Rachel is the owner of The Darling Loft Salon, a small boutique salon specializing in hair color, transformative cutting, and special event services. We recently discussed with her how the process of opening her business has been and how having a quieter and more intimate space for her salon has presented an opportunity for her during the pandemic.
What or Who Inspired You to Start your Business?
Salon ownership is the end goal for many stylists when they begin in the industry, but that hasn't always been the case for me. I had considered it for many years but didn't see the niche for the type of business I wanted to create until the first day of the stay-at-home order in March. After working in several large bustling salons, I had always desired a more intimate setting. I wanted to create a place where a woman could truly relax, let her guard down, and enjoy a unique setting with even more amenities than a large salon can offer. Selfishly, the reduced noise and rush allows me to do my very best work, giving one-on-one attention to every guest in my chair. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to see the special usefulness of such an endeavor. It's clear that a quaint, quiet space is attractive to many in this season, and I am so happy to be able to offer it.
What drew you to this ?
This space allowed for look. The high ceilings (hello, 24 feet) in the entrance and hall give the space a sense of expanse, but the intimacy of the interior allow for a more homey "in-your-best-girlfriend's-really-cool-house" kind of feel. There is a loft space that I cannot wait to flesh out as a beautiful educational and meeting space, where people can come to learn the latest techniques in formal hairstyling, makeup artistry, and other fun hobbies and handicrafts. This small, affordable space packs so much potential for growth in a quiet corner next to a busy intersection.
How has your experience been with Blanchard and Calhoun getting set up?
Beginning a business in a pandemic has many challenges but working with Blanchard and Calhoun was not one of them. I have felt supported in every decision, never feeling any pressure from the company to do or be a certain way when developing my concept. I have especially felt supported by Whitley in the office, who answers every email eagerly with positivity and tenacity. And imagine my surprise when I had the physical support of three Blanchard and Calhoun associates at my fire inspection to ensure it went off without a hitch! I have been so impressed by this experience and could not imagine working with another company in the future.
What do you hope to see in the future with your business?
Of course, I see growth on the horizon, but after only 8 weeks of being in business I am simply trying to enjoy it! My current goal is to just be excellent in what I do, creating and adding more and more value to my experience. I have some ideas for what might be next, and I am excited to see it all unfold.