The Rocket City’s bustling downtown will soon get a hip, new business addition.
“It’s a cool story and there’s a methodology to our madness,” said Johnny Grimes II, owner of the Wheelhouse Salon soon to open at The Avenue.
“We always wanted to open multiple locations. The Huntsville location will be our fourth salon.”
Five-and-a half years ago, the Wheelhouse Salon opened in Homewood with only two stylists and a front desk receptionist. The salon later expanded operations to downtown Birmingham to meet the needs of the medical district and other businesses.
“We now have three locations, 44 employees, and it’s grown pretty quickly,” said Grimes.
Their secret to success?
“We have the administrative component and an incredibly talented staff – all the qualities that it takes to run a successful salon,” Grimes said. “Our business plan is based around people.”
This extends beyond their clients, it’s how they treat their staff, as well.
When one of their senior stylists moved to Austin, Texas, Wheelhouse took the geographic leap. It was an easy decision to make.
“We had the core components already in place, we already had one of our top stylists there, and Austin was an ideal market for our services,” said Grimes.
The move to Huntsville came into play when senior stylist Jessica Wass and her husband relocated here.
“About a year ago, Jessica came to us and said that her husband was transferred to Huntsville,” said Grimes. “Jessica loved working with us and at the Wheelhouse and planned to make the commute to Birmingham 3 times a week. I told her that she could do it, but it wouldn’t be sustainable over time.
“(His wife and co-owner) Courtney and I started talking about opening a Huntsville location. Huntsville is an exciting, growing market. We have dear friends who live there, and we already had everything in place.”
The targeted opening date is in July.
“The lease has already been signed,” Grimes said. “So, it’s full steam ahead and we’re really excited.”