Everything about Fantastic Sams new location in Hudson addresses customer comfort and ease of getting in and out without stress. It was a small move in distance, just two doors down in the same Coulee Road strip mall but a big move in space, nearly doubling their square footage.

From Wi-Fi to big flat screen televisions, owner Darcie Paradies successfully implemented her design concept into reality. No stranger to the industry she has worked in the salon industry for 20 years, 16 of them owning Fantastic Sam Salons, originally in Rice Lake and Black River Falls (which were later sold).

In 2001, she opened the Hudson location. Paradies currently owns three Fantastic Sams, opening a River Falls salon in 2005 and one in New Richmond in January. While she is no longer a stylist, she uses her skill in the industry and as a business coach. Her salons are in a growth pattern, especially the Hudson location.

"I coach business leaders how to take their business to the next level," said Paradies, of her consulting firm Being Unreasonable, Inc. Paradies is also on the board of directors for the health care cooperative, Cooperative Health Choices of Western Wisconsin which includes 17 counties.

By adding a second computer station customers have separate check in and out locations making transiting the salon process seamless. They can check in and relax, enjoying a soft drink, cup of tea or coffee on the house while watching a big screen television in the soothing blue reception area. Of course with 14 work stations, five shampoo sinks and 17 stylists, who are employees of Paradies, it is not likely the wait will be too long. Once clients enter the styling area the tempo becomes upbeat with lively music and vibrant colors.

"We invest in our stylists," said Paradies. "We only hire stylists that want this to be a career. Together we can grow a successful salon."

One of the biggest changes affects customers who come in for color processing. By moving the color bar, where the colors are mixed and made, to the center instead of in the back room and by adding a separate waiting area for those customers, makes the whole experience more comfortable.

"We do more color than any other Fantastic Sams in Wisconsin," said Paradies. The salon is active in the community, volunteering to style Pepper Fest queen candidates for the parade as well as the coronation.

"We don't take appointments for anything," said Paradies. "This is a big deal and really adds to the convenience factor for customers." Comfort, convenience and quality at the same time are the big goals Paradies has for all of her customers.

Fantastic Sams is located at 2127 Coulee Road, the former location of the Mattress Galaxy, is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (715) 377-9600.

Fantastic Sams originated in Memphis, Tenn, where Sam Ross opened the first salon in 1974. He began franchising in 1976 and today they have over 1,350 salons worldwide. The goal was to provide quality hair care for the whole family.