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  • Writer's pictureMohammed Fuad

Penny and Sage Salon brings personable experience

THG/Mohammed Fuad. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Natalee Vitalo and her dog, Milo, pose in front of her Penny and Sage Salon sign inside of her salon.

Located inside Simply Salon Suites at 900 12th Street, Penny and Sage Salon is owned and operated by Natalee Vitalo and she specializes in blonding, gray blending, all different types of extensions and other services. Vitalo started out in skincare and received her license in 2018 and went back to school in 2019 when she graduated in skincare to start doing hairstyling.

“I wanted to be able to do everything, if I got tired of doing one thing, I wanted to be able to have multiple opportunities in the same industry,” Vitalo said.

She wound up moving around a lot when the COVID-19 pandemic hit as she wanted to get more opportunities for learning and extra education in different states.

“I just wanted to see what was different. Is there anything that I like that I can pick up on?” Vitalo said.

She lived in the Outer Banks in North Carolina and Joshua Tree, California. From there, she learned a lot about wedding hair styling and makeup in the Outer Banks. She later received her hair extension certification and picked up on hair extension styling when she was in California. She later moved back to Hammonton, where she worked at a salon towards the shore area and within the year she worked there, she was able to build her following pretty quickly and saw an opportunity to open her own salon.

At Penny and Sage Salon, Vitalo has her dog, Milo, who tries to keep company and provide entertainment for her clients while they’re getting their hair done.

“The clients make jokes and say it’s like ‘hair-apy’, like therapy because dogs are on them and they’re getting their hair done,” Vitalo laughed.

Vitalo tries to separate herself from the other salons by doing single booking of appointments. This is so that she can solely focus on the client that is sitting on her chair and not doing anyone else in between their processing time and so they feel more comfortable.

“I’m able to keep an eye on their hair and how it’s processing, how the color is lifting and that there is literally no room for error,” Vitalo said.

The salon opened in September and one part of the name, Penny, is in tribute to her grandmother, who passed away during her senior year of high school. The other part, Sage, was from her experience in California living in the desert area, with the Native American culture being a big thing there.

“I always had a thing for her, I never knew that was going to be the career path I was going to go on. My grandmother actually saw that I love doing hair and saw the hair that I would do and told me that I would open my salon one day,” Vitalo said.

“It was super cool being able to go into the shops and have them tell me about their [Native American] culture and they’re very into astrology, the crystals, herbs and one of their things was sage. You should sage your space with positive energy and light.”

Her clients prefer the one-woman operating salon setup rather than the multiple salon stylists setup because of it being more personable and being able to relax more. She has a TV inside her salon so that they’re more than welcome to listen to music or catch up on their TV show.

She also offers kids and men’s cuts, something that wasn’t offered at her previous salon.

While she tries to create a personable experience with her clients, she also understands that some will be exhausted coming from long shifts and those clients want to shut everything off and unwind.

“I have a lot of clients who are nurses who would rather come in after their 12-hour shift and will take the entire day off and get their hair done. So they’ll come in here exhausted and want to sleep and wind up taking a nap while I’m doing their hair,” Vitalo said.

Penny and Sage Salon is located inside Simply Salon Suites at 900 12th Street. The salon is open Tuesdays to Saturdays beginning at 9 a.m. and is closed on Monday and Sunday. You can visit to schedule an appointment and to contact her. You can also visit her Facebook and Instagram.


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