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Middlebury welcomes new beauty lounge

MIDDLEBURY — Sisters Hannah Zeno and Andrea Hubbell have for years worked at making other people look and feel better.
Now they are able to work together at that task — at their new business, the Studio 7 Beauty Lounge located in downtown Middlebury.
“Our goal has always been to offer spa-type services at an affordable price in a fun environment,” Zeno said on Thursday as she showed off the new space at 32 Merchants Row, next to Carol’s Hungry Mind Café. Studio 7 — which draws its name from the combined total of children between the two sisters — offers a variety of spa services and treatments, ranging from hair styling to massage to a new skin care program for cancer patients. All of it is offered in a casual setting with soothing music and good-natured banter.
“There is a lot of energy here — a lot of positive energy,” Zeno said.
Hubbell earned her cosmetology degree in 1992 and then worked locally for the first seven years before opening her own salon in her home. This gave her the opportunity to be at home with her four children. With her children now older, Hubbell is ready to begin a new chapter at Studio 7 where she said she will be able to offer her clients more service options, including organic hair and nail services.
Zeno received her training in esthetics and waxing at The Salon Professional Academy. She continued her education in Boston, studying at the International Dermal Institute and Face Forward, where she received her professional Makeup Artist Certification. She’s looking forward to working side-by-side with her sister.
“We work well together,” she said.
The staff of five full- and part-time workers offers services that include waxing, facials, nails, massage, hair care and “mystic tanning” — a process through which the client stands in an in-store booth and is sprayed by a solution that replicates a tan without subjecting him or her to ultraviolet rays.
But Studio 7 is also offering some novel services one wouldn’t usually associate with a conventional beauty lounge or spa.
For example, Studio 7 offers the “Look Good, Feel Good Program” that was conceived by the American Cancer Society. This is a program through which Zeno helps clients choose cosmetics and head covering options as they go through chemotherapy treatments. She takes about two hours to talk to people about their skin care concerns, along with advice on scarves and/or wigs.
“It can be very emotional,” she said of the program and the process of working with people battling serious illness.
On a much lighter note, Studio 7 offers massage for couples. The couple receives the treatment side-by-side. The session is capped with some treats, including chocolate-covered strawberries.
And the duo has other ideas on the drawing board for their new business — including a program that would help recently incarcerated women prepare themselves for job interviews upon their release. In line with that plan, Zeno is talking to a local clothing store owner about the prospect of getting good deals for women who would participate in the program.
“You only get one chance to make a good impression,” Zeno said of job interviews.
Hubbell and Zeno acknowledged that Addison County residents have several beauty care options from which to choose, but they believe Studio 7 will stand out for its service and pricing. She produced a rate card showing prices of $30 for a woman’s cut and style ($20 for men); $15 for a basic manicure; $65 for a 60-minute massage; $75 for a facial treatment; and $28 for a bikini wax.
She is pleased with the reception the business has already received during the seven weeks it has been open.
“It’s been wonderful,” Zeno said. “Everyone has welcomed us to the downtown area.”
More information about Studio 7 can be found at studio7beautylounge.com.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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