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Rachel and Sammy Amarti - Salon Amarti

Posted on Feb 12,2008
Filed Under Local Leaders , Community,

1322 Prince Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 535-8100

About Rachel and Oussama “Sammy” Amarti and why they chose to start Amarti Salon

We have been in the business for 11 years; however we worked at another location for another salon.  We just opened our own salon in March.

Sammy has been doing hair for over ten years in the area and we felt that it was time to branch out on our own. He wanted to work in a place of his own, and I wanted to start a business. The opportunity presented itself and we went for it. In less than six weeks we transformed a space into an inviting salon and spa,

I see how a lot of salons and spas are run by the stylists themselves and they don’t run effectively all the time. I wanted him to do what he is passionate doing, hair; and I would do what I am passionate at doing, starting a salon and spa. I saw a vision of starting a boutique salon and spa where the salon feels quaint and inviting to all that come in. I also wanted to ensure that everyone who entered was pampered and left feeling revitalized, refreshed and fully taken care of.

Why did you choose to work for yourself rather than as an employee for someone else?

I am third generation entrepreneur and see the benefits of starting a business. I have worked for other people but wasn’t always happy with the way things were run or the way people were treated. The same holds true for my husband.  He liked not having to deal with the business aspect and take care of his clients, but felt he deserved more and wasn’t getting it.  Sammy also wanted to offer his clients more and couldn’t while working for someone else.

What have you learned from being in business?

I enjoy working with different people, our staff, vendors, and clients, but it is a constant challenge. You have to be fair to everyone yet watch out for yourself because it is easy to get carried away with things and buying too much.

What was the biggest challenge of staring your own business?

There is a lot of paperwork to fill out and lots of decisions to be made before you open. I didn’t think it was going to be easy, but it is very stressful. We were extremely lucky finding the retail space but getting from there to opening day was difficult. I wanted to ensure that we were high class all the way when we opened and it was difficult because we only had 6 weeks. I was so stressed out running here and there and making everything happen in such a short time period. It was difficult, but we opened by our targeted opening date and were pleasantly relieved. There is a lot to do, which is a learning experience, that you have to think quickly and make difficult decisions, but in the end it was well worth it.

What have been the advantages and/or disadvantages of operating a business in Alexandria?

I like the city of Alexandria, but have been too busy to get acquainted with those who work in the area. I would like to get to know other business owners and be able to offer them our services and use theirs as well.

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