Original Release: 9/1/2021
Marianne '89 + Darren '89 = Michael Christopher Salon
Marianne Welsh and Darren Nicolli met and became friends at Memorial Middle School in 6th grade, and remaining friends through high school. Both graduated from Brush in 1989, Marianne from the Brush Cosmetology program. Marianne began styling hair while Darren went to work with his brother at his company.
Three years after graduation, Marianne and Darren reconnected through mutual friends and started dating. Their love story progressed, and together they founded Michael Christopher Salon in June, 1995 opening in Lyndhurst. Marianne cut, styled, and colored hair, while Darren worked behind the scenes, growing the salon from three employees to ten.
Darren and Marianne got married in May, 1997, and in September of that year, they moved MCS, an Aveda Lifestyle Salon, to another location in Lyndhurst. Darren left his brother's company and started full time at MCS. Their business grew in that location from ten employees to twenty five. In 2008, Darren and Marianne purchased a new building and relocated MCS to Highland Heights, beginning with twenty five employees and growing to the current fifty five!
MCS has a 12 month hands on apprenticeship program to train and grow future beauty professionals, allowing those trendy, energetic, and fun new talent stylists to offer services at a lower price point while they are finishing the program. Marianne continues in her role as artistic director, trainer of new hires, marketing director, ambassador for business education/hair for the Aveda Corporation, and she still continues to style clients behind the chair! Darren takes care of the "business" side of MCS: payroll, inventory, finances, human resources, and day-to-day operations.
Marianne states that the secret to their success is "commitment to continuing education and growth, working together as a team, and supporting each other, the community, and families around us, and always putting guest care and comfort first." Darren and Marianne have five children, the first of whom is off to OSU this fall! Fond memories of Brush remain in their hearts as the place that fostered the friendship that turned in to a life long love story and the start of a successful local entrepreneurial adventure!