Last week, I got my hair done and have never felt better about it!
Clove, a brand new salon in midtown Atlanta, strives to have more than the best products and service in town. Owner Tomeca Kanu and manager Carla Kootsillas are dedicated to giving back to the community and running the greenest business they possibly can!
Tomeca bought the salon while in the middle of what turned out to be sort of a rough year. A car accident meant she had to be on bed rest just as the business was getting going. She wasn’t able to take care of the day-to-day operations for a while, which is when Carla came on board to help out.
After Tomeca’s recovery, Carla says the two of them, “took a hard look at the business and what [they] could do with it.” They wanted it to be more than your run-of-the-mill salon. They wanted to “do something [they] felt good about.” The result is a beautiful salon with great service, a mellow atmosphere, and, the best part, a conscience.
As a brand new business, Clove doesn’t have a ton of money for operating costs. One of the things they couldn’t afford was the additional cost for a recycling pickup. Instead, Carla collects and separates the recycling by hand, bringing it to a local recycling center each week. Instead of tossing the coffee grounds from their French press, they save them and use it as mulch. The one item they do splurge on in the waste department is biodegradable trash bags.
They didn’t have a lot of spare cash for printed materials, either, so these girls got crafty! Rather than taking the cheap way out and using a discount printer, they chose to make all of their own promotional materials by hand using post-consumer recycled paper. They’re also redecorating the place using all salvaged materials. The stylists’ stations are left over from the salon that used to be in their space, but Carla sanded and painted them to make them work with their style.
They even take their cleaning supplies seriously! When they can’t tackle messes with good old baking soda, vinegar, and elbow grease, they use eco-friendly supplies. Instead of your traditional air freshener, they set out cloved oranges and sprigs of rosemary. Let me tell you, that place smelled good enough to eat!
Clove’s boutique features work from local Atlanta artists and crafters. They’re dedicated to supporting small, local businesses and have plans to pull together like-minded midtown businesses to raise awareness about ways to green their establishments.
It was really important to Tomeca and Carla that their employees be on board with the community involvement aspect of the business, and Carla says she was pleasantly surprised with how enthusiastic the staff has been. Everyone who works there volunteers and gives back to the community in some way. During the short time they’ve been open, they’ve already donated time and money to several local charities, like Relay for Life and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta.
Products and Services
The products they carry are all 100% vegetarian and paraben free. When I came for my appointment, Carla was in the process of boxing up a line of product. She explained that she’d discovered some of this company’s lines did contain animal ingredients, so she was sending them their products back. They focus on plant-based products, like Moroccan Oil, which comes in recycled packaging. They also “strive to use low ammonia color.”
The website says they take your lifestyle into account when working with you, and they certainly lived up to this claim! I tend to wash my hair about once a week, much to most stylists’ dismay. Rather than wrinkling her nose, Carla was ready with tips for products that could help me maintain that schedule! She suggested looking into a dry shampoo for in-between days. My hair is still looking good a full week later!
Carla and Tomeca were “tired of the ordinary,” and wanted to break out of what they saw as a superficial industry. Carla says:
The salon indusctry in general can be such a vain, superficial industry. We were tired of the ordinary. Tomeca and I just put together something we really like, and that we really care about, and it’s…working!
Clove is having its grand opening party on June 27th from 7-9pm with complimentary beer, wine, snacks, and live entertainment!