Power Women 2020: Maria McCool

Photo by Tessa Marie Images

Co-Owner of Calista Salon & Spa Founder, Calista Tools.

Maria McCool’s styling talent once took her to competitions all over the world. But once she returned to her roots and opened West Chester’s Calista Salon & Spa, there was no looking back. “When we opened the doors, we offered services like facials, massages, nails and makeup, which nobody was doing,” she recalls.

Ten years later, the three-story salon and day spa remains on the cutting edge. Through Calista, McCool was introduced to the beauty team at QVC, where she became an image consultant to the hosts, who convinced her to start her own product line. “We have thousands of clients a week who come through the salon and talk about their challenges,” says McCool of the inspiration for Calista Tools. “One of my first tools and our top sellers is the Perfector. It came from my clients wanting to repeat the look I do [in the salon].”

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McCool wants everyone to feel “beauty brave.” It’s the subject of her recent book, Becoming Beauty Brave. “We really are all beautiful,” she says. “We just have to accept our own beauty and love it.”

That in mind, Calista launched SHINE at Penn Medicine, a fundraiser for patients undergoing treatment at the Abramson Cancer Center at Chester County Hospital. Stylists help those battling cancer navigate their options, whether it’s wearing a wig or styling their hair as it grows back. “We walk them through that whole process, doing the best we can to make them feel as much like themselves as they possibly can,” says McCool.

See all our 2020 Power Women.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!