Mollie Kelly said she wants to cultivate a 'culture' of comfort in her hair salon.
For about the last 20 years, Ormond Beach resident Mollie Kelly has woken up every day looking forward to her job.
A hair stylist, and now business owner, Kelly recently opened her first hair salon in the city. Culture hair salon is located at the Gaslamp Shoppes on Granada, at 50 E. Granada Blvd., a passion project that stemmed from Kelly's love of the space she now rents, and desire to open a hair salon that both strives for sustainability and being a space that makes clients comfortable.
Kelly — who used to work as a stylist in the former hair salon that occupied the storefront — felt like being on the beachside was right where she needed to be. Lewis and Angela Heaster, the owners of the shoppes, were helpful in bringing her dream to fruition.
“I really felt like it was working, and I believe in that first feeling you get when you walk in a room—trust that, it’s real," Kelly said. "...Every single day, I think about how thankful I am that they trusted my word and what I could do here.”
Culture Hair Salon is a certified Green Circle Salon, which means up to 95% of its waste is recycled, recovered or repurposed. Hair clippings are sent to partner facilities to be composted with other organic waste, turned into bio-composite plastic or used in research for new environmental technology, according to the Green Circle Salon website. Foils, color tubes and aerosol containers are melted down into aluminum sheets or bars and used to make car parts and new bicycles. Now during the pandemic, salons are also collecting personal protective equipment, such as gloves, which are turned into clean renewable energy when incinerated, and the ashes can be used to make filler in asphalt and other construction materials, the website states.
Sustainability is something that is important to Kelly, but the reason her salon is called "culture" is because of the environment she wants to cultivate.
“To me, the most important part is understanding that every day I have to focus, and I want to focus, on the comfort level in here," Kelly said.
When she signed the lease of the space on Oct. 1, she remodeled the salon space to fit her vision. Art featuring a local artist, Beth O'Connor, currently lines the east wall. Since opening, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly said her mind has felt more open, and that she's tapped into her creativity.
“You come in and it’s very important to me that the comfort is felt immediately, like as soon as the door opens," Kelly said. "Because a lot of times, most people, men and women, it’s the only space they have where they’re by themselves, and that’s very important to me that they have that space.”