Cleveland State University
Willow Room Salon has implemented numerous innovative practices within the salon industry.
The owner, Casey, implemented the first such practice immediately upon opening, when she opted to only use products from Davines; which specializes in sustainable products, many of which are “Zero Impact” (net zero carbon dioxide emissions during production).
The largest innovative practice relates to the salon’s relationship with Green Circle Salons (GCS) and its recycling efforts. All hair clippings, foils, color tubes, and excess color is gathered after use and shipped to GCS for cleanup and reuse in various other forms. These sustainability efforts help reduce the amount of chemicals potentially going into the water supply, and the hair clippings can be used to soak up oil spills in oceans.
Casey understood that taking these steps initially would result in higher upfront costs and ongoing expenses. She took steps in order to not only offset these expenses, but also become more sustainable. Examples of this included replacing the traditional incandescent lighting with energy efficient LED bulbs over time. Additionally, instead of purchasing furniture from high end manufacturers, she outfitted the salon with tables, desks, and other pieces built by her husband from reclaimed local wood. This strategy saved the salon money and used the sustainability practice of upcycling.
In the past, the owner has also grown a community garden where individuals could help with the garden, and ultimately use the food that was grown for personal consumption. As a way to encourage art and community, the flowers, vegetables, and fruits grown in the garden were used to make a painting that was crafted by customers of the salon over an extended period of time. As a general theme this encourages art, community, and sustainable food supplies.
The original inspiration for implementing these practices came from the owners love and appreciation for the environment, as well as wanting to give something back to the community. Casey views her customers as the canvas that she creates art on, and wants to do so while negatively impacting the environment as little as possible.
“I love nature, I love hiking, I love being outside. And I see the value of [nature] being impacted by our industry,” said Casey.
By taking part in the Green Circle Salons network, Willow Room Salon has the potential to encourage other salons to mimic these efforts. Clients of the salon are also noticing these efforts and are motivated to apply similar practices in their personal lives. The salon itself has benefited by setting itself apart as a responsibly run and managed business, giving it a competitive advantage in their market. In discussing the impact of these practices Casey state,d “As stylists we see an average of six to eight people a day. Our clients are people we connect with.When people know that they are a part of something helpful rather than harmful they feel better. The impact on society is exponential.”
Willow Room Salon has seen the benefit of being part of the growing Flourishing community which aids in networking and increasing business. Related to benefits she has seen, the owner stated that, “It has connected my business with other like minded ones. Also, [it has] introduced us to consumers that understand their own impact on the planet”. She goes on to say that “our salon specific recycling program gives our business, as well as our guests, a chance to participate in protecting the environment we live in; it’s inclusive. It’s overwhelming to come up with ways to support things you believe in. This gives me, my staff, and the people in our community a source to do so”.
Casey Lewis, Owner
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Lakewood, OH, United States
Business Website: http://www.willowroomsalon.com/
Year Founded: 2011
Number of Employees: 2-10