Oh, how do you solve a problem, you’ll like Maria!
by Cate Murway

“How do you find a word that means Maria? A will of a whisp”…..a GEM!

The Mill Streets alive with the sound of progress!

Sole proprietor, Maria Natalie Marucci-Smith, BCTHS ‘04 moved her Unisex ‘Maria’s Dye in Style Full Service Salon’ to 125 Mill Street last March. 
“I have taken over a family owned building to put my beauty salon in.”
The building, purchased in 1944, belonged to her grandparents, Emidio and Carmela [Colella] Marucci, “Carm and Mim”. Marucci’s Radio Electric shop, according to the April 24, 1952 advertisement in The Bristol Daily Courier, repaired televisions and radios. Carmela proficiently ran the front desk in the business and the family lived upstairs. After her grandparents passed away, Maria’s father and her Uncle Michael maintained it as a rental property and it was most recently KellyAnn Bellerby-Allen’s, The Glamorous Life, Inc.

The family completely gutted the structure and painted everything with neutral colors. 
Maria proudly shared that she and her husband, Stephen Wayne Smith made the hairdressing workstations. “We bought pine board, distressed it and painted it and brought the electrical beam up from the basement. The exposed ductwork gives it a city/ industrial feel. It’s like cool New York in here!
My grandparents passed away when I was very young, only 6 years old but I have these wonderful memories and not only do I have those but I have the honor and the blessings to have inherited the trait of being in business for myself and I now call that old building that once housed an electronics store Maria's Dye In Style Salon.”
Carol Mignoni Ferguson, co-owner of Mignoni’s Jewelry and Gifts was Maria’s kindergarten teacher. “Maria has always been very artistic and creative with a great personality. We are not at all surprised she is such a professional success.” Maria shared, “They gave me the Bulova clock for a welcoming gift. They said you are so modern, we have the perfect clock for you.”
Because Maria is so great at design and detail, Carol and her sister, Rosemarie Mignoni Szczucki thought the aged, finished iron clock, called the “Carmen” clock with Roman numerals would be perfect. 
Cool fact: Maria’s grandfather and Mr. Carmen Mignoni had been friends.

Maria’s full service shoppe boasts 4 accomplished hairdressers and one very expert esthetician.
“I am a hairdresser, business owner, and entrepreneur. I love my family and friends!”
She proudly shared her Bristol Borough connections along with a tour of her shoppe when Amanda Brinkman and the Small Business Revolution visited last week. 
It’s the passionate values of the entrepreneurs that drive our local businesses.

Maria’s father, electrician David George Marucci, gushes with family pride! “My dad was great and he was before his time. He was an industrial electrician; an electronic radio technician. He built the first television set in Bristol Borough in 1946. He was also a ham radio operator N3AMB/ W3SUH Bristol,PA.”
Dave owns Marucci Electrical Contractors and Maria’s two older brothers, David and Anthony are also electricians.
Maria’s mother, Natalie [Capriotti] Marucci is a retired Snyder- Girotti paraprofessional who now heads up the after school C.A.R.E.S [Children Are Receiving Extended Services] program at St. Mark School.
“I come from a very artistic family. My mother attended the Tyler School of Art and traveled to Italy. She
was always drawing and painting.” 

But the hairdressing part, how did that come about?
“My grandmothers’ sister, Josephine Bornice was a hairdresser [at The Modern Beauty Shoppe, 127 Radcliffe Street] and I would play hairdresser when we visited with her. I would use the pin curl clips for fingernails. I vividly remember one of my first hair cuts by Rosemary Caucci.” Rosemary now works for Maria.

As a ninth grader enrolled in Bucks County Technical High School, Maria participated in a vocational exploratory program designed to introduce the tools, working conditions, academic expectations and career opportunities of a variety of vocational programs. Then Maria was to choose which three she would most like to explore. Maria smiled, “I selected Cosmetology, Cosmetology, and Bristol High School!” She confidently fulfilled her 1250 hours, accruing an exceptional foundation for her professional career. During her BCTHS years, Maria worked in various salons, one on Mill Street, the “Modern Edge”, where she procured exceptional hands on training.

Maria adeptly passed her Cosmetology State Board practical and theory exams that tested her skillful hair/ skin/nails education. She began working as an assistant at Modern Edge until they closed and she then practiced her hairdressing skills in Langhorne at the ‘Hair Express’. “I learned a lot and decided to open my own shop. My family is all entrepreneurs!”
Her first endeavor was as a single operator before she hired a girlfriend when she opened the Beaver Street “turn-key” salon, a perfect stepping stone for a new business owner. Maria advanced to a three station shop on Farragut Avenue where she remained for 5 years.

A “very good referral”, Denise “Neecie” Nazian, a graduate of Jean Madeline Aveda Institute is a Maria’s Dye in Style stylist. Neecie also assists with shampoos.
Maria’s sister-in-law Stefanie Theresa [Vacirca] Marucci is a licensed esthetician, [or aesthetician, as it is often spelled], a beauty professional who is trained and educated in the beautification of the skin.

The saying goes - beauty is only skin-deep – and this is great news for the skincare industry. 
Stefanie professionally applies eyelash extensions, and eyebrow and eyelash tint that can bring back volume and definition and she proficiently performs massages, as well as providing skin care.

What if a client asks for a certain hairstyle?
“Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her…
Many a thing she ought to understand…..”

“I prefer a picture. We are trained to accent their face shape, their hair, and their coloring but we encourage the clients to bring a picture.”

Maria’s favorite aspect of hairdressing is coloring; chemically processing hair from light to dark, with highlights, lowlights, etc. “We love us some purple intensifier and blackberry base! It is becoming more and more popular every day!” She attentively provides services with her high standards of excellence, “going about things in the least damaging way, maintaining the integrity of the hair”.
Trends are always changing. “A newer process is painted hair, a free hand highlight that is softer and the color is more gradual, called balayage.”
Life is too short to have boring hair.

Maria prides herself on continuing education. “Tru-Beauty Concepts offers a wide range of classes. I only use one line of hair products, Scruples’ product line, made of high quality ingredients. They also offer an education academy to learn new modern techniques and trends. The beauty industry is ever changing.”

Maria exudes passion, creativity, and experience along with a professional business building strategy, the much needed ingredients to succeed, gain and maintain client loyalty.
Future plan preparations for a “one stop shop” may even include make-up.
Her magical environment pampers everyone! “We can host princess parties for little girls to style their hair and part time stylists Rosemary and Linda specialize in perming and setting, as well as coloring and cutting services.”
During First Friday celebrations, Maria and her squad promoted the shop and braided the little girls’ hair with ribbons. “They loved it and are still asking for it!”

Stringing beads and making jewelry has been a hobby and some of Maria’s pieces are marketed in her shop. All her clients can feel celebrated!

Customer, Leeann Raccagno- Briggs, BHS ’00 has had it all done at Maria’s; highlight, color, cut. “Maria is the best in this area. I love how my hair looks.”
Phyllis Gottschalk has been a faithful client since Maria’s shop was located on Farragut Avenue. “My hair is in better condition now than it ever was. I definitely would recommend Maria.”

New customers are extended a 20% discount and special coupons are provided for a client’s birthday.
Mention this “Spotlight” article and receive a 20% discount.
Have a great hair day!

Maria’s Dye in Style
125 Mill Street
Bristol Borough, PA 19007

italicized lyrics “Sound of Music”, Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II, lyricist

Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail vjmrun@yahoo.com

from left: Neecie, Maria, Amanda Brinkman, Stef
click on thumbnails to enlarge pix.