NH Salon Studios Expands, Welcomes First Tenant

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Christmas came early for Naomi and Kristen Hale as they cut the ribbon to the expansion of NH Salon Studios at 725 Boardman-Canfield Road Suite 1.

Kristen Hale owns the building and takes care of the accounting needs, while her daughter, Naomi, is manager and licensed cosmetologist. The mother-daughter team celebrated the expansion with family and friends Monday evening.

NH Salon Studios is a layered approach-type business model with a series of rooms in one building that small business owners in the beauty industry can rent.

“This gives creative people an opportunity to thrive,” Naomi says.

While beauty professionals can rent their own room, the space is licensed as one salon, notes Kristen.

NH Salon has been in the building for three years. The new space – a studio-concept style – is officially named NH Salon Studios, Naomi explains. The name is a take on her initials as well as Native Hair, an homage to her Cherokee roots, she says.

Getting to the grand opening Monday was “a really long process,” she says.

In 2018, the Hales began leasing the building. The following year, the building owner asked if they’d like to purchase the space, along with the new area, Kristen says. Renovations were completed throughout the pandemic.

The studios look a little different from other rented salon spaces, Kristen says. Instead of a hallway with doors, there is more of an open design.

“I wanted to make it where it’s open and inviting, but provide privacy working with your stylist,” she says.

They are currently looking for more renters, encouraging nail technicians, massotherapists and other beauty industry professionals to join their team, Naomi says. Each of the rooms except one have shampoo stations.

“I’m excited to watch it grow,” she says. “We really want diversity. You can come here and get anything done.”

In addition to NH Salon, Ally Kountz operates the Sharp as Nails nail business in the original part of the building.

Kathleena Irving operates Swan and Stag in the new space at NH Salon Studios.

Kathleena Irving operates Swan and Stag in the new portion of the building – the first renter in the renovated space. Taking a chance during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a great opportunity, Irving says.

“It’s been really awesome,” she says of the Hales, owners of the salon space. “They’ve allowed me to customize my space” of a forest theme, Irving says. “They’ve been fully supportive.”

Since October, Irving has functioned in her one-chair studio, which she enjoys. “This is a great opportunity to have a small salon within another business,” Irving says. Her particular setup provides her clients privacy, which is especially important during the current pandemic.

When choosing the name for her salon, Irving went with Swan and Stag “to embrace feminine and masculine” together. “A swan is more grace, and a stag is mighty,” Irving says.

Products offered in her salon are geared toward vegan, cruelty- and paraben-free options.

It was years of ranging experience that helped lead Irving to open the salon. Working with magazines and television, Irving was also an educator for Aveda Institute for more than four years. “I thought, now’s the time.”

Growing up in Olympia, Wash., Irving’s family moved east to the Youngstown area to be closer to family. “On a whim,” she applied for a scholarship to Casal Aveda Institute, landing in Pittsburgh for a bit.

The trajectory leading her to Swan and Stag has been worth it, Irving says. “It’s really awesome.”

Pictured at top: Kristen and Naomi Hale celebrated the expansion of NH Salon Studios in Boardman.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.