After operating out of a rented hair-salon booth, a local stylist has decided to rent out some booths of her own.
Kaitlyn Handley opened Belle Cabana in early March at 1260 Alverser Plaza, near Chesterfield Towne Center.
The salon rents out its 12 hair-cutting booths to freelance stylists for $300 a week, rather than employ an in-house team.
“I wanted to open a salon to give stylists an opportunity to be independent,” Handley said. “I wanted to position other women to become their own boss and give them the freedom to set their own schedule.”
The pitch was apparently an appealing one, as the salon had rented out almost all of its booths as of late March, Handley said.
“We were nervous about filling those spots, and we have 11 of those stations filled,” she said.
Belle Cabana outfits its booths with supplies for the stylists to use, which Handley said is an uncommon perk at similar coworking salons. Belle Cabana also gives stylists the option to sell hair care products on commission.
“They’re solely allowing you to use the station, whereas we provide shampoo and conditioner, styling products and a line of retail for them to sell,” Handley said. “When I decided to go out on my own, I had to purchase everything. Deciding to do this for the girls, it makes it a very easy transition for them (to become independent stylists).”
Her husband Stephen, who co-owns the salon, declined to go into detail about the commission program, only to say it represented a further revenue stream for the salon and an enticement for stylists.
“It’s another perk of working at Belle Cabana,” he said. “They have the option to sell and make that money where they wouldn’t be able to before. It’s a win-win: they can sell products and get a cut of it.”
The salon’s 2,250-square-foot space was formerly occupied by Creative Hair & Co. That the space was already tooled out to be a salon drew the Handleys to set up shop there.
“We chose this one because it is already outfitted as a salon,” Stephen said. “We wanted a plug-and-play scenario so we didn’t have to have a buildout.”
Kaitlyn started her career as a stylist in Charlottesville several years ago and continued to cut hair on arrival to Richmond in 2020. She continues to style hair at Belle Cabana.
She previously rented a booth at Phoenix Salon Suites in Short Pump, and now runs Belle Cabana full-time. Stephen works full-time as a therapist for Thriveworks in Midlothian and also helps with the salon’s operation.