ELLSWORTH — Melissa Chakierlis, owner of The Alchemist, a new hair salon on the third floor of The Maine Grind, takes a holistic approach to clients. “Just doing hair isn’t big enough,” she said. “I really want to help and nurture people.”
Melissa, 28, said she looks at her clients as a canvas and then tries to create hair and makeup that best suit them.
She worked at an Aveda salon in Bar Harbor and an Ellsworth salon before deciding to branch out on her own.
Melissa and her two stylists — Shaina Witham Hunt and Jennifer Marquis — offer hair styling, cutting and coloring, natural manicures, facial waxing and makeup consulting.
The Alchemist is the only salon in the area that carries the Aveda product line, which is known for its natural botanical and organic ingredients.
Melissa said she opted for the downtown location so that she could be at the hub of the city’s cultural and dining offerings and also among a half-dozen businesses clustered on the third level of The Maine Grind.
Although Melissa was born and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, her family roots are in Ellsworth.
Her great-grandfather, Cecil Havey, once directed The Grand and played Santa Claus in Ellsworth for more than 50 years.
Her parents moved back to Maine when she was in her last year of high school, and then she moved here a few years later.