SUISUN CITY — For Pamela Garant, the 1876 brick building at 607 Main St. was love at first sight.
Her Bellezza Hair Studio was located a few doors down on Main Street. But she wanted a smaller, more intimate space and she saw the “For Sale” sign in the window of the old Bank of Suisun building.
“I walked in and it was so charming and cozy,” Garant said. “By the time I got to the patio, I just knew it would be our new home.”
The building has brick walls inside and out and wooden rafters. A patio provides a place for customers and employees to sit outside under the shade of an orange tree and other trees and listen to the noise from a fountain.
Garant’s sister bought the building and is Garant’s new landlord. Her brother-in-law, Guy Waldren, oversaw the renovation work.
Garant and her family moved to Fairfield in 1976 when her father was stationed at Travis Air Force Base. She graduated from Fairfield High School and moved away a few times, but returned for good in her late 20s.
She was a single mother raising a daughter in the late 1990s and decided to go to become a hair stylist. She thought such a career would allow her to remain active while also giving her the flexibility to be present for her daughter.
“A friend of mine encouraged me,” Garant said. “He told me I did my hair better than people he worked with – he was a stylist.”
She went to Le Melange Academy of Hair in Napa. She then worked at various hair salons and eight years ago opened her own salon, called Bellezza.
” ‘Bellezza’ means to enhance beauty in Italian,” Garant said. “It’s something I always wanted women to know – that maintaining your hair is just to enhance the beauty you already have.”
The old Bank of Suisun looks like a hair salon and shows no traces of its days from 1876 to 1927 as a bank. Garant hasn’t found any signs.
“I laughed at that with the contractors,” Garant said. “I was looking for the vault.”
The treasures to be found here these days are of another kind. Thirteen-year-old Allie Deckard of Fairfield recently got her hair done at Bellezza and had a big smile on her face as she looked at the results.
“It’s my dream haircut,” she said.
Bellezza Hair Studio serves women, men and children. It is open Monday through Saturday. Please call 427-3885 for more information.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.