1213 E. Carson St., South Side
412-488-4488 or salonivy.net
"I would sit in any one of these girls' chairs and let them do my hair," says Chelsea Bruce-McCrommon, referencing the seven women who join her on the staff at Salon Ivy.
Bruce-McCrommon and co-owner Bethany Novak opened the salon just three years ago. After six months in operation, the response to their efforts was so positive that they had to move to a larger location on the South Side. The staff of stylists quickly grew from the original four (including both co-owners) to the current eight. The women work collaboratively rather than competitively, and their ensemble nature helps earn the loyalty of patrons.
"We have been clients since they opened their doors at the first location," says South Side resident Amy Murphy, who visits regularly with her daughter Victoria. "Chelsea is very talented and really listens to what the client wants. All of the girls are really phenomenal people."
"All of the girls" also have a combined total of decades of experience in salons across the city, much of it in the South Side community, working with all types of aesthetics. The result is a philosophy geared less toward exclusivity, and more toward inclusion. "We love that we are a multicultural salon," say Bruce-McCrommon. "We cater to a diverse population and we love how it reflects who all of us are. We might have a full mohawk taking place in one chair and a roller set in the other."
The staff also includes hair stylists Sarah Greco, Shannon McGinley, Carmen Brown, Maureen Nyalka and Megan Eiler, and makeup stylist Jasmine Coleman.
"We all get along really well, in a way that's rare with a group of eight women," Novak says. The camaraderie that exists among the employees is infused with a sense of well-being that's passed on to the customer.
"I really enjoy the vibe of the salon," says Becky Bauer, who followed stylist Greco when she moved to Salon Ivy from her previous salon. "When Sarah was on maternity leave, I had two other stylists, and they both did an excellent job at maintaining what Sarah had originally done. I really felt like they cared about me, as a client."
"We pride ourselves on teamwork," Bruce-McCrommon states. "We can bounce ideas off of each other, we can ask each other for help. I believe people respect that. We all know each other's clients. Half the time we end up in one huge conversation with five women in chairs and five other women behind them."
While all stylists are constantly learning more about their craft through workshops and classes, there's no plan to change what's proven to be a winning formula. "This is a chill spot where women and men can just relax and get their hair done," says Bruce-McCrommon. "That's what we're always going to be."