The journey to opening a new hair salon is both terrifying and exciting. There is a constant sense of pressure to stay up to date with trends, but creating personal connections with clients is also incredibly rewarding.
From renting a new space to seeing your very first client in that space, the process is filled with constant ups and downs and can be quite a confusing thing to navigate. Co-owners Callie Arino and Esther Rutter shared their journey to opening a salon of their own, Studio GLOSS.
Arino and Rutter met in July of 2015 at TONI&GUY hair salon when they were both newly employed and have since worked together, totaling nine years of collaboration. Although both have pondered opening a salon of their own, it wasn’t until New Year’s Eve 2022 that they both realized they shared this vision.
The two hair stylists were playing MASH and discussed their goals for 2023. They jokingly mentioned that they should open a salon, but it wasn’t until early March that they took this vision seriously. With great luck, they leased out a space and renovated it into their dream hair salon, opening just over a month later on April 21. As time progressed, the thought of opening the doors became more scary, however, the owners were not the type to back down. Their vision of opening was so strong that they weren’t going to let any ideas of “what if” make them quit.
According to the owners, the most challenging part was doing it all on their own. “We’ve restructured the way we do things because we don’t have anyone else but us,” they said.Throughout the process of making a new business, the partners had to learn how to compromise. Luckily, they both had been working together for a long time and they knew how the other operated so it was easy to agree.
“[Callie] never leaves a stone unturned and is by far the most driven person I have ever met. She’s blunt, structured, has a huge heart, but also has a good head on her shoulders,” Rutter said.
Similarly, Arino had the same thoughts. “I really love [Esther’s] cool, calm, and creative energy. When she has a vision, she makes it happen,” She said. As their work ethics merged, the two hairstylists were able to create an unbeatable business, providing unique services that can’t be found in the surrounding areas.One of their goals was to always offer the latest treatments. From a deep scalp treatment to the trendiest haircuts, they wanted Studio GLOSS to be a go-to place that Colorado could rely on. The hair salon offers unlimited high-quality services, including extensions, head spa, deep conditioning and more.
Although the process of opening a hair salon is not easy, to Arino and Rutter it’s most rewarding. They enjoy both the big accomplishments, having control over their schedule for the first time in years, and seeing clients fall in love with their new hair.
Arino and Rutter can’t wait to connect with more clients over the next few years.
All photos by Jeff Fried