Karen Piazza doesn't like the term "beauty salon."
That's why the space at her new Mix On Vine multi-use business where hair gets done is referred to as a "streetside beauty loft."
"This is a gallery vibe," she said of her new business, Mix on Vine. "... It's like re-inventing yourself with a look."
Although she grew up in Lexington and attended Lafayette High School, Piazza spent years in Miami developing upscale spas. When she moved back to Lexington for part of her year, she became discouraged that there was no one-stop facility to get hair and nails done, have a clean-food snack, exercise in areas that feature aerial silk yoga hammocks, dance and see beautiful things.
She also didn't like sitting in a chair for four hours getting hair color done without a snack.
Piazza and partner Lydia Nemeth thought they could do better than that.
Mix On Vine is a new concept for the Lexington area. It opened in mid-October. It combines beauty services and a blowout and braiding bar with exercise classes, an art gallery and a snack bar where beauty clients can order a lunch to be served to them during lengthy procedures. Fashion and art movies run on screens around the building, on Wednesday afternoon featuring Liza Minelli on one screen and fashion icon Diana Vreeland on another.
Piazza, a film enthusiast, said that Mix On Vine may offer movie nights in its dance studio, during which participants can bring a blanket and watch an arty film.
While she talks, a client's hair is being finished up with a blow-dry: She emerges with red-carpet hair, luminous blonde and bouncy.
One industry expert said that the concept of offering a group of services in a one-stop location is on trend in the spa industry.
"The consumer is busy and they demand a one-stop-shop for hair, nails, exercise," said Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association, managed by Associations International, which is headquartered in Lexington. "The ISPA has members in more than 70 countries, and we are seeing this trend of one-stop establishments grow by ISPA member spas all over the world. This is great for the consumer because they are able to achieve a focus on the total mind, body, and spirit, rather than just working on one area of their life."
A small part of Mix on Vine's 9,200 square feet of space, which formerly housed the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau and a veterans center, will later be used for retail.
Piazza also hopes to later offer classes to at-risk young people in the community, she said, and already has plans to use a conference room for community group meetings that may also incorporate other areas of Mix on Vine's expertise, such as makeup and hair tips.
Mix on Vine's space is unrecognizable from its previous incarnation: bright and open with carrera marble in the locker room and pops of melon, mint green and pale blue elsewhere. Piazza said she wanted the space to look inviting from the street during Lexington's upcoming dark, cold season.
Piazza said that Mix on Vine is not a membership club, but a pay-as-you-go business.
And it doesn't just offer aerial yoga and TRX training: It also includes a country cardio class that has proven to be popular since Mix opened in mid-October.
That's a lot of business to pack into one space, but Piazza said she and Nemeth enjoyed the challenge.
"It's a big space, but when we got into it, it's like planning a studio apartment."Mix On Vine: