Green Hair Salon Inspiring Creativity in Others
Support from CEF helps launch Denver’s first certified Green Circle Salon
Fallene Wells has always been a creative and caring person – she’s worked on and off in hair styling and designing and was even featured on Project Runway. “Through my work I want to enable people to be their most authentic and creative selves,” she says.
Three years ago she decided to hone her focus on hair styling, and wanted to start her own hair salon that not only did great haircuts, but also did so in a sustainable and ethical way. “Today salons across the U.S. and Canada produce over 40,000 tons of waste per day”, she explains. However a lot of this waste is recyclable – for example, old hair can be used to help mop up oil spills, and old shampoo bottles and hair dye containers and be reused and recycled. As a Green Ambassador for Green Circle Salons, Fallene can help other salons drastically cut down on waste and recycle.
With her passion and ideas in gear, Fallene set out to get a small loan to buy property and construct her salon. She started off consulting commercial banks, but with no collateral and a small business budget, she quickly realized that commercial banks were not the right fit for a loan.
She eventually came across Ours To Own partner Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), which was not only positioned to provide her with the type of loan that she needed, but also offered ample support services and advice for Fallene as she started her business.
With her loan from CEF and the support of her husband, together they worked day and night for six months building the salon, and finally opened the Let Em Have It Salon in November 2013. Today the salon is a staple in the uptown Denver community, the first certified Green Circle Salon in the city and was named Green Business of the month this past May and voted Editors Choice through 5280 for Top of The Town. The salon employs seven full time staff and two independent contractors, and enjoys a steady flow of regular and new customers alike.
Beyond just cutting hair, Fallene and the salon are actively engaged in the Denver community. Alongside their sustainable practices, the salon also offers regular training sessions and get-togethers with other local stylists, with the intention of acting as a hub for creativity and learning. The salon also features local artists by showcasing their work, so that they have the opportunity to sell pieces to the salon’s customers.
“Working with the community is a very important part of our business”, Fallene says. The salon regularly volunteers for community events, helps plan and organize fundraisers and donates products and services to non-profits they are passionate about. In addition, the salon offers a Gratitude Program that gives 10% off their services to those who work in social services, such as teachers, nurses, firefighters and so on.
Looking to the future, Fallene is working on getting the salon B Corp certified and hopes to be a source of inspiration and support to other salons in the area.