Last September I told you about Jeremy Wann’s intention to open GEO Hair Lab. Opening a salon isn’t that unusual, but opening one on Fifth Avenue would not have seemed possible just a short time ago. Only a concept at that point, the concept has become a very attractive and successful reality.
I stopped in recently to see the new business which opened just before Thanksgiving. Sara Alsobrooks (of Remedy and Makers Donuts) was the first customer and business has been steady from that point on. Katie Hopper has joined as Director of Operations and, including Jeremy, five stylists currently work at GEO and more will likely be added. They are currently accepting applications for both experienced and new stylists. Any expansion will likely happen in March because, as Jeremy noted, “Spring is like Christmas for us,” meaning that’s when ladies like to bust out with a new style – and it’s also prom and wedding season.
Jeremy points out that all the stylists were pretty established and so brought their own clients. It’s the response of new clients that has been most encouraging. Social media has helped spread the word and many new clients have come from Old North, Fourth and Gill and – interestingly – Bearden.
if you’ve considered giving them a try, you might want to jump into it this month. They are running a special through February for color (regularly $100, now $40) and cuts (regularly $50, now $20). They hope it brings in new clients to see what they do.
The part of town, Jeremy says, has been great. Customers from outside downtown seem to love the edgy vibe and interactions with the homeless in the area have been minimal, but fine. They are directed to nearby services, but Jeremy has plans to work with those agencies to help the area homeless who he considers his neighbors. Additionally, he says it’s been a great neighborhood to be near Remedy, Makers Donuts and Public House among others.
He illustrated the neighborhood by telling how he met Justin Paulk of Paulk and Company. Justin’s business sits on Williams St. between Public House and the new studio. Walking back from Public House one evening, Jeremy saw Justin painting some large gears for exterior decor. Jeremy thought it looked like a fun idea and stepped in to help, thus beginning a friendship. Justin ultimately built the beautiful reservation desk and is building a large table which will be the final piece of decor for the salon. Outside landscaping should be finished this spring.
He’s remained true to the principals he outlined in our conversation last September. The business retains a strong environmental focus. They do not use color foils, for example, using meche sheets instead, which are re-usable. Lighting is LED and they participate in the KUB Green Power Switch program.
The Kevin Murphy products you’ll find are ecologically sound all the way through packaging and shipping (no Styrofoam peanuts, offsets for shipping carbon used). Additionally, Jeremy says there is never a bag of trash – only recycling or compost. They’ll gladly share some used coffee grounds, if you like. In other words, the business is as sustainable as it can be.
They are also on a mission for health. They serve organic tea or Vienna coffee to customers. All products are safe and natural, as well as paraben-free, sulfate-free and cruelty-free. The hair color used is ammonia and PPD-free. And this spring they plan to begin community outreach services through area agencies, providing free services. A portion of each charge in the salon will go to fund this project.
You’ll find them hard at work Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tuesday and Thursday hours run from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Wednesday and Friday hours are 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday is 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. If nothing else, it’s worth stopping by to see the transformation of the space into something really special. I think you’ll agree it’s beautiful.
You can see from the staff photos above, the group has fun with each other and that fun attitude comes across readily. If you’re looking for salon services, this would be a good place to consider. It’s also a business connecting downtown proper to Emory Place and Broadway, so it’s an important link I would like to see succeed. In the meantime, give them a “like” on their FB Page (where you can make an appointment, if you like) and check out their webpage.