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What makes a luxury salon?

A new look, a new name, a new season.

It's April 14 and I suppose I should be finishing up my taxes, but I have been working on finishing this website redux for the last month. It's been a frustrating build because I have been in limbo for a few months, not knowing what the immediate future holds, and waiting on life-changing information that had me sitting on the edge of my seat since December.

But I am getting ahead of myself. I have seen an influx of the usage of the word "luxury" when it comes to salon experiences, and it had me wondering. Do I own a luxury salon? Davines is a luxury brand, my equipment is high-end, I follow a lot of luxury clothing companies and makeup lines, and surely the internet believes I love luxurious things as it feeds me ads for $400+ shoes at every scroll. But do I ever hear the words "ooh, so luxurious" come out of anyone's mouth when she walks through the door?

Raised in a household with just enough, we never lacked in essentials and even were afforded some luxuries such as private schools, extensive travel, and a new car for my 16th. But I was raised by pastors, and not the kind that flashed wealth to manipulate others to believe we were righteous. We surrounded ourselves with need. Our travel was typically on missions, learning from a very young age how much of the world lives and being grateful for the simplicity of running water and electricity. Knowing I was different from the other prep school girls, I started hitting the thrifts to create my own scrappy kind of style and outside of a small season in my late 30's it's been my way.

So something about the word "luxury" doesn't splash right with me. And equally, it implies perfection- in either the way you enter or in the way you leave- and that gives me the willies as well. If there is something I am ever learning it is to be OK with the fact that I am definitely NOT perfect.

So when I do think about the way I work- in my home while cooking, sewing a dress, or doing paper work- it is very serious business. And it's everywhere. It's spread out. It's noisy and at times chaotic. Nothing has a permanent space and every thing is in the process of becoming. In the salon, I reel it in because I am sure the way I work at home would make anyone else feel crazy, but the same level of focus and determination exists. Everything is in motion, but governed by systems and consideration so that my coworkers and clients don't lose their minds. It's not perfect. But as I have established, neither am I. And when I come into the salon it is with these hands. Hands that work- having made dinner, embroidered a bodice, repotted plants, or painted a canvas. They are working, creative hands, consistently artistically challenged, connected in mind, heart, and body to their Creator.

About 9 months ago I was challenged to change the name of my salon by my business coach. The Darling Loft as was described a thing, not a purpose. I had a name in my heart for a few months, but after much consideration- taking into account the luxury salon question- I decided to keep the "darling" and call it a workshop. The word "darling" has deep meaning to me, and it also describes the salon acutely. But calling it a workshop implies creativity over status, implying that it might be likely you'll walk into a big project, that your stylist might have paint on her clothes or a clip in her hair. You will always be seen, valued, and prepared for. There will always be professionalism, but maybe without makeup. And you will never feel better than anyone else for getting your hair done here. I want you to see our space as an experience that adds value, not only to your life but also to the greater good.

Most of all I want you to see through me. Authenticity is contagious, and I believe as I am authentic and hire other stylists who value realness, we attract the kind of people we want to see, the art we want to create, and the values that we want to cherish.

So we are not a luxury salon, and all that we are you'll just have to see for yourself.



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