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Northfield hair salon makes the cut for 20 years

  • Leah Griffin, Bobbie Martineau and Rebecca Faille, with customers, are celebrating Bobbie’s Hair and Nail Salon’s 20th year in business in Northfield Center. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Leah Griffin, Bobbie Martineau and Rebecca Faille are celebrating Bobbie's Hair & Nail Salon's 20th year in business in Northfield Center. September 28, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Thursday, October 05, 2017

NORTHFIELD — While Bobbie Martineau washed Jake Sweet’s hair, the two chatted about Sweet’s apartment in Shelburne Falls, and Martineau’s son being about to turn 21.

“When you talk to the person doing your hair, it’s not just ‘What do you do?’” said Sweet, a regular at Bobbie’s Hair & Nail Salon since he was 8 years old. “You go a little further than that. It’s not just the same six questions every time.”

Sweet, like many of the salon’s clients, has had 20 years to get to know Martineau. The business, located near the corner of Main Street and Warwick Road, celebrates its 20th anniversary on Oct. 1.

“It kind of just came,” Martineau said. “I was like, ‘Wow, it’s been 20 years!’”

Martineau started the business when she was 25, wanting to move into her own space after working in another Northfield salon that is now defunct. She started on the cosmetology path at 18, attending Keene Beauty Academy.

“I’ve always thought that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

Today, Northfield also has the Northfield Barber Shop across Main Street from Bobbie’s, and Wave Lengths Hair Design at 194 Main St. However, Martineau’s salon also offers manicures and pedicures, which she said accounts for about 35 percent of her business.

Over the years, Martineau has expanded Bobbie’s, adding the reception area and nail room when an adjacent therapist moved from the space eight years ago.

“I was just so busy we were able to expand,” she said. Two other stylists also rent chairs at the salon.

What has kept the salon so busy? Northfield resident Bonnie Shepard, who has been a customer for 18 years, said it’s “the quality of the work” and the stylists’ professionalism.

“They know a lot about their products,” Shepard said. “They don’t just give you a run-of-the-mill answer. Bobbie, for example, will list the ingredients and tell you if there’s side effects of a product … Her knowledge is just exceptional.”

Martineau said she gets to know her clients on a first name basis, learn about their families and work life, and even the names of their dogs. Those interactions provide some of the best memories, the stylists agreed.

“We’ve done so many weddings, and we’ve had so many kids that are now adults and are bringing their kids in,” said Leah Griffin, who has been a stylist at Bobbie’s Hair & Nail Salon for 17 years.

Sweet remembers going to Bobbie’s to donate to Locks of Love when he was in high school, and Martineau said the salon often donates gift baskets and certificates as prizes, including for Dickinson Memorial Library’s trivia nights. The salon also held a Cut-athon to benefit John Orcutt, a Northfield boy who suffered a brain aneurysm after being hit in the head with a baseball, in 2011. Martineau said the event raised $1,300.

“We try to take care of everybody,” Martineau said.

“Clients are like family here,” Griffin said of the salon’s close-knit nature. “Everybody know’s everybody. It just makes it nice.”

Reach Shelby Ashline at:
sashline@recorder.com

413-772-0261 ext. 257