By Sue Moore
“I like to take an artistic view of cutting hair,” says Chelsea Musselman who opened Salon Harlow in Schoolcraft at 119 East Eliza Street in July. “I always liked messing with hair and makeup growing up. Now I use my artistic knowledge to create if clients tell me they want a change.”
“However, if clients want a big change, it usually means something dramatic or different has happened in their life, so I want to be careful and tread lightly as people are pretty attached to their hair [mentally],” she says.
It’s pretty clear that Musselman has artistic talent, not just in hair. The new solon is a dramatic make-over of what was once an antique business just off Grand Street. She and her husband Matt, completely gutted the building, pretty much starting from nothing. They built out an interior with a mix of old and new things in neutral tones of gray, white and black with a bit of an industrial feel pulled together nicely. It helped that her husband was a contractor and could do a major portion of the remodeling and is also from Schoolcraft as she is originally from Centreville.
For eight and a half years Chelsea worked at Regis on West Main in Kalamazoo. Deciding to take the plunge of opening her own shop was nerve racking she reports, but lots of her clients followed her to Schoolcraft. “Many thought it a long way to drive so tended to arrive 20 to 30 minutes ahead of schedule in the beginning,” she chuckles. “Now it’s no big problem and we are developing a whole new clientele here with Niki Hettinga, my life-long friend and Brittany Buscher, my cousin helping out. We want to give back to the community so have volunteered to help with the Back Pack program giving haircuts in the fall, the Christmas Walk, and helping in the churches.”
The name Harlow is a collaboration of letters that stand for something significant in the couple’s lives, she says. Friends have asked if it had anything to do with the movie actress of silent films, Jean Harlow, but not so, claims Musselman. The name, the graphics and the shop are all expressions of her creativeness, that customers have already come to enjoy.