2015 Success Awardee (The College of New Jersey): Copper River Salon and Spa

DECAL - NJSBDC Success Awardees - 2015 illustration [TCNJ]




Barbara Weigand first reached out to the NJSBDC at The College of New Jersey in October 2009, as she considered leaving her successful following and position at a popular high-end salon in Princeton to start a venture of her own. She attended the Center’s “Start a Business” workshop and then continued on with counseling on specific topics.


Despite being underfunded, having no real business experience, and the risk of losing everything, Barbara’s vision and determination caused her to remain committed to her goal of opening her own salon in downtown Princeton.  Not only would the aforementioned disadvantages be a challenge to her, but the fact that she would be competing with her employer and the other established salons increased her need for learning and doing everything possible to achieve her goal.


As a result of her $100,000 infusion of cash, an in-kind construction contribution by her husband Ross, and business plan and loan application assistance from the center, Barbara secured a $30,000 micro-loan to help support her fitting out the new salon.  From the very start, she understood that to open and sustain the salon she would have to rely on her own book of business – her faithful clients – and her life-long commitment to owning her own business, to help her overcome the risk of losing her investment.


In September 2011, relying simply on her vision and her skills, her salon, Copper River Salon and Spa, opened with a very soft launch, in the midst of all the competition.  She  continued to use the Center for human resource planning, Quickbooks and record-keeping, marketing, negotiations and more.


Today her salon is a thriving operation with 13 employees and one-half million dollars in annual revenues.  She is positioned as the leading salon for sustainability, employing many green and eco-conscious practices.  Her salon supports international cultures as she provides ongoing high-echelon training for her technicians. Her team has been called in for many hair and makeup assignments for NYC Fashion Week. She was featured in DaySpa
magazine and is a leading partner with Mercer County’s loyal Terracycle’s Beauty Brigade collecting beauty products for recycling.


Barbara continues to use the Center at TCNJ for feedback and learning.  She has also reached out to a top industry coach and has dedicated time to networking and aiding social causes. As a result she is on target to increase sales and staff by another 30% this year.




Copper River Salon and Spa
6 Moore Street
Princeton, NJ 08540



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IMAGE CREDIT: Anthony Alvarez Photography, LLC