There’s something a little mysterious about hair salons. Whether Steel Magnolias-style refuge for Southern women, or just intimidatingly high-end, the salon can feel like a business that trades in secrets. So we’ve been intrigued following The Collective at Pepper Place, with its active Instagram account showing everything from fun training trips to the results of individual stylists’ work. This new social salon offers style goals and a sense of the Pepper Place community, so we approached owner Beth Doyle to find out more.
Doyle had a vision for her salon, she explained. A former teacher, she wanted to create a space that really developed the skills of individual stylists. “I set out to create a place where stylists would have the freedom to expand themselves creatively,” she said.
Visually, the salon’s space in Pepper Place is reminiscent of Scene: white walls, big windows, open plan. There’s a bit of an art studio feel to the stylists’ spaces, lined up in two rows down the room, separated by a row of stand mirrors in the middle.
But a setup that could seem severe looks inviting, with warm wood floors and lots of natural light. “We offer guests a peaceful space with upbeat personality,” Doyle said. The waiting area has a comfortable mid-century style that could easily be a downtown Loft District living room. That’s fitting, since Doyle said “building relationships is the cornerstone of what The Collective is about.”
“We have a diverse crowd which we love,” Doyle said. “Getting to meet people from all walks is one of the best parts of being a stylist.” That’s certainly the impression we get from the salon feed. There are shots of special styling work like photo shoots, but much of it features day-to-day clients. Folks who could be any of us, coincidentally photographed with great hair in natural light.
It’s an accessible artistry that makes sense in this Pepper Place Market neighborhood. You may even recognize some of the wall art from market vendors, and the salon’s own Lindsie Mosley has her own Eiley Grae Fabric Co. line of baby clothes, quilts, and accessories.
“Being in the Lakeview area and the vicinity of all of the great things that are happening in Birmingham is so exciting,” Doyle said. “We really try to celebrate our city, especially all the great small business.” Lakeview and Pepper Place specifically are areas of concentrated revival, and The Collective’s enthusiasm for things local is a perfect fit.