Brenda McField knew she wanted to cut hair ever since she was a child practicing on her dolls.
McField, who is originally from New York, trained and worked all over the East Coast — including Paul Mitchell, Redken 5th Avenue New York, Vidal Sassoon and Goldwell — before opening Mariposa Salon and Spa (3700 Orleans Ave., Suite 1, 504-484-0440; www.mariposasalonandspa.com).
While attending a friend's wedding in New Orleans, she met her future husband, whose family is from here. The couple started their business in 2007.
"There was something romantic about coming to New Orleans where we first met to start a new life, just after New Orleans had experienced (Hurricane) Katrina," McField says. "It was a new beginning all the way around."
The full-service beauty salon and spa offers products and services for men and women.
"We offer hair, skin and nail services, [as well as] scalp treatments, manicures and pedicures," McField says. "In addition, Mariposa offers makeup application, tanning, hair removal and skin care by trained estheticians."
Hair services include cuts, which start at $35, coloring, styling and extensions. Skin treatments range from anti-aging facials to a "back facial" massage. There is a special "Men-U" that caters to male clients. The salon works with bridal parties and can prepare clients for other special events. Mariposa also offers his-and-hers spa packages.
"Hair and makeup can change so profoundly how someone feels about themselves," McField says. "It's incredibly rewarding to be able to give that to people."
McField takes pride in offering a fun, professional environment where she makes sure every client has a good experience.
"We like to think what makes us unique is not only our ability to service any guest that walks through our door, but our willingness to do our best always," McField says.
It's the small things that make Mariposa welcoming. On rainy days, the salon offers what McField calls "umbrella service": walking customers to their cars or pulling clients' cars up to the front door. The salon also offers gifts to clients during their birthday month. "Our referral program offers a free service for every three referrals," McField says. "Our guests love that."
McField feels it is the responsibility of her staff as industry leaders to take care of the customers who have supported the salon since its opening.
"We hope that our guests come away feeling they want their family and friends to experience Mariposa," McField says. "We are trying to make our guests' experiences better each and every time."