Middletown Township's newest hair studio, Jana's Hair Studio, is open and ready for cuts and color.
Jana Laznicka, of West Chester, opened her shop in January at 6 N. Pennell Road near the intersection of Route 1, across from Weathers Motors.
This is Laznicka's first hair shop but she has been in the industry since coming to America from then-Czechoslovakia more than 25 years ago.
"I love talking with people and listening to them," she says. "I love making them beautiful and feel good about themselves. It makes me feel good. That's why I love my job."
Laznicka, who arrived in North Jersey in 1984 able to speak little English, knew hair was her passion but it was also a great profession for someone starting out in a new country.
"I always loved it. My best friend's mom was a hair dresser so we watched her do hair all the time," Laznicka says. "But it was also a job where you don't need to speak English. You just do hair!"
Laznicka says she left Communist Czechoslovakia, now Slovak Republic, to escape Communism.
"We didn't want to live in a Communist country," she says. "We wanted freedom."
She went to hair school in New Jersey and first worked at an expensive salon in North Jersey where they charged $28 for a haircut in the 80s.
But Laznicka soon moved to Pennsylvania to really start her new American life and has loved the area every since. Her first job here was at Park Plaza Hair Studio in Springfield and then Hair Dynasty and Perry's in Media.
She's collected more than 100 clients over the years and brings them all to her new hair studio in Middletown.
Laznicka says it took about six weeks to renovated the studio, which was formally a consignment shop, with paint, furniture, and new lighting and plumbing.
While trying to find the perfect location for her hair studio, Laznicka, who previously lived in Wallingford before her daughters Amanda and Lexi left for college, says she always had this exact Middletown intersection in mind.
"I always loved this place whenever there was something here," she says. "I always would stop at the (traffic) light and looked at this place and thought this would be a very nice salon for me. And next thing you know, it was available when I needed it and when I was ready."
For now, Laznicka is the only stylist in the two-chair, quaint and personable salon. But she has plans to hire another stylist in the future.
Jana's Hair Studio offers personal attention for both men and women and Laznicka specializes in color.
Hair coloring is like painting on a canvas, Laznicka says, and although she has red hair herself, blondes are her favorite to color.
"Color enhances the shape of a haircut," she says. "And it brings out the color in the eyes."
Jana's Hair Studio is open Monday through Saturday and appointments are preferred. Call 484-841-6247 to schedule an appointment. Be sure to "Like" the studio on Facebook here.