Beauty Launchpad is spotlighting the winners of its Top 20 Salons contest for 2024.
Here, Sara Davis and Tara Gardiner introduce us to Salon Blu in Raleigh, North Carolina, established in 2002.
Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is the backstory of your salon? What motivated you to start your business?
Salon Blu (SB): Salon Blu was founded in 2002 and was purchased in 2019 by two employees who were ready to take on the torch. The original founder is still an active employee working behind the chair, and we wouldn’t want it any other way! The foundation has always been education. We continue to grow our kick ass Associate Program & strive for each stylist to have a healthy work/life balance while making six figures in a career they love.
BLP: What was the most challenging thing that happened while opening your salon?
SB: The timing of purchasing this business in Oct 2019 meant we had four months before closing for three months of quarantine in North Carolina. We weathered what hopefully is a once in a lifetime global health crisis. As hard as it was to remain physically open and mentally optimistic, we made it through!
BLP: What is the overall aesthetic of your salon? What inspired you when designing the space?
SB: In 2020/2021, we doubled down and remodeled all three locations. We hope we’ve created an inviting environment, where teamwork is at the core. With three locations that vary in age (21 years, 18 years and 13 years), each has its own physically unique space, but we typically go for a balance of darker charcoal walls, black leather furniture and our custom Marilyn Monroe mural.
BLP: What services do you provide your clients? Are any of these services signature and/or exclusive to your salon?
SB: We offer cut, color and extension services. We edited out some services post-quarantine to focus on what the stylists truly wanted to hone.
BLP: What products are used/retailed in your salon? Do you have a personal favorite?
SB: We are a Redken Elite Salon, so we carry all Redken products, plus most of the IGK, Loreal Professional, and Pureology lines. We want to have something for everyone, and the Loreal umbrella definitely provides that!
BLP: What makes your salon unique and stand out?
SB: With a 21-year reputation in Raleigh, NC, I think longevity makes us stand out. Along with the continuous commitment to education, we stand out in a saturated market because we consistently provide on-trend looks with the health of hair at the core of our consultations. We provide a competitive wage for our support teams and associates. We truly LOVE our community and the relationships we build with the people who frequent our salons.
BLP: What takeaway do you hope clients have after a visit at your salon?
SB: Of course, we hope they love their hair but also hope they enjoy the environment and people we employ.
BLP: What piece of advice would you give to a new salon owner?
SB: Try to be as proactive as possible! It gets easier, but try to head off issues that could be prevented (HVAC maintenance, washer/dryer repairs, stocking up on most used products, etc.). Being as prepared as possible will make the job smoother for everyone.
BLP: What’s next for your salon? Do you have any goals for the year?
SB: Actually we are expanding our original location. We felt like it needed a big 21st birthday gift, so we are doubling the square footage and creating a really beautiful space that our team and guests deserve.