A salon co-working space that will open in December in Frederick County is the latest way stylists can own their own business with little overhead.
My Salon Suite, opening at 5600 Urbana Pike, will be the first Maryland location for the franchise, according to Deepak Mokha, franchisee of My Salon Suite Frederick. He plans to open two more in surrounding counties.
The 5,920-square-foot space in Key Plaza was once an Office Depot. When opened, the salon will have 29 individual suites featuring a style station, full-length mirror, styling chair, shampoo sink, color station with separate sink for dispensing and storage. The salon also offers luxury and double suites. Other amenities include a security system, bathrooms and a lobby.
The style suites will be rented out on a year-by-year basis. Suites are 130 to 170 square feet and cost $275 to $575 per week.
“They get basically everything,” Mokha said. “Instead of opening a brand-new salon, which would cost [up to] $200,000, they just pay us rent and get all of the furnishing, fixings, security, Wi-Fi and utilities all inside the rent.
“Stylists like it because they make a lot more money being their own entrepreneurs rather than going to a Hair Cuttery or renting a chair somewhere,” he added. “They also have a feeling of privacy.”
The suites are all uniform in design, but members can redecorate them however they choose. Each suite comes with a sliding door with a lock.
In the lobby, clients will look up their stylist in a directory and then dial their stylist’s suite on a keypad and webcam. The stylist can then buzz them in through a secure, locked door. The salon also has security cameras and stylists can access their suite 24/7.
The average member is a seasoned stylist with more than 10 years of experience, Mokha said. Other beauticians that can use the space are skin aestheticians, makeup artists, barbers, manicurists and eyelash technicians.
“This person would have a following,” he said, explaining that the following could either be on social media on in-person clients.
Through their membership, beauticians will be able to use a software system to schedule appointments and handle transactions. All stylists will be listed on the franchise website. The franchisee does not take any of the stylists’ sales. Members are also offered continuous training and support through online courses and seminars.
The goal of the franchise, Mokha said, is to help budding entrepreneurs and promote small business.
“We’re creating entrepreneurs, we’re creating businesses,” he said. “Frederick has that big-city feel with a small-town attitude. There’s nothing but good small businesses that thrive in Frederick. So we thought we’d bring something like this to create 29 different businesses.”
With a similar beauty co-working space, Sola Salon at Westview South, Mokha believes bringing more facilities like this to Frederick just makes sense.
“This is a recession-proof business,” he said. “Everybody gets a haircut.”
Frederick is also bringing in more small businesses and fewer big ones, he said, making it the perfect fit for entrepreneurs.
Danielle Brown couldn’t agree more.
Brown is a licensed hairstylist and owns her own business, Danielle Marie Hair. She’s been renting a salon suite at Sola for three months after deciding to go into business for herself.
Having her own suite also allows her to maximize her time as she said most stylists, who work on commission, work at a salon for eight hours to serve walk-in customers, which isn’t always guaranteed money.
“I just have so much freedom,” she said of renting a suite. “I make my own schedule, I can leave when I want to or work as much as I want to. It really is limitless on the amount of money I can make.”
It also, like Mokha mentioned, harbors that entrepreneurial spirit.
“All of the work that you’re doing is because of you,” she said. “It’s your baby. You created something amazing for your clients.”
As My Salon Suite is coming to town, and others are popping up around the country, Brown believes this will be the new way beauticians do business.
“Back in the day the in-trend thing to do was to work at a spa,” she said. “It was a one-stop shop. You could get a massage, you could get a facial and you could get your hair done. The price an owner has to pay for a space to accommodate all of those things is astronomical.”
In a co-working beauty space, clients can get a waxing, a haircut and a facial all in one building, like a spa, but they’re helping small business, she said.
“And people want to see small businesses succeed,” she said.