Owners Salvatore and Dinarae Patane, Justin Moya and Colleen Sparks encourage patrons to ‘just be you’
That’s the message at Le Reve Salon & Barber Shop and Dream Spa. The two entities — housed together at 2110 Marlton Pike East in Cherry Hill — opened in May, and the businesses’ owners want to spread the word that they are not only in the community, but for the community.
“That’s how community works — supporting one another,” co-owner Justin Moya said. “We base a lot here on just being yourself.”
Justin owns Le Reve with Salvatore and Dinarae Patane, while Colleen Sparks is the owner of Dream Spa. The four are longtime friends who are excited to call Cherry Hill home to their new venture.
The salon and barbershop
“We wanted to do something different. We wanted to do something that really has never been done before,” Salvatore said. “We wanted to change the old rhetoric of thinking, the old mindset of what a salon should be like.”
And when stepping into Le Reve, it’s clear this vision was achieved.
The right side of the business is the salon, a bright, open space filled with soft light fixtures and natural light streaming through the front windows. Stylist stations feature wide, three-way mirrors — all the better to see a new cut or color as it is created — and simple, yet elegant counters and accents.
Walking through the archway to the left side of the business is like a trip across the pond, with a London-esque barbershop greeting clients, from newspaper-clad walls to a simple black and white patterned floor. The space marries modern with vintage and is still bright, but with black chairs and stations.
The salon and barbershop are like “yin and yang,” Dinarae said.
“We thought of the design on how to marry the barbershop along with the salon, but allowing each space to have their own entity,” she said with a smile. “I think they speak volumes on what they actually say, but they also complement each other.”
No detail was overlooked. The makeup station near the front windows gives the illusion of floating mirrors, with plenty of natural light. Even the shampoo area — often an afterthought in salons, according to Salvatore — was designed to showcase the client, a mirror opposite the sinks greeting freshly shampooed heads as clients sit up from the sink.
“We wanted the first thing you see when you sit up is something beautiful. Number one being yourself and the reflection in the mirror,” Salvatore said.
Number two, he said, is the décor in the area, which is a “zen-like” garden, Dinarae explained, with a trellis and floral accents.
And despite the elegance Le Reve exudes, clients keep telling the owners what they wanted to hear from the start — it feels like home.
“That was our ultimate goal,” Dinarae said. “How can we make it modern, but at the same time elegant to the client and comfortable to the client? The space itself and the people and the energy is so casual and so laid back.”
Salvatore said bringing in Dream Spa was a natural fit and added they wanted to bring in Colleen — the person “who knew it best” and has been friends with Justin, Sal and Dinarae for nearly 20 years.
“We all have the same mindset as far as serving our clients, so why not merge them together and be able to complete the service all the way around — from color to cut to makeup to facials?” Colleen said.
Dream Spa is tucked into the back of the salon, a hidden peaceful oasis of calming scents and relaxing services, from facials to waxing to cosmetics.
“The salon is a little nook. It’s so peaceful and our staff is so welcoming,” Colleen said, noting they are known for their waxing but having an amazing DBH skincare line, too.
One of Colleen’s favorite aspects of Dream Spa is the opportunity to grow with her clients — to have mothers and daughters come in together, and to then provide services to that daughter for an eighth grade dance, high school prom and even, one day, her wedding.
“They become like family,” she said.
One big, happy family
Treating clients like family is a mantra at Le Reve and Dream Spa, and it seems clients see the staff as family, too, evident in the abundance of food trays and gift baskets adorning counters and tables on opening day.
“Of course we’re providing someone a service,” Dinarae said, “but we create relationships with these people. We have true relationships. That’s a huge part of our job as well.”
One client — who has become a dear friend — even lent her expertise to the foursome when it came to their business concept and design. Dana Falcione of Dana Falcione Interiors helped guide Salvatore, Justin, Dinarae and Colleen to help bring their vision to fruition.
Employees are family, too.
“We’re so proud of our staff,” Dinarae said. “We have the most absolutely amazing, talented, gifted, humble, beautiful staff that we are so in love with. I think that we are friends with them, we’re family, and then when we need to be, we’re mentors, too.”
Reaching out to the community
Even though the businesses have only been opened since the spring, the owners have been brainstorming ideas to reach out to the community and provide help and support where it is needed. They launched their “Just Be You” campaign, which is an “umbrella for so many things,” Justin said.
“You can take it for whatever you want, for whatever you’re going through,” Justin said. “It could be a job thing. It could be a sexuality thing. It could be multiple things. Just be yourself, and you’re good.”
The owners want to help men and women in uniform — perhaps a free cut to thank them for their service, or a stop at Le Reve and Dream before deployment. They want to help those who have lost their jobs and want to get back into the workforce. They want to reach out to victims of domestic violence.
And they especially would love to help local kids.
“They’re our future,” Justin — a father himself — said. “If a 13-year-old kid doesn’t understand they need to be themselves, if I can help that in any way? Hey, let’s do it.”
Bullying in schools is a problem, the four owners agree, and they would love to come up with ways to address this issue. They want to encourage good grades — maybe a discount for A’s on a report card — and, in particular, want transgender and gender non-conforming kids know that Le Reve is a safe space for them and the LGBTQ community as a whole.
There has been an influx of LGBTQ clientele, Justin says, especially with kids, and seeing older clients mix with the younger crowd “is a beautiful thing.”
“To see it happening in a town that I grew up in is pretty impressive,” Justin said, who still lives in town with his wife and kids.
Reconnecting Cherry Hill
“We see the community itself again reconnecting here,” Dinarae said. “It was important for Le Reve and Dream to say, ‘If you want to stay here all day, stay here all day.’”
Everyone is welcome to go where comfortable — men in the salon, women in the barbershop — it’s about what you want, Justin said.
“I don’t want people to feel like they can’t come in here because of the way it looks. We just happen to like design, but at the end of the day we have no dress code,” Justin said. “We allow our staff to be who they are and we allow our clients to be who they are.”
The welcoming atmosphere seems to be working. Clients do hang out after their services are finished and love the “escape” Le Reve and Dream provide, Dinarae said.
But while the salon, barbershop and spa don’t feel like Cherry Hill, the business owners chose to open in town for a very specific reason.
“Cherry Hill has been so good to us,” Dinarae said, “so why shouldn’t we be good back?”
And when Salvatore is asked why he’s not in New York City or Los Angeles — after all, he and Justin have both worked with celebrities — his answer to staying in Cherry Hill is simple.
“My life,” he said, “is here.”
Le Reve Salon & Barbershop and Dream Spa are located at 2110 E. Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, and can be reached by calling (856) 888–2436. Visit them online at www.lerevesalonbarbershop.com. Check out photos of stylists’ work on Facebook at www.facebook.com/search/853079748171162/local_search?surface=tyah or search “Le Reve Salon Barbershop.”