By TOM LAVENTURE
AAP staff writer
MINNEAPOLIS (April 15, 2011) – A longtime fixture in the stadium village area has returned to open a salon in a new spot with a new name.
Hop’s Salon, LLC is now open in the Dinkeydale Building near the University of Minnesota’s east bank campus at 1316 – 4th Street S., Minneapolis 55414. It is the third business for Hop Bui, an experience salon owner for more than 15 years.
Bui operated the popular U Salon at University Avenue and 25th Street for ten years, before selling it in 2008 for a move to Texas where her husband found good employment. Over the course of two years the Bui’s decided to return to Minnesota, where her daughter was just accepted to the University of Minnesota, but former salon has since closed down and already leased to another business.
“Now I put my own name on a new salon,” said Bui, who is happy with the new location but says it doesn’t face the street and that her customers will have to come inside the Dinkydale Building to see her salon.
The difference is that before about 30 percent of her university students and now she expects they will amount to about 70 percent. She specializes in haircuts for men or women and said the new space allows for a separate waxing room and a hair drying and rinsing room.
“With women I have to wash first and then cut and blow dry for the same price,” she said. “A lot of the other salons charge that separate. I give a price that includes everything.”
She said people like to sit or lay in a room where not everyone in the place can see them out in an open area. She said the separate rooms offer more privacy, especially for the waxing.
“We will have facials in the future and maybe a spa with pedicure and manicure,” she added. “Right now it is just me to start and we have a few people lined up who need the work. They call me every week and want to work.”
It wasn’t east to renovate the former massage business into her salon and it was all out of pocket to start up. She broke down a couple of walls and put in some new plumbing and electrical for sinks and a washer and dryer. She also had some special ventilation done to meet the salon code.
She also decorated herself, painting the walks a light brown and to give it a bright but warm feeling. She provides hair product lines that aren’t so often found in stores.
Hop Bui once lived just 20 miles outside Saigon in the town of Long An. She left Vietnam as a teenager in 1981 when she escaped one night with hundreds of others by boat to Indonesia.
She spent a year in the camp before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1982, and then a year later to Minnesota to live with the family of a friend. She completed a high school refresher with English classes for three years before studying cosmetology for two years at Saint Paul Technical College in 1984.
Bui worked for Cost Cutters and Regis for about five years before she felt experienced enough to start her own business in 1991. The first location was in South Minneapolis on Lake Street. Within five years she was on University for another nine years.
“I love to be on my own,” said Bui. “I like to make more money and work for myself. I have more freedom on my own.”
She said that only time can help you learn all about the different needs of the customers, from how hair products work on different types of hair, to understanding how to make what they pick out of a book work for them.
“People ask me do they look good in this style or that color and I try to help them out,” she said. “I say if this fits you and this is not you and I recommend do they this more than that.
“Sometimes its the eyebrows and eyebrow wax or upper lip wax, I tell them about what I am doing,” she added.
Contact Hop’s Salon, LLC at 612-379-0079.