Manager Theresa Melloy and owner, Brynn Gonzalez, Spa at Lox Salon, 103 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2022
There are two spaces beneath Lox Salon at 103 West Jackson Avenue, one of which is occupied by ACF Jewelry, which opened in January 2021. The other space remained vacant past the point that other spaces in the Old City were being redeveloped and opened for use. In the fall of 2019, not exactly a propitious moment, Brynn Gonzalez, owner of Lox Salon who leases the main floor and basement the building, opened a barbershop to compliment the salon above. That space has now been converted into a spa.
Brynn said once the pandemic began, they closed the space and it sat empty. They had opened a spa room in the back of the barbershop and were offering facials and lash extensions. That was going very well. “We were hiring estheticians and we realized there were more estheticians in beauty schools than available barbers.” They decided to expand the small room devoted to the spa into the entire room and hire more estheticians.
They got a great response from potential employees, and they had positive reactions to the idea from their salon customers. They’ve expanded the list of services to include spray tans and body waxing. They may soon ad massage to the list of services. While there are curtains to divide the spaces and there is a private room for more intimate services, the room is largely open. She said she wants to promote a comfortable feeling where people can come in an relax.
They also offer shorter versions of some of the services. For example, she mentioned “a thirty-minute mini-facial. Maybe on their lunch break they can come in and relax and get a service.” They offer robes, but clients can remain fully dressed for many of the services, if they wish. She sees it as skin care, but more as personal care. In addition to other services offered in the private room, they also have a person certified in reiki.
The room is a phone-free zone. Spa music will play in the cozy, dimly lighted room, and essential oils will be used. She hopes all who enter will feel cared for. There will be pop-ups that continue that theme of self-care, such as acupuncture, reflexology, sound bath, and more. Watch the Facebook page for announcements. She said this will give people who have not been exposed an opportunity to experience a small sample of these kinds of services. The team also personalizes services to the needs of the client.
She said when people come into the space, they feel relaxed and don’t want to leave. She said the idea of mini sessions can be helpful to those with a limited budget, time, or both. She said, “You can come in, get something for yourself, and leave feeling like you’ve been here for an hour or more.” Customers upstairs will be able to come downstairs to enjoy the treatment downstairs while waiting for services above. She wants the two to operate as much as possible, as one.
I also spoke to Theresa Melloy who is manager of both spaces. She was a Montesori teacher, which is where the two met. Prior to the pandemic, she decided she wanted something different from teaching. She finished the 2019-2020 school year teaching on Zoom before becoming full-time manager of Lox Salon and, initially the barbershop, when Lox opened after being closed because of the pandemic. “It felt very seamless.”
The space itself is lovely and welcoming. Being beneath the road, it is quiet. Brynn said it is a vegan salon just like upstairs.
We are cruelty-free, and we recycle everything. We are certified sustainable and the same goes for the spa. We use only vegan products. All the spa waste is sent to a company that breaks it down and repurposes it . . . When you do get a service here, you know we are doing good for the environment and not taking away. I want people to feel this is a safe space . . . Everyone is welcome. You can ask any question. We want customers to feel good on the inside and outside when they leave.