Haircuts replace oddities at Stafford Ave. storefront

marcella coleman

Co-owner Marcella Coleman in front of the salon at 1 S. Stafford Ave. (Mike Platania)

Where Richmonders used to walk out of a Fan-area storefront with jarred octopus tentacles and goat skulls, now they can walk out with a fresh hairdo.

Honeysuckle & the Opal has opened at 1 S. Stafford Ave., the former home of oddities shop Rest In Pieces, which moved earlier this year to a space in Oregon Hill.

Owned by Ashlee Ayala and Marcella Coleman, Honeysuckle & the Opal is a two-chair, appointment-only hair salon. Ayala and Coleman opened the shop in June after years working at another salon in town.

After coming across the 360-square-foot space on Craigslist, Coleman said she and Ayala moved quickly to lease it. Rest In Pieces left the space in February and opened at 349 S. Laurel St. in March.

With bench seating against windows, throw pillows and plenty of natural light, Coleman said they wanted Honeysuckle & the Opal to have a different feel from other salons.

“The goal was to have a home for your hair, a place you’d want to come hang out,” she said.

The name is an homage to Coleman’s and Ayala’s family histories. Coleman said her grandmother, a beautician in the 1960s, had honeysuckle bushes around her home. Opal is Ayala’s birthstone.

The walls display art by Shawn Chamberlin of 805 Designs. (Mike Platania)

The walls display art by Shawn Chamberlin of 805 Designs. (Mike Platania)

Given the storefront’s intimate space, Coleman said it needs to operate as appointment-only. Coleman and Ayala have been in the hairdressing business for 11 and seven years, respectively, and specialize in balayage, a gradient hair-dying technique.

The pair designed the space, with the walls displaying art by Shawn Chamberlin of local décor firm 805 Designs.

Marketing agency Helm & Hue did the salon’s window graphics, and Ava Nelson, a graphic designer at Savage Apparel Co., designed its logo.

Coleman and Ayala are self-funding the project, the cost of which was not specified. Coleman said this is their first venture as business owners.

Haircuts start at $55, with custom colorings averaging $130.

Beyond the Fan, another local salon is making moves in the market. Local chain Mango Salon recently signed a lease for a location in GreenGate, a mixed-use development in Short Pump.

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Cameron Jackson

Congrats Marcella!

Xine Bouthillier