18 | June 20, 2019 | the mokena messenger life & arts

Lincoln-Way grads open salon

Nuria Mathog, Contributing Editor

Frankfort’s newest salon is

looking to make the cut.

Founded by three area graduates,

Evolve Hair Salon, located

at 301 N. White St., Suite EE in

Frankfort, launched in early January

and began opening its doors to

clients in March.

Each of the business’s co-owners

has ties to the Lincoln-Way

area and the southwest suburbs:

Chicago resident and Lincoln-

Way Central alumna Elise Carlson,

Frankfort resident and Lincoln-Way

East alumna Marissa

Ambrosino and Joliet resident and

Sandburg alumna Erica Stillwell.

The concept for the new salon

came about when the women’s father-in-laws,

both business owners,

approached the group with

the idea.

“We came and looked at the

place, and it needed a little work,

and we looked at a couple of other

places as well,” Carlson said. “We

came back to here because it was

a great location.”

Carlson described the trio as

“basically sisters.” She is best

friends with Stillwell and is married

to Ambrosino’s brother,

and the three women previously

worked together for nearly a decade

at the Mokena-based Planet

Color Hair Salon.

“We knew each others’ work

and how we dealt with clients

and how we dealt with a salon

atmosphere,” she said. “So, it all

worked out well.”

Lincoln-Way Central Alumna Elise Carlson styles a client’s hair.

As a full-service salon, Evolve

Hair Salon offers color, texture

and styling services, as well as

make-up, waxing and eyelash extensions.

On Mondays, the salon

takes men’s walk-ins.

“We have barbers from the old

salon that used to be here — it

was called Antonio’s Hair Salon,”

Carlson said. “So, all the people

from Antonio’s work from us too,

and they were in Frankfort for a

very long time.”

For Carlson, who graduated

from the Saint Xavier University

business school in 2007, salon

work became a way to combine

her field of study with her passion

for the beauty industry.

“I became interested when I

started to play a little bit with

hair color when I was in college,

but I never really thought that I

would be a hair stylist,” she said.

“I ended up being a combination

between a business person and a

hair stylist. It worked out well.”

Stillwell said she found an interest

in the industry as a high

school student, when one of her

older friends participated in a

beauty school program.

“Just by watching what she was

doing, I decided, ‘That’s what I

want to do,’” Stillwell said.

Carlson said the group went

through “millions of names” for

their new business before ultimately

settling on “Evolve Hair


“It kind of goes with how we

want our business to run,” she

said. “We want things to be everchanging

and upbeat and modern.”

What sets Evolve Hair Salon

apart is the business’s focus on all

types of services, both new and

traditional, Carlson said.

“There’s not just one type of

stylist in here,” Stillwell added.

“There’s people who are getting

a weekly roller-set perm to somebody

getting the fashion mermaid

hair that’s out there right now.”

The salon plans to host a grand

opening on Sunday, June 23, to

introduce the Frankfort community

to the new business.

“We’re going to do a day DJ

brunch kind of a thing, with music

and food,” Carlson said. ‘We’ll be

raffling off prizes, all of the new

products we’ll be selling.”

Above all else, Carlson said

she hopes customers have a relaxing

and unique experience when

they walk through the doors at

Evolve Hair Salon.

“If they’re looking for something

specific, if they’re looking

for something that they’ve always

gotten, we just want them to have

exactly what they’ve come in

looking for,” she said.

RIGHT: Evolve Hair Salon

co-owners (left to right) Erica

Stillwell, Elise Carlson and

Marissa Ambrosino launched the

new business in January. Photos



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