Tanya Piazza says she always loved having her hair and nails done as a little girl. Little did she know that her infatuation would become a career.

“Unlike today, going to a salon was a very special occasion when I was young,” Piazza said, “but when it happened, you never forgot the experience.”

Evidently, those “experiences” are now her everyday routine. Piazza owns and operates SO32 Salon, a hair salon serving the Arcadia area.

Piazza began working as a manicurist out of necessity while attending Arizona State University, using the money to put herself through college. She then went on to cosmetology school and, 28 years later, is still pursuing her passion.

“I absolutely love my job. I love my clients, and I love my team,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for so long that I am now serving the children of my original customers.”

SO32 Salon is home to 10 stylists and manicurists, most of whom have been there since day one, and Piazza regards them as family. “It’s truly been a team effort, and everyone shares responsibilities and the pride of ownership,” Piazza said.

"It’s a dream come true to live here."

Operating a personal service business during the pandemic is no small feat, but Piazza has somehow managed to figure it out, keeping both customers and clients safe.

“The biggest differential in what is a crowded marketplace is our customer service, something my dad taught me a long time ago. ‘Take care of the customer, and you will build a loyal following,’” she remembers him instructing.

It must be working because though 80 percent of her customers live in Arcadia, others come from all over the Valley, and one person from as far away as Flagstaff.

Piazza is an Arizona native and grew up with a tight-knit family in Mesa. She and her brother acquired their work ethic by watching their parents work hard. “Our parents taught us the value of money, and after we turned 18, they never paid for anything going forward,” she said.

Piazza admits that approach is quite different from what is happening today, but she tries to instill the same values in her kids. “I think it’s important that they see their parents working as a team.”

Piazza met her husband, Mike, on a blind date at Tarbell’s in 2004, and they married three years later. They have two children, Isabella (12) and Jackson (9), both of whom attend Archway Veritas Academy.

Asked about her hobbies, Piazza said, “My salon,” but was quick to add that she also loves to hike and ride bikes as a family to O.H.S.O. and watch her kids participate in sports. Those outings usually include two rescue shih tzus, Ginger and Murray.

The Piazzas have lived in Arcadia for only five years but say they never plan to leave.

“It’s a dream come true to live here with such amazing neighbors and a total sense of community,” Piazza said. “I was just beside myself when we first discovered Arcadia, and our family feels so very fortunate to call it home.”

Few, if anyone, would argue with that.