Sure, it's yet another new hair salon located at a just-renovated downtown building, but this one is different. It's a new trend among hair salons.
The new 27 Main St. Sola Salon, located in the back of a downtown building, has converted its space into 29 styling studios.
Stylists pay rent for each space, which comes with a high-end styling chair, a shampoo bowl, luxurious cabinets, on-site laundry, Wi Fi and a key to the studio's door. Stylists decorate their studios according to their own tastes.
Customers book appointments online or by texting with their favorite stylist for a haircut, eyelash work, facials, waxing, or whatever else a stylist can help with.
"The stylist is working on their own schedule and what works for them,'' said Elizabeth Morris, who runs Sola Salon with her husband, George Morris. "With this business plan, stylists have freedom. It's their own business and they love it. They pay rent for overhead costs. That's it."
In the first month of the business, already eight stylists are renting studios there, including a female barber, Elizabeth Morris said.
Morris went to Colorado for training with Sola Salon, and she is a firm believer in the company's business plan.
"It's a top 400 Forbes company, a business that helps others work as well as us," she said. "The studios allow people who formerly worked at other salons and left because they were unhappy to now work for themselves in the field."
Morris and her husband plan to open another Sola Salon in Salem, Massachusetts, in a few weeks.
"I have all of the necessary paperwork, the state inspection paperwork and the town permits,'' Elizabeth Morris said of the Salem venture. "I'll even paint a studio for a stylist and stylists can sell retail products and keep all the profits. Salons keep percentages of those sales, but we don't. Stylists like that."
A 19-year teacher in Lynn where she grew up, Morris was at a point in her life where she wanted to do something else. When her husband lost his job in finance, the couple started researching business opportunities.
George Morris has since found a new job, while his wife is excitedly focused on the Sola Salon business. The couple has three sons and live in Swampscott.
The company website is solasalonandover.com.