Master Hairstylist And Salon Owner Keeps Clients Beautified
From seeing the days of the mullet and the “Rachel” haircut to the more recent hair trends of the ombre and the balayage hairstyles Tonya Stewart has been privy to a myriad of hairstyles and trends with over 30 years in the industry. Currently in her own establishment for the past five years, which is conveniently located at her home east of Oakdale, the owner and stylist of The Studio by Tonya has had a successful run as a beautician and salon owner.
“I decided to come home and create the studio by Tonya and turn my pool house into a beauty cave,” stated Stewart. “This (structure) reminded me of studio since it is small and intimate. It is a place where people can come and relax from their stressful lives. We talk about anything and everything and it doesn’t go anywhere.”
As a youngster Stewart would give her Barbies haircuts and bribe her brother to allow her to cut his hair for a handful of milk duds. Although the hair on the dolls did not grow back from these experiences she concluded that she wanted to be a hairstylist.
“I wanted to make people feel pretty,” expressed Stewart. “I wanted to be a hair stylist on a cruise ship. So I decided to go to Cosmetology school at age 15 and by the time I was 17years of age I was working in a salon before I even graduated high school.”
Starting her career at California Styling which was like a Super Cuts, Stewart was able to practice her stylist skills and then she began to perfect those skills at Creations in Oakdale for several years. She learned how to consult, how to treat customers, giving good customer service, and how to do superb hair.
“We did a lot of perms back in the day,” Stewart said with a smile. “At one time I was considered the Perminator.”
Creations later opened another location in Modesto where Stewart worked for 16 years. Then she moved into a little salon and decided that it was time to open her own establishment.
“I just had a dream and decided to follow it,” added Stewart. “And next thing you know I was building a 3000 square-foot salon and day spa called Sanctuary Salon and Day Spa in Modesto.
That was in September, 2006.
There were 30 people that she was responsible for along with taking on the duties of educational director, marketing director, hairstylist, mother, and many other hats. The experience was enlightening for Stewart; however, after six years she determined it was time to open her own salon without any other staff.
“I love that it (salon at her home) is peaceful,” stated Stewart. “I get to enjoy my clients one on one and I have no distractions.”
Stewart has clients that come from all over the surrounding area and even has one client that makes her way all the way from Monterey to receive that quality service, quality products and a comfortable stress-free intimate environment to literally let your hair down.
With an assortment of products for sale and a variety of services like cuts, color, perms, extensions, even waxing and keeping up with current hair trends, Stewart prides herself in maintaining the integrity of her clients’ hair and makes all efforts to keep it looking healthy.
“The industry has created a lot of products to help keep your hair healthier so products have gotten better,” added Stewart. “There are still companies that have stuck around for a long time like Redken, Joico, Matrix, and Lanza that are still holding strong.
“I do hair the way that I would want my hair to look like when I walked out. So I continue to educate myself so I can provide the best service and the best quality of service. I aim to please.”
The Studio by Tonya has been operating successfully with owner and hairstylist Tonya Stewart for the past five years and is based out of her home.