The Jefferson Chronicle’s Community and Sports Editor Michael Chirichella sat down with Lynette Daniels-Skok, owner of Harmony Salon and Spa who was named the Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Business Person of the Year.
Q: Congratulations on being named the Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year. Can you please tell our readers how you came to start Harmony Salon and Spa?
A: I’d been working at a salon in Vernon for several years. While I enjoyed working there immensely, as a single mom of two older teens, it made it a little challenging to be so far away when they needed me. I gave it a lot of thought and prayer and decided to take a bold leap of faith and open a salon of my own closer to home. My kids were getting older, I knew child support would be stopping soon when in fact the opportunity presented itself to rent a lovely space at 5711 Berkshire Valley Road and I took the plunge. It required a good amount of loans and time but for all the challenges of opening my own business and servicing my clientele, it’s been totally worth it.
Q: What is your philosophy for Harmony Salon and Spa? Is there something special which sets you apart?
A: I base my business on three things: professional service, attention to each customer as an individual, and a relaxing nurturing atmosphere where any member of the family can come in and feel comfortable.
I spent a lot of time designing the decor, including recently starting an aquarium, I keep a play list of uplifting positive music and I strive to keep the language…can we call it “family friendly.” The world can be a jarring, chaotic place and when people come to Harmony Salon and Spa, beyond how great they’re going to feel after we’ve made them look their best, I want them to feel they’re in a haven of sorts. Our motto is ‘Look Good ~ Feel Better.”
Q: Despite the long hours you put in running your salon, you’re known as being a strong supporter of community activities. What part does this play in Harmony Salon and Spa?
A: I’ve been living in Jefferson Township for a little over thirty years and it is truly a wonderful community. My children thrived here and in fact, my son Thomas and his wife and son live in town. That being said, I believe that being a part of the community is more than just starting a business and turning on the “Open” sign. To me it means making myself and Harmony Salon available when possible to help some of the worthy causes in town. I might not be able to give as much financially as I would like, yet I do manage to support the sports, the arts and I try to help out in other ways. I’ve been a collection point for Toys 4 Tots for several years now which is a wonderful cause.
As a member of Milton United Methodist Church, I’m a great believer in the New Hope Food Pantry and Thrift Shop which help so many people in need and as such, I allow the salon to be used with special permission for my clients who want to leave donations of food or items for sale. I sing with the Jefferson Township Community Chorus and when we have our concerts twice a year, I act as an outlet where people can purchase tickets as well as for The Wesley Stage – Concert in The Sanctuary Series at Milton United Methodist Church for their concerts. I don’t get a cut or charge a fee. I do it out of gratitude for the wonderful performances that are produced and because I believe in the causes. I’ve also sponsored The Junior Women’s group and other events over the years I can’t help everyone but when I’m able to I enjoy giving back to the community. It goes back to the gratitude I feel for how the town helped me raise my children, Thomas and Sarah, and my belief that we live in a truly wonderful place.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the Jefferson Township business community?
A: I’ve made some wonderful friends over the years. There are business people in this town who have a deep love for Jefferson and want to see it continue to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Their commitment is energizing. Plus I see so many people – old friends and new – every day and it keeps me going. I’m probably repeating myself but I’m a big believer in Jefferson Township and the like-mindedness of the business community is a big part of it.
Q: How about a wish list for 2017?
A: Well the basics are peace, health, and prosperity for everyone. Beyond that, I’d like to see some innovative ideas to improve the business climate in town. We don’t a have a true “Main Street” but we could possibly find ways to make the Berkshire Valley corridor more inviting and a sort of destination for people on evenings and weekends. The entire community would benefit from something like that. I want to see the school system continue to succeed and overall I wish for people to join together to make Jefferson Township thrive.
Q: Is there anything special you’d like to tell our readers about Harmony Salon and Spa or Jefferson Township in general?
A: If you’re looking for a place where your entire family will get the personal touch to look their absolute best in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere, please call or stop by Harmony Salon and Spa. As for Jefferson, know what a truly amazing place we live in and if you’re able to pitch in and make it even better, I know the Township website has a list of places you can turn to to share your talents and time.
Q: Final question. Money is no object and no one can comment about calories or anything else, what’s your ideal breakfast?
A: I’m not really a breakfast person but how about a nice omelette with sweated onions, vegetables, cheddar cheese with possibly a toasted bagel with butter on the side and some fresh brewed coffee. That sounds like a great way to start the day though keep in mind, I rarely if ever have anything that grand.
THE DANIELS-SKOK FILE
NAME: Lynette Faith Daniels Skok
BORN March 26
EDUCATION: Graduated from Sparta HS
Attended County College of Morris
Graduated from Wilfred Beauty Academy
I’ve taken several continuing education courses in cosmetology
FAMILY: Son Thomas, a master mechanic, daughter-in-law Jessica, grandson Daniel another grandchild expected this summer.
Daughter Sarah, a pharmacist, son-in-law Nick.
HOBBIES: Active in my congregation and in the community, I love music and singing watching television to relax, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends.
ABOUT THE AWARDS DINNER
The 2017 Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner is being hosted at Casa Bianca, 5266 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, New Jersey 07438 on Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Awards given will include Business Person of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Educator of the Year, and Public Service Award. Learn more on the Award Dinner event listing.