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Meet Lauren, Taylor and Whitney Roberts of Salon Halcyon in Erie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren, Taylor and Whitney Roberts.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lauren, Taylor and Whitney. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Where to begin… Salon Halcyon is a culmination of passion and love for a mom (Lauren) and her two daughters (Taylor and Whitney). But we are no ordinary hair salon… at least we like to think so.

 A hair salon seemed like the perfect path to owning a family business. Between Taylor’s talent and tenure, Whitney’s passion and Lauren’s business acumen, we could not go wrong. And we didn’t! Our salon has been filled from the day we opened our doors. We have cultivated an amazing team of industry talent, we have a waitlist of guests wanting to experience all that Halcyon offers, our guests are so supportive and exceptionally loyal. But oddly, it wasn’t enough.

When we started this journey, we could not imagine tremendous opportunity to give back to our guests and to local, national, and international causes. We started small… we listened intently to our guests who were struggling financially or due to health issues. We created a program to offer low cost or free services to help our guests in need. It is quite compelling how a single good hair day can transform someone who maybe otherwise down and out. This inherently fed into supporting our local food bank. We implemented Food Bank Friday, where we encouraged guests to donate through a salon matching program.

Next, we wanted to find a way to leverage our business to align with our commitment to the environment and our planet. We partnered with suppliers that shared our values, we worked hard to limit our professional footprint by reviewing all aspects of our business to avoid the massive waste associated with being a salon. Then we implemented a program called “Coffee for a Cause”. We offer lattes to our guests who are receiving a service. We then donate the proceeds from the latte sales to the Pollinator Partnership, which promotes bee, bat, and butterfly health.

Our most significant step was participating in an organization called Hair Aid, who is literally changing the world one hair cut at a time. They work globally to make a difference and create change by teaching people living in deep poverty the skill of hair cutting. Once trained, these individuals can start their own micro-business, cutting hair in their own communities to earn money. With income, they can support their families by buying freshwater and food, educate their children and move into housing. We sent two stylists in 2019 to Manila and will be sending two more to Indonesia in 2021.

Through Hair Aid, we have also started the first US-based Hair Aid Community Cuts. We have partnered with a homeless shelter in Boulder and offer free hair cuts every six weeks to those in need. We are sincerely so fulfilled! We are grateful to our guests, team, community, suppliers, and the amazing organizations which allow our small contribution to articulate into impactful change.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road… we have learned so much along the way. We had a small child get burned in our salon shortly after we opened. The obvious solution was to not allow children in the salon while a parent is receiving a service. Seemed so rationale: an environment filled with chemicals, sharp and hot tools. We experienced tremendous push back from our predominantly family-based community. The power of social media and keyboard warriors, many of whom had never patronized our business nearly took us under.

We opted to hold our ground and published an open letter to the community, explaining our rationale and were shocked by the outpouring of support we received. It was literally a 360-degree turnaround. We had to remodel within two years of opening our business. We were so diligent in designing the perfect salon. Unfortunately, you simply do not know until you open your doors and experience the flow and demand and all that contributes to decor and flow. This meant taking on debt for which we weren’t really prepared.

We have learned that to some hair is everything. That reality and expectation can vary widely. That as a small business owner, you can inherently be a “pleaser”, which can be fatal. We learned we must be honest and never allow the almighty dollar to be the motivation for risking failure as perceived by a guest. We have learned that humans are capable of unacceptable, cruel, and conversely, amazing and positive behavior. Most importantly, we have learned that while this business is exceptionally personal to us that we can’t take every misstep personally.

Salon Halcyon – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We do hair. We give back. That is what we do. We specialize in perpetuating healthy, beautiful hair. Coloring and bleaching hair is damaging, it simply cannot be avoided. What sets us apart is that salons have a reputation for being “greed based”, where the primary objective is to get as many guests in and out in the course of a business day. We place quality over quantity. We are a guest experience based salon.

We are known for giving back to our community and the causes we support. We are known for high-quality talent, services, and products. We are known for our beautiful decor and the amazing vibe of our salon. We are known for being compassionate and generous. And we are known for our homemade chocolate chip cookies we service every day around 2:30 pm (guest schedule around our cookie happy hour).

We are immensely proud of this business. It would be challenging to single one aspect out. We have built our business on integrity and respect. We participate alongside our team. We are a place were industry professionals want to work.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We define success by many metrics. Return guests, Referrals, Employee tenure, Employee growth, Team synergy, Financial stability, Philanthropy, Making a difference.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Whitney Roberts Photography
Erin Vondra Photography
PixelRay Photography

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