Step Into Parlor.

“Once upon a time three independent women broke free and created parlor.”

parlor. grand opening announcement

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Teri’s Take:

From the moment I stepped into to this hub of style, sassy and downright adorable, I knew that the evolution of the Millennial Generation had evolved to a higher species. Girl Power personified!

After I took in the visual delights of the salon, Kelli and I actually sat down with Rachel Sanchez and Dessarae Harrington, two thirds of the owners of parlor. Part three, Val Gallagher was unable to join us as she lives at the beach and even though it’s a trek to come to work, she makes it happen, because hey, it’s her business and she gets to live at the beach! You gotta love a girl who knows what she wants!

We scheduled a meeting with Dessarae and Rachel after the shop had closed up for the day.  We walked in and immediately felt at ease.

The salon website defines the word parlor this way.

1. an elegant sitting room where guests are received.

2. a boutique salon.

The description is perfect as  Kelli and I sat down on the vintage blue couch while the girls cracked open root beer and splashed a little vodka for a luscious looking drink.  Their bar cart was full of fabulous and they tended to us like two southern hostesses at a church social.  Kelli and I settled in and relaxed ready to get the back story of this establishment.

The women all came together from different backgrounds, but all three share the same strong work ethic.  The goal was not to be the next bland franchise type of salon, make a million dollars and retire early.   The goal was to make a space where they could all create, work and enjoy their experience with people who appreciate the sentiment that bigger isn’t always better.  As Dessarae said, “I want a rich life, but not a wealthy life.”

Hailing from small town Michigan, Dessarae grew up in a salon citing her mom as her biggest influence.  Deciding to make a go of Los Angeles five years ago, she packed up her scissors and swallowed her pride by working at a local salon as an assistant to who else? Rachel.

Rachel is a hometown girl from Burbank.  She was just starting out and while Dessarae had more experience, this was the big city and Dessarae had to pay her dues.  Instead of being catty and resentful about the arrangement these two remarkable women ended up becoming partners.  They met Val while working at a second salon and the idea evolved to open their own shop that represented their personal philosophy.
Being what Dessarae calls a part of the DIY Generation, they literally did it all themselves without taking out expensive business and construction loans.  Working day and well into the evening, the trio enlisted the help of friends and family to do the build out.  They shopped local, bought vintage and recycled old pieces to make the aesthetics  of the salon just right.  And just right it is!  A lovely mix of retro and modern styles collide into a wonderful display of a warm and color.  It is quite reflective of the stylists themselves.

My personal experience with the salon came with Rachel.  After our sit down and interview I knew I wanted to give the salon a shot, honestly, I am a fickle and horrible hair customer.  Since moving back to Burbank two years ago I have been to four other stylists, so I was hesitant to give parlor. a chance because I liked them all so much personally.  I didn’t want to not like their work.  But, after reading their Yelp reviews, which were off the charts, along with just loving their spirit, I made my appointment.  (they have an online system that is super easy and convenient to use by the way).   I am so happy with the decision.  Rachel consulted with me and really listened to my ‘hair back story’.  I have a feeling most women have a hair back story.   I won’t bore you with mine, but Rachel listened intently!  She made suggestions and we came up with a game plan that worked great for me.   I love the cut and the color.  Without question I am now a parlor. addict.   I’m looking forward to my next visit.

Kelli’s Take:

I’m so excited to share Parlor with you.  The salon is one of my “happy places”.  When you move to a new city you start over.  The search begins for a new dentist to stylist and not in that order. (If anyone has a dentist recommendation I’m open).

Walk into Parlor and you’ll immediately feel the difference.  Warm and welcoming from the stocked vintage drink cart and fresh cookies on the coffee table, to the smile and greeting from one of the three owner stylists.  This shop is their baby.  A labor of love and it radiates through in all they do.
I put off getting my hair cut and colored for months after we moved to LA.  It was too overwhelming a task to tackle.  I left a stylist I loved, and a new relationship is hard to jump into.  My daughter made the first move and found the salon via the rave reviews on Yelp.  Dessarae cut my daughter’s hair exactly how she wanted it.  She loved the whole experience.
Now it was my turn.  Wouldn’t you know Dessarae has Midwest roots, but her LA style and saavy is evident in her own personal style.  The decor of the space is incredibly creative.  I caught myself being inspired to decorate my own space at home.  I left with a cut and color I loved.  Just right actually.  Not too trendy and definitely not “mom hair”.
Parlor is aptly named actually a play on words. The space is as comfortable as a room in your own home and also a flash to days gone by when the beauty parlor was where visiting and connecting with people took place, that small town feel.  
On one of my recent visits to Parlor, I observed of one of the stylist’s interaction with another client, I’m not even going to mention which one because they are such a team (really not just saying that)  What I observed is that the client had been in the chair for quite a while.  She came in with super long hair and she got the whole treatment, color and over six inches cut off.  The client was thrilled, hugged the stylist and called her “sweet pea”, then sat down on the beautiful blue couch (or do you call if sofa here) and talked to me at length about herself and how she was going to meet her husband for dinner..  See what I mean?  She felt great about her new look and just wanted to hang out some more.
Another story dear to my heart is about my youngest son.  We pulled him from a home town he loved and plopped him into a new city and high school.  It’s hard to be the new kid.  Dessarae got him in the chair and in her wonderful and intuitive way listened to his desire for a “James Dean” cut.  Boy did she deliver.  He looked fantastic and had a bounce in his step after that.  That is much more than just a hair cut, she helped him turn a corner toward his adjustment to life in Los Angeles.
Parlor is my first and great find at the gateway to the rest of the interesting and fun businesses on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank.
1110 W. Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA
Open 10:00am – 6:00pm

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