantis says starting a business at such a young age naturally came with hurdles to overcome.

“When we first started the construction, it did not go according to plan,” she said. “We did most of the construction work ourselves in here, and it took a month and a half longer than expected,” she continued.

The process of renovating the salon and preparing it for opening taught her patience and gave her the realization that everything will come in its own time.

Galantis has also had to “learn the [salon] business in and out and everything [she] can about nails and the salon industry in general.

“I want to make sure I learn everything there is to know so that I can make the salon the best it can be,” she said.

Galantis said she is open to expanding her salon in the future and hopes to one day have an “AG Beauty part two.”

AG Beauty will partner with The United Way of Youngstown & the Mahoning Valley in August for United Way’s Care Closet initiative, a project to create a one-stop shop for local students in need of food, clothing, shoes, hygiene products and more.

The collaboration, Self Care for Care Closets, will take place at the salon on Aug. 14. The salon will offer its regular services to raise money for care closets in the area, Galantis said.

In addition to events like these, the salon offers weekly and monthly specials. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are preferred. For information about AG Beauty Salon & Spa, check the business’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

The salon, which employs 11, is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Pictured: Customer Julia Williams and Alexandra Galantis, owner and nail technician of AG Beauty Salon & Spa

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.