Salon Eclipse built by friends

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  • Outside the salon.

  • Staff at Salon Eclipse in Lafayette.

LAFAYETTE — Erin Schwenzer has a great group of friends. When she decided to follow her dream and open her own salon, they not only were 100 percent behind her, they helped with the physical labor to make Salon Eclipse a reality. These friends also happen to now be her staff.

Schwenzer grew up in Branchville and went to High Point High School. She went on to Sussex County Vo-Tech where she earned a degree in cosmetology. She worked at several area salons before landing at one where she stayed for 18 years until the passing of her father-in-law. She had been his caregiver, and she knew he would have wanted her to pursue opening her own salon. Her husband, Tom, was very much behind this, as well, and so Schwenzer started looking for space.

She was en route from her home, in Dingman's Ferry, Pa., to meet her friend and fellow stylist, Brittney Stewart, when she happened to pull into the Dunkin Doughnuts on Route 15 in Lafayette. Another stylist friend, Tara Both, had mentioned seeing a space open in that very plaza, so Schwenzer checked it out.

“I guess I was peering into the building a little too much,” she said, “And the landlord saw me and said, 'Are you looking to open a salon?'”

Fate had played her hand, and two days later, she signed a lease. That was in June of 2015, and two months later, on August 11th, Salon Eclipse opened. Since the space had formerly been Augusta Barbershop, the plumbing was in place, but it had been vacant for several years, so renovations were necessary.

“My father-in-law, from whom I was caregiver and who I loved dearly, had a favorite song,” she said.

It was “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” by Bonnie Tyler, and Schwenzer wanted to incorporate “eclipse” into the name of the salon. Salon Eclipse fit.

“It was so strange. The first few weeks we were open, my father-in-law's song kept on coming on the radio,” Schwenzer said.

Salon Eclipse did great, and customers filled its walls quickly after it opened. The only problem was, those walls surrounded a small space. It wasn't the square footage Schwenzer and her staff had wanted, so when the landlord told them the much larger space next door was available, they moved on over.

The landlord put in the floor and Schwenzer hired local people to do the stone and do other work. Again, her staff pitched in to work late nights to get the new space ready, and it was done in April of 2016. It's done in a welcoming, style with Schwenzer's signature black and tans as a motif. A gorgeous stone wall adorns the far wall and the stations and waiting area are classy yet comfortable.

Since then, Salon Eclipse has become known for its great cuts, color, conditioning treatments manicures, pedicures and make-up. It has also made a strong mark with weddings.

Said Schwenzer, “Every bride exudes their own beauty… natural, blushing, radiant, glamorous, elegant… The descriptions are endless. It's our job as the stylists to bring them to life. Our artists are trained in technique and speed to have your bridal party looking fabulous in just the right amount of time.”

Salon Eclipse both prepares brides and their wedding parties at the salon and will also travel to your destination. They already have bookings up to next August.

The salon is also pleased to now offer hair extensions. The brand they use is Babe Hair Extensions, and two staff members are fully trained to put them in.

“We chose this particular brand because they are reasonable,” Schwenzer said. “Some brands are super expensive. There is definitely a commitment to keeping your extensions maintained and caring for them properly, but we walk clients through the process and let them know what's involved. We don't make them sign a contract as other salons do.”

Salon Eclipse features Redken and other select products.

“Within the first two weeks, making the leap to open my own salon became the best decision I ever made,” Schwenzer said. “In this business, it takes five to 10 years to be completely comfortable, but I've learned so much about being an owner already. You learn from things you do and would do differently and I'm truly blessed to have such an amazing staff.”

Staff at Salon Eclipse are: Stewart, Both, Ryan Casterline, Pat DeVincent, Ginger Fielden, Nancie Wise and Ashleen Brady.

Salon Eclipse is located at 191 Route 15, Suite 103 in Lafayette. Call 973-300-4000 to make an appointment or visit: For salon updates, visit the Facebook page at:

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