SIDNEY – Less than a month after opening her salon in downtown Sidney, The Royal Parlour, Allison Marlow already has plans for growth in her business and the community.
The Royal Parlour opened May 22 and celebrated its grand opening Friday with a ribbon cutting and raffles. Business has been going well, Marlow said, with a lot of people walking in for a variety of services including hair cutting, hair coloring, perms, waxing, gel polish manicures and dip powder manicures.
“It is exactly what I’ve been looking for,” Marlow said of being a new business owner. “It is something that I’ve been thinking about doing for probably a year and a half now, and now that I’m here it’s going good.”
Marlow, a 2008 graduate of Sidney High School and Upper Valley Career Center, is one of four women working in the salon with space available to add two more stylists.
She is joined by independent contractors including her sister Amber Blackford, a 2002 Sidney High School graduate and 2005 Ohio State Beauty Academy graduate who operates Beauty By Blackford. Also, Kimberlee Hensley, a 2006 graduate of Houston High School and Upper Valley Career Center, operates Kuts By Kim, and Marissa Holter, a 2019 graduate of Troy High School and Upper Valley Career Center, operates Marissa Holter Cosmetology.
“The independent contractor (structure) allows them to be their own boss,” Marlow said, adding the concept has become more common at salons in recent years. “They set their own hours. They purchase all their own products. They just pay a rent for their booth. So we’re all our own businesses within this business.”
The four women have worked well together, Marlow said, as they strive to grow their individual businesses and The Royal Parlour as a whole.
“We all work together as a team to grow,” Marlow said. “We all just pretty much flow together. Everything is very positive for sure.”
Marlow, who has styled hair for 16 years and been a licensed cosmetologist for the past 11 years, worked at salons in Sidney before deciding to open her own business.
One of her favorite things about the new venture has been meeting her new coworkers and seeing how well they get along.
“And seeing a vision come to life because this is like exactly what I was seeing in my mind when I went through here,” Marlow added.
Marlow has renovated the space at 107 N. Ohio Ave. in Sidney for The Royal Parlour and has more projects in the works. This year she plans to update the store front with a new door and windows and has plans for more upgrades that she hasn’t announced yet.
“We have future plans to upgrade the salon already so those will come in the future,” she said.
The Royal Parlour also is developing classes for the public. Among the ideas is a class that would teach individuals to style their own hair for times when they can’t make it in to see a stylist and a program to teach fathers how to help with their daughters’ hair.
The entrepreneurs also intend to be active in community events.
“We’re going to try to be at the community events and be a part of everything that we can,” Marlow said. “I wanted to help utilize the downtown, to help the community grow. We are very community oriented, and we want to pursue a positivity to spread through the community by being downtown.”
Along with providing for the community, Marlow wants to provide for The Royal Parlour stylists. She’s started a monthly Wellness Wednesday program that will focus on health and growth in all aspects of life for those who work at The Royal Parlour.
“I just feel like if I can help anybody, why not start right here with the girls here?” she said.
Along with dividing her time between her clients and being a business owner, Marlow also works as a Joico educator, traveling the country approximately one to four times a month to teach other stylists about the Joico brand of products.
“I’ve been prioritizing since early high school,” Marlow said of her busy schedule. “I’ve always been a busy person so I just put into my mind what needs to be done first and all the ducks just kind of get in a line.”
Hours of operation at The Royal Parlour are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Stylists’ availability varies, though, as they all are independent contractors. Customers are able to schedule appointments and walk-in clients also are accepted, depending on stylists’ availability.
“We want to treat people like royalty here,” Marlow said. “We want them to feel like it’s their time here.”
For more information about The Royal Parlour, call 937-658-6464, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/downtownbeautyshop.
Reach this writer at email@example.com or 937-538-4824.