Erica Davis hopes her new salon has the right ambiance, so that’s what she named it: Ambiance Salon.

The shop is located at 408 Third St. in Brookings and caters to just about everything hair, skin or nails. Davis and her crew of two are available by appointment only. 

“I had a lot of trouble trying to find a name for it that I liked and that a lot of people didn’t hear around, so I googled it and came across ambiance and it just seemed to fit,” Davis said.

Finding the name mirrored her path into the beauty business: unclear until things fell into place.

The path 

Originally from Volga, Davis never pictured herself with a comb and scissors in hand.

“I had always had the dream of being in the medical field. I just didn’t know where I wanted to be in the medical field,” she said.

Davis attended South Dakota State University, intending to major in biology and chemistry.

“I just decided that wasn’t for me,” she said.

Next, she tried the nursing program at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls.

“Something about it, I just didn’t want to do it,” Davis said.

While searching, she recalled her childhood.

“My mother was a hairstylist for many years and so I always had an interest in it, but I never thought that I would do it long term,” Davis said.

“I decided to go to school just to have a background in it, mainly so I could do my friends and family,” she said. 

She took up cosmetology at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown.

“About my fourth month in school, I decided I had fun doing this. This is what I wanted to do the rest of my life,” Davis said.

She graduated from Lake Area in 2013.

“After I graduated, I never looked back and started doing hair,” she said.

She worked at a local salon right after school. In 2014, she moved to Second Glance Salon, where she rented a booth under owner Carla Kwasniewski.

“I’ve always had an interest of being self-employed and when the time came, I took advantage of it,” Davis said.

When Kwasniewski decided to make a change, Davis had the chance to rent the same spot at Second Glance or start fresh. 

“I just decided to move on. I had wanted something that was brand-new and had my own personal touch on it, so that’s what I did,” Davis said.

The location at 408 Third St. was available, and Davis customized it with “new plumbing, electrical, flooring, everything – a total remodel,” she said.

Davis knew she wanted her business to be in Brookings.

“Brookings is just home. I love it here,” she said. 

‘Every service’ 

Ambiance opened in September and can handle all your hair, skin and nail needs.

“I offer customers every hair service from colors to perms, haircuts (and) facial waxing,” Davis said. “I also do CND Shellac nails.”

She does not offer acrylic nails “because you need a whole new ventilation system for that,” Davis said.

Also under the Ambiance roof are Becki Dahl and Michelle Schofield.

Dahl has been doing hair for more than 20 years.

“She actually came with me from Second Glance,” Davis said.

Schofield is fresh out of school.

“We are open strictly by appointment only,” Davis said of all three of them. They will take walk-ins, but since they are in the shop only if they’re working on a client, it would be best to make an appointment.

Davis can be reached at 695-6199; Dahl at 690-0933, and Schofield at 695-2638.

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

Contact Jodelle Greiner at

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