918 Blanc Studio welcomes their new storefront, Shop Blanc, that focuses on high quality skin and hair care

In April, self-care store Shop Blanc opened their doors, bringing a slew of new hair, face and body care products to the Columbia community.

Amidst the bustle and local charm of downtown Columbia is a new companion to the already existing hair salon Blanc Studio: Shop Blanc, a self-care store specializing in skin and hair care.

“We found that there wasn’t really that hair care, face care, body care niche in local downtown Columbia,” said Haley Quinlan, founder and manager of Shop Blanc. “We wanted to bring a one-stop shop destination to the middle of Columbia so that if you didn’t have a car, you could still get what you needed.”

While 918 Blanc Studio has operated in Columbia for nine years, the idea to add a storefront developed in March 2020 and their idea came into fruition on April 10. While the businesses are separate, they both exist under 918 Blanc Studio.

“Haley and I have known each other for nine years, the entire time that I’ve had this studio. "I knew that if I wanted to make shop BLANC work, I needed someone like her,” hair salon owner Victoria Araujo said. “She’s just a compliment to everything that I could possibly want.”

Working with Quinlan, they developed the idea for the shop to be located across the hall from the salon.

“We just felt that there was an absence of high-end skin care and hair care in not only downtown, but all of Columbia,” Araujo said. “We wanted to be able to bring that to not only our clientele, but to anybody that’s interested in looking for those high-end, clean products.”

Other staff members at the storefront share Araujo’s mentality that the storefront addition can bring positive contributions to the community.

“I think it’s a really great way to extend the experience for the salon,” said Chrissy Hammontree, a hair stylist who’s worked at the studio for three years. “I’m excited that we have a bigger role in the community. Alley A is a really cool part of Columbia.”

The business also emphasizes sustainaibility, and Araujo notes that they source many of their products from women-owned businesses.

“We just hope that it can grow from here and that we can bring [to Columbia] higher-end, clean, organic, women-owned businesses,” Araujo said.

Shop Blanc houses a refill bar for shampoo and conditioner. Customers bring in their own jars and pay based on weight, which Quinlan claims is a cheaper alternative.

“Instead of everybody buying liter after liter and throwing it away, you can fill [your own container] up and go from there,” Quinlan said. “With this, we’re reducing the amount of plastic that everyone has.”

The storefront emphasizes that customersone should feel good about themselves upon leaving the business. Whether they get their hair done or go across the hall to buy a variety of goodies ranging from candles to satin pillowcases, their goal is to uplift the public. With this new combined effort, the plan is for people of the Columbia community to celebrate local businesses while also celebrating themselves.

“The goal is just to feel better about themselves in any way that that is. They can be picking up a gift for themselves, celebrating themselves in any way or buying gifts to share the love,” Quinlan said.

The shop is opens at 10 a.m. on most days of the week and is located inat Alley A. More information can be accessed on their Instagram. The salon is open on Wednesday to Saturday starting at 9 a.m. For more information, visit their Facebook.

Edited by Shannon Worley | sworley@themaneater.com

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