Buké Batoya has been in Clarendon Hills for 15 years, but like the industry in which she practices, there has been many changes to Batoya's salon over the years.
As Batoya celebrates 15 years owning , she can look back to when the business was little more than a few chairs and some loyal clients, and also on how quickly things changed.
“Since I walked in we haven't had a slow day,” Batoya said during an interview at her salon. “We've increased business 20 to 30 percent every years that we've been open.”
The salon has also grown in size, now occupying the entire building at 151 Ann St.—upstairs and down—where it once had just one small store front.
Bukés offers services in hair, nails, makeup, skincare, massage and accommodates wedding parties. A true full-service salon, Batoya said the salon offers a lot and does all of it very well. She said the employees have strong backgrounds in the industry and are always learning more, as she pays to send them to classes and different educational beauty shows.
“Everyone here is very passionate. I think that's very important,” she said. “In business, you need to be surrounded by people who have the same goals as you and love making people look good and feel great.”
Oksana Kwitkowski has worked at the salon since it opened. She started as a shampoo girl in high school and is now one of Bukés lead stylists.
“The vision from 15 years ago is still here and there is so much I love about this salon,” Kwitkowski said. “It has that small downtown atmosphere but at a salon that is very upscale in its work.”
Ashley Carlevato is newer to the salon and said the opportunity to work at the store while attending beauty school has been important to her.
“The education and all that I've learned [at Bukés], it's been great,” Carlevato said. “The training program is the best and it's such a great opportunity.”
Happy employees usually make for happy customers, and Batoya said she has customers that come from all over the Chicago area—one even flies in from Atlanta.
The employees and customers together are what have helped Batoya create the dream salon she always saw a need for.
“I saw that were some many salons and then also separate spas. I wanted to create a place where we have all the latest products, styles and talent in the best possible atmosphere with a personal touch for each customer.”
Bukés is open seven days a week and takes appointments and walk-ins, but does require special planning for large events such as a wedding party. A complete list of services can be found here on the salon's website.