The new Head of the Pride Salon (444 Bridge St NW) is relaxed, yet full of passion, like its Westside neighborhood. Owner Sarah Dilley-Couture got her chops working at clip joints around town, namely Cheeky Strut for five years. Now she’s been on her own since June. “I wanted to create an atmosphere that is a huge melting pot, like the neighborhood, she said. “Everyone gets the same luxury experience and the salon feels like home.” Even men have found their way to Head of the Pride, making up half of the clientele. Said Sarah, who trained with master barber Kurt Kueffner, “We are called the beard salon now. Men want to be groomed nicely and beards require lots of maintenance.” The salon offers beard crafting to keep that face forest in fine fettle. Look for Beard Bricks face wash and moisturizer to keep from turning into Ted Kaczynski. Ladies, don’t fret. Hair is Sarah’s passion and she is building a high-quality staff that shares her passion. The six-chair salon offers luxury products from Oribe, Hotheads, and Balmain.
Free Market friend Missy Black reports that Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood is going local with the Mitten State’s new shop (1502 Wealthy St. SE) across the street from Yesterdog. From a few kiosks in the mall to an online presence, The Mitten State is beefing up its brand with a physical location. “We wanted something that had character and a neighborhood setting with a younger vibe and culture,” said Will Bransdorfer, co-founder and creative director. The location will showcase everything the store sells, from T-shirts and hoodies to accessories such as coffee mugs, key chains, stickers and hats. “We sell mostly T-shirts. None of us over here take ourselves really seriously." But what will be serious is the attention paid to the nostalgic and fun product and the new location’s tailored experience. “You’ll be able to touch the stuff, try it on, walk in and get the full effect of the story and the brand.”
City Hub Cyclery (585 W. Clay Ave., Muskegon) is the first women-owned bike shop in the state. The cyclery is the dream of co-owners Julia Miller, the cyclist, and Jennifer Wever, the number cruncher. The two wanted to promote cycling as a fun activity for women, men and families. With a 122-year-old building with tin ceilings and brick walls, City Hub is a warm and hip bicycle boutique for cyclists from casual to the committed. The shop promotes cycling as a lifestyle, especially for women. The sale is just the beginning with City Hub’s classes, group rides and fun events like Pedal4Pints that puts spin classes in Pigeon Hill Brewing and Unruly Brewing in January. Wrench Monkey Bill Dellinger will keep you rolling and the shop offers a range of gear from brands like Felt, Detroit, Yub, Kona, Shredly, Zoic and Twin Six that make riding fun and healthy.
If biking is not your style, then you can try SheActive Boutique (67 E Bridge St., Rockford). Owner Priscilla Hansma opened the shop to celebrate active lifestyles for women and girls. An active runner for two decades with many River Bank Runs under her belt, as well as the Disney Marathon, she was also a sales rep for Run Girl Run. SheActive is an active-wear boutique with an emphasis on U.S. and Canadian-made products. They sell running, yoga, tennis and casual active apparel. You can get togs to not only work out in, but also can go from the gym to lunch and picking up the kids. This includes smart and stylish sweaters and dresses that can be thrown on over leggings, as well as yoga apparel. Each item is carefully selected from brands not found at department stores or the mall. “There is so much out there beyond LuluLemon or Lole,” Priscilla said. For yoga, you can find praNa, Beyond Yoga, Vimmia, Hard Tail Forever, Alo and Tsu Ya (by Kristi Yamaguchi). The running brands include Run Girl Run, MPG and Moving Comfort. Local lady runners have been excited that SheActive also carries Oiselle, which is hard to find in West Michigan. Everyone looking to be more active and healthy will find a home at SheActive, regardless of body type or fitness level. “We all have to start somewhere,” Priscilla said.
The owner of Affordably French (421 Water St., Saugatuck) is back from Paris with a new focus on French imports and art with something for every pocketbook.
Free Market’s old stomping grounds in the basement of the Waters Building will undergo some much-needed transformations as awkward office space gives way to Hilton-style hotel rooms and market-rate apartments.
Finally, Poppa Steve is happy to announce that there will be some new changes to Free Market in the upcoming months. Stay tuned.