After earning a bachelor’s degree in business and entrepreneurship and briefly working in that field, Shannon Atkinson decided to pursue a profession within the cosmetology industry 17 years ago. She immediately loved it, and always felt a call to have her own space.
Now, the former L’Oreal Professionnel educator is opening her own spot, Hyde Salon, at the former Merlo’s Barbershop in the Somerset Shops. The build-out for the salon began around the same time that COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were issued. And while opening a new salon in the midst of a pandemic poses its challenges, Atkinson said her top priority is the safety of the staff and the community.
“We’re seeing [places] have to pivot in what they do and seeing what this really looks like and how we can do our business in a safe way,” Atkinson said. “[We] take it one step at a time, and know that we’ve got to be ready for whatever comes our way.”
Atkinson plans to implement additional safety measures, as advised by the Kansas State Board of Cosmetology:
- asking customers to wear face masks (and provide those who do not have one with a face mask)
- eliminating magazines
- calling clients when stylists are ready for them to limit the number of people in the salon
The culture of Hyde Salon, 4601 W. 90th Street, is influenced by a Danish concept called “hygge,” Atkinson said: Hygge focuses on inviting coziness, contentment and happiness into one’s daily life, and she said she hopes Hyde Salon can be that for her staff and customers.
“I hope that when [customers] come in, it can be kind of just a haven, a little break from their day to day life where they can just come, have a moment, pause and feel a lot of joy and happiness,” Atkinson said.
Although opening her own salon has always been in the back of her mind, Atkinson said she first got serious about it 10 years ago. Fast forward to two years ago, she began her search for the right space for her vision. She said she chose Somerset Shops because she and her family, who live in the community, feel connected to the area and wanted to be in their own backyard.
“Our first main priority is operating in a safe way, and then we’re also really excited to be in this community and find ways that we get to give back and enhance the community beyond just making people feel great after their hair appointment,” she said.
Atkinson plans to open Hyde Salon around May 18, which is currently allowed in phase two of the Kansas Reopen Plan. But the date could fluctuate, depending on adjustments to reopening plans.
For more information about Hyde Salon, visit https://www.hydesalonkc.com/.