- October 21, 2021
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Solé Salon in Benzie County has grown in its first year and is looking for new workers to meet the high demand.
BENZIE COUNTY — It’s been just over a year since Solé Salon opened its doors in downtown Beulah.
Despite a challenging year for many businesses, its owner Gretchen Boekeloo says the salon is thriving.
“So far so good,” Boekeloo said. “Of course it’s been just over a year but it’s been good. The building we bought in Beulah is beautiful and Beulah has just been popping off the last two summers.”
Solé opened for business in August 2020, just two months after pandemic restrictions on salons and barbershops were eased.
Since then, Boekeloo reports her salon has seen steady business. But now Solé could be facing a new challenge: keeping up with demand.
“Business has been great. This was our second summer and the only problem is, like everybody else, we don’t have enough staff,” she said.
Boekeloo has put out a call for qualified individuals to apply at her salon. With six employees currently, she hopes to add up to three more.
“We have a total of nine stations so if every station was full, that would be ideal,” she said. “Hopefully we can double our business with (more) staff. We had to turn away a lot of people this summer. In the future, I would like to be able to accommodate everybody who wants to come in.”
Despite these challenges Boekeloo said that running the salon has been easier than her other business, the Roadside Mexican Bar & Grill in nearby Benzonia.
“The restaurant world is just crazy,” she said. “There’s just so many variables: staff and customers, food and prepping. The salon to me is just lovely.”
The idea for starting a salon had been a dream for Boekeloo and some of her friends who manage and work at the shop, she said.
“I had a couple of girlfriends … that were hairdressers and very talented, and I always wanted to decorate a salon so it kind of started there.
“We decided, wouldn’t it be cool, wouldn’t it be fun. And so I bought a building and we made it happen,” Boekeloo said. “They all thought I was crazy but they don’t say that anymore, it’s turned out quite well.”
Solé is a full-service Aveda salon that offers services for hair, nails, skincare and extensions.
“We’re an Aveda salon, and we do all (the) basic salon services: manicures, pedicures, all hair products, we also do facials and we have a private massage room that we use,” Boekeloo said.
People can book their appointments online via the salon’s website, solehairsalon.com, though Boekeloo says walk-ins may not be available due to the high demand. Follow the salon on Facebook at facebook.com/solesalonbeulah for more information. Solé Salon is located at 273 South Benzie Blvd. in Beulah.
I grew up in Genesee County and received a Bachelor of Arts from U of M. I am a hobbyist fish keeper who enjoys stargazing and bird watching.