A new hair salon has opened at 77 Main St. in Newcastle, featuring a spa room overlooking the Damariscotta River.
Belle Jolie, owned by Nicole Fordham, offers hair styling, cuts, manicures and pedicures, facials, aromatherapy foot soaks, full-body waxing, ear candling, and eyelash extensions.
“We are going to be able to offer everything … one-stop shopping,” Fordham said.
Fordham realized she wanted to be in the beauty industry when she was a junior in high school. Her grandmother had cancer, and a woman came in once a week to paint her grandmother’s nails and do her hair. Fordham noticed how her grandmother would feel better on those days.
“I wanted to make people feel good … I think that hairdressing and the beauty industry is about how you make people feel,” Fordham said.
Fordham, who is originally from New Hampshire, moved to Portland in 1995 to attend HeadHunters School of Hair Design, which she graduated from in 1996.
She apprenticed at Akari, then worked at Ocean Street Studio. Both are in Portland.
Fordham co-owned Serenity, a salon in South Portland, from 2000-2007, and has since worked at Allure, in Scarborough, and Shear Joy, in Portland.
She moved to South Bristol in August 2017, and Belle Jolie is the first business she has opened on her own.
Fordham was drawn to the green building in Newcastle because of its history, age, and proximity to the river. “I kept driving by this place!” Fordham said.
The salon’s name, Belle Jolie, means “pretty” in French – a name that is also reflected in Belle, the salon’s resident betta fish.
“I want to keep it as chemically free as possible,” Fordham said of her salon. She tries to use natural products whenever she can.
The back room of the salon has a space for facials and spa treatments, as well as two chairs and copper pots for foot soaking. The room overlooks the Damariscotta River, giving clients an impressive view.
Customers can rent the room for designated amounts of time, and enjoy aromatherapy soaks, such as chamomile lemon and tea tree.
“I want this to be a retreat … this is a place where they shouldn’t have to worry … a place of respite,” Fordham said.
Fordham is interested in collaborating with community members and other businesses in the area, such as by using local products in her salon.
She is looking to allow booth renters to use the space in order to increase the number of hours the salon is open.
Touchstone Crystal jewelry by Swarovski will be for sale, and eventually makeup as well.
Fordham is hoping to offer changing weekly specials, such as student discounts. She also wants to implement a frequent facial club: after five facials are purchased, the sixth one will be free.
“I have a lot of ideas,” Fordham said.
The salon is currently open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or by appointment. Hours are subject to change in the future.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 682-0199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.