Cutting Ties Hair Salon sets Feb. 14 Grand Opening
Dottie Manning has been in the business of making people look as good as they possibly can for as long as she can remember. Although she’s lived in Fort Myers for most of her adult life, she’s an islander now through and through. Manning is not new to the salon business by a long shot. She opened a successful salon and spa in Fort Myers back in 2007, but said she was ready to slow down in the place that she used to visit and fish with her late father.
“When I was about 5 years old, my dad and I would come over to St. James City and go fishing,” said Manning. “My husband Jeff and I kept looking for somewhere to be and somehow we kept coming back to St. James City.”
Since all four of Manning’s boys have now grown and either joined the military or are in college, it seemed a perfect time for her and Jeff to begin a new season of their lives. Ready to jump into a change with both feet, Manning sold her home and business in Fort Myers and decided to make the rest of her adult life here. Though their boys were saddened by the news that they would be selling the home, that they not only grew up in, but the home where their grandparents had also resided, Manning said it was just time.
“This place just has my heart,” said Manning. “I love the island, I love the people — everyone has just been amazing, and kind. They’ll stop in and say, ‘welcome to the island.’ It’s been really great.”
Although Cutting Ties Hair Salon opened on Jan. 2, the Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting will be on Friday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m. Manning has not only served in this business for more than 30 years, she also prides herself on her continued education, to keep up with fluid industry standards and is an educator herself in the field. She admits she’s very thankful for her previous job at Vincent’s Salon and Spa, where they flew in the Redken Exchange, giving her necessary tools, and said she wouldn’t be where she is today without them.
“I take classes,” said Manning. “Just to stay up on today’s trends, with coloring, foliage and Ombre’ — I feel like there’s always something new out there that you should keep up with, whether you do it every day or not. I have to stay educated on what’s out there.”
As much of a passion as Manning has for this business, it’s far from the only thing she was preparing for, as she said her father insisted she go to medical school early on. While she was a scrub-tech for 15 years, Manning said she always did hair on the side, because it’s simply what she’d wanted to do and she knew it even then. Though the job as medical personnel paid the bills, she said she always knew who she was.
“I love what I do,” said Manning. “I do a lot of research on my products. I don’t promote anything I don’t believe in, or that I wouldn’t use on myself.”
Manning also points out that she’s not a product-pusher, saying that she’s there to help people with what they need, not to give them a ton of products. She said that if a client’s hair looks amazing after six months then she knows she’s doing what she should be. Part of the credit for beautiful hair goes to the products, which are mostly botanicals. The color line she uses is shipped from Italy and has no ammonia, which Manning said is much easier on hair than other products. She wants people to know that great products don’t always come with an outrageous price tag, as some might suspect.
“I have everything from moms who budget in their haircuts, to millionaires who fly in from around the country to get their hair done,” said Manning. “I treat them the same, and the prices are the same. I want my clients to have the best hair they can have.”
Manning said that she and Vicki Faille, who also operates at the salon, try to tailor the service they give each client according to what they desire and what they need. She points out that her clients contentment with their level of service is of great importance to both of them.
“Come in, relax and enjoy yourself,” Manning said. “I want to keep it real. Don’t feel as though you have to be somebody you’re not while you’re here. My biggest goal is to make people feel comfortable when they come in.”
Cutting Ties Hair Salon is at 5465 Pine Island Road, Bokeelia, FL, 33922. For an appointment or information, call (239) 283-4146.