rise salon

The stylists of Rise Salon pose for a portrait in the salon in downtown Athens, Georgia on July 23, 2019. The new salon is run by an investor and 4 independent stylists with specialties in hair coloring, cutting, extensions, styling and more. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, https://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

After four women with shared experiences came together and decided to start something new, Rise Hair Salon opened its doors on Thursday, June 27. The salon was created by individual stylists Hannah Haslett, Sami Johnson, Haley Shinall and Alyssa Trossevin and is located at 159 West Clayton Street.

Overcoming obstacles

The logo for the salon is a lotus flower, along with the slogan “bloom & radiate.” Known to be able to grow and bloom out of muddy water, the flower symbolizes what the four stylists hope to do with this salon after difficult experiences at their past work places.

“ ... We knew that this was not going to be easy, and it still hasn’t been easy, and we really are just learning day by day how to do this and how to be successful,” Hasslett said.

The women want Rise to have a positive, welcoming and homey environment, as Trossevin said people in the beauty industry can sometimes be percieved as judgemental. That could not be further from the truth for this salon, Hasslett said.

While each stylist at Rise has her favorite style to work on, the hairdressers are able to work with older clients as well as young children and everyone in between.

Early one Tuesday afternoon, Candace Nairn was visiting relatives in Athens from Canada and decided to get her hair styled.

“I have some relatives here and they recommended Sam,” Nairn said about Johnson. “I’ve had a hard time finding a salon up there, and I’m really happy with this. She did a very good job.”

Hair in the hub

Rise’s location in downtown Athens is a contributing factor to the diverse clientele that the salon sees.

Trossevin, who has worked all over Athens, thinks compared to other parts of the city, downtown Athens represents more of a central hub.

“I feel like when we started looking for a place we were specifically looking downtown,” Trossevin said. “We needed a different atmosphere, and I feel like there’s always something going on downtown. It’s not just one stereotype of people, it’s just everybody.”

Athens is the hometown of all of the stylists, and they all keep coming back to the city no matter where they have been. Hasslett added that downtown Athens is a “bomb” location.

Rise is situated in an older building, and Hasslett said the stylists were lucky to have secured the location while they were searching for a building.

“We just got a super awesome deal,” Hasslett said. “When we say ‘fell into our lap,’ it was just like one day we didn’t have it and the next day it was like ‘We’re doin’ this, let’s go,’ and we started it.”

Looking forward to fall

Even though Rise opened during one of the slowest business months of the year, Trossevin said they have seen surprisingly consistent business. Many of the stylists’ individual clients from where they worked before have stayed with them through the move, and they have seen a good amount of walk-ins.

The salon hopes to put up a banner in the next few weeks, as they do not yet have an official sign. They have proposed one, and it is currently pending approval from the city.

Once the fall semester rolls around, Rise hopes to see an influx of college students, especially with its downtown location.

Prices vary from stylist to stylist, and Rise is offering $20 off the first appointment for new clients. Trossevin’s stepfather is a firefighter, which prompted the salon to provide a 15% discount for active and retired first responders and military.