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Circe Reopens with a Splashy Pink and Green Soiree

Kirsten Obadal
By Kirsten Obadal
Posted on Jun 19,2012
Filed Under Fashion , Local Style,


Photo by John Arundel
Circe owners Ellen and Richard Vlasak cut the ribbon with Mayor Bill Euille, Chamber of Commerce President John T. Long III, Chair Elect John J. Renner II, and Anna Jones, marketing director of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Old Town's boutique salon and spa Circe of Alexandria lifted the curtain on its new renovations and services with a "Pink and Green Soiree" last week in a splashy grand re-opening for several hundred people that would have made even P.T. Barnum blush.

Photo by John Arundel 
Guests wore pink ribbons to celebrate Ellen
Vlasak's journey as a two-time breast cancer

“I feel fabulous,” enthused owner Ellen Vlasak, moments after she cut the "pink" ribbon with Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, Chamber of Commerce President John T. Long III and its Chair Elect John J. Renner II. Also on hand were Ellen's husband Richard Vlasak and Anna Jones, marketing director of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.
In his brief remarks, Euille thanked the Vlasaks for investing in Alexandria by revitalizing the salon, which they expanded from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet. "It's businesspeople like Ellen and Richard who make Alexandria such a special place," said Euille, who broke away from election-day duties to help cut the ribbon.
Ellen Vlasak said the massive renovations were her husband Richard’s idea, which came to them shortly after they purchased the salon in 2010. Two years later, Circe has a sleek atmosphere to accompany a wide list of salon and spa services.
The new interior, designed by architects McGinnis and Delaninno is as relaxing as it is beautiful. The minimal design utilized much of the old décor, to minimize waste, in addition to wood recycled from an old Pennsylvania barn.

Photo by John Arundel
Richard and Ellen Vlasak with Mayor Euille.

The salon is on the street level, offering hair cut, color, and style, as well as make up application and every kind of nail care and pedicures.
The salon uses exclusively Aveda natural products, as Master Stylist and Salon Director Nicole Ely pointed out.
“Our complete staff is 30 people, and all of them are employees, not just outsiders renting salon space," Ely explained. "Everyone at every level goes to SOHO in New York for monthly training. Hair color is our most popular treatment, and we offer Balayage. This is a European treatment popular with celebrities. It will liven your look with pops of color, framing the face.”

On the second floor is the day spa, with treatment rooms featuring facials and chemical skin treatments, as well as a full range of massage treatments, including deep tissue/Swedish massage and hot rock massage.
"It is a fantastic way to relax," said Spa Director Mark Christenson. "The stones’ heat sinks in and relaxes the muscles. It is great for someone in a high stress career, or who has to battle DC traffic.”

Photo by John Arundel 
Tours of the salon were given all evening.

An on-the-spot complimentary massage confirmed that information, and was oh so relaxing.

Sponsored by Washington Life magazine and organized by its Associate Publisher John Arundel and event planner Fran Holuba, Circe's grand re-opening night featured complementary massages, facials, hair stylings, and manicures.
Others contributing to the night's festivities included Isabelle Zorro of Old Town's Bistrot Lafayette, who prepared heaping plates of French hors d'oeuvres, including Tartine campagnarde, Roulade Marrocaine and Tartine Provencale.
Elijah Balbed of the Elijah Balbed Trio brought jazz music in to keep the salon jumping, and Kimberly Brickus and her team at Hannelores Bridal Boutique brought in breathtaking wedding dresses that brought the bridal boutique to life.


Photo by John Arundel 
McClain Brooks of Alexandria is all smiles
as she gets an up-do.

Sarah Dwyer of Chouquette brought her delicious chocolates and beautiful tasting display, 2012 ARTini winner and mixologist Joseph Ambrose of W Washington's POV Lounge served at the "Pink" Champagne Bar, and Kristin Laing of Artistic Concepts Group tastefully bathed the salon in "pink" and "green."
Peggy Foote of Perfect Settings, LLC  donated glassware and Jean Philippe of Rush Hour Printing for his timely execution in excellent work for our flyers and Step & Repeat.
The Vlasaks were looking to reintroduce the salon to the Alexandria community in a bold new way. "We wear pink and we go green!" said Vlasak, a two-time breast cancer survivor who's passionate about finding a cure.
Her personal battle inspired her dedication to transforming the salon into a luxurious escape for all clients, even if they arrive at the salon as Ellen had two years ago with no hair due to chemotherapy radiation treatment. To raise awareness for breast cancer research, the Vlasaks launched a "change for change" campaign to raise money for the Inova Breast Care Institute at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.

Another distinguishing characteristic is the team's dedication to recycling, In a renovation which increased the salon's size by 4,000 square feet of "beautifying glory," recycled materials permeated every step.
"Recycled cork floors, rustic barn doors and reused pieces from the former salon were a few ways the salon is going green," she said.  "For every plastic bottle brought tonight, we donated a quarter to the Breast Care Institute."
If You're Going...
Circe of Alexandria
123 N Washington Street
Alexandria, VA. 22314
(703) 519-8528

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