A Cut Above celebrates its 15th anniversary
By Steven Hoffman
This week marks the 15th anniversary for A Cut Above, but owner Tony Bilal says that it feels like only yesterday that he opened the salon as one of the first tenants in the Marlborough Square Shopping Center.
“I have clients that I've been cutting their hair for 35 years,” Bilal said, explaining that before he opened A Cut Above, he worked for two decades as a hairstylist at the Longwood Beauty Salon. When Bilal decided to open A Cut Above, he brought along some of the staff from the Longwood Beauty Salon.
“A lot of our employees who are with me now were with me before we moved here,” Bilal explained. He credits the salon’s longevity to a team of hair stylists and assistants who are dedicated to providing the best services possible to clients, ranging from the latest trends in hairstyles to hair coloring to color corrections to scalp and hair treatments. They also do certified Brazilian Blowouts, and meet their clients’ beauty needs for important events like proms and weddings.
Bilal, a resident of West Grove, loves the social aspect of the work.
“I like working with people,” he explained. “I come in every day for work and I see clients that I’ve known for years. I get to talk to the clients. I don’t look at it as work.”
Bilal added that, “I can stand on my feet for twelve hours a day, but put me behind a desk for one hour and I will fall asleep.”
He said that the most important element to having a satisfied customer is taking the time to talk to them to find out what they want.
“We have to work together,” Bilal explained. “Sometimes, customers will have an idea for their hair that they want to try. You have to communicate with each other. The secret is communication with clients.”
Bilal started learning the secrets of the profession in England, where there are no licenses necessary to cut hair, but people learn by serving as apprentices. He eventually moved to the San Francisco area, where he first worked as a hairstylist in the U.S. But it was when he relocated to Chester County almost 40 years ago that he found his home and his career. One of the things that he is proudest of is the staff that he has assembled at A Cut Above. It is a close-knit group, and many of the members of the team have been there for years. The staff includes Velva Coombs Joanne Brown, Faviola Zarate, Cathy Sciarra, Gemma Rapone, Deborah Bowman, Patricia Mattoscio, Ninetta Bertolini, Patsy Vanderkraats, Jillian Bilal, Sylvia Masciantonio, and Justine Muscarella. Brown just retired earlier this year after 50 years as a hair stylist at the Longwood Beauty Salon and A Cut Above.
Bilal himself has no plans to stop doing what he loves. He wants A Cut Above to celebrate many more anniversaries.
“This is what I like to do,” he explained. “I like to go fishing, too, but I don’t like to go fishing when it’s cold, or when it’s really hot. So I will keep doing this for as long as I can.”
A Cut Above will be offering customers hors d’oeuvres and refreshments to celebrate the 15th anniversary. There are also specials, including 10 percent off deals for new clients and 15 percent off for referrals—for both the person who made the referral, and the person who was referred to the salon.
For more information about the services available at A Cut Above Salon, visit www.acutabovelongwood.com or the salon's Facebook page, or call 610-444-4506.