With its circular arrangement of chairs and styling stations, Elle Marie Hair Studio in Lynnwood offers an unparalleled social styling experience. The upscale salon’s nucleus is a curved countertop bar and an impressive wall, which displays color boxes and bottles on its shelves. This colorful centerpiece is Elle Marie’s “color bar,” an experiment in social cosmetology. A semi-circle of salon chairs surrounds the bar, which encourages clients to visit and relax while their hair dries or color sets.
Lorry Green, one of Elle Marie’s three owners and the general manager, says the bar makes it possible for customers to see the process that goes into mixing their hair color.
“We wanted our guests to see what goes into the design of their color and to be a part of that process,” she says. “We really wanted to treat it like art.”
Green says the color bar is ideal for large groups, such as wedding parties or groups getting ready for prom. The salon’s Bothell location features a “blowout bar,” where parties can enjoy blowout styling before a big event.
Elle Marie is a family-owned business that first opened its doors in 2006. Green, her brother Jody Bossert and their mother Colleen Buck all work together to operate their three salon locations in Lynnwood, Bothell and Lake Stevens.
Bossert, the marketing director, says working with his family has been a really unique experience. Of the three owners, Green is the only stylist. Bossert says this has given the staff and stylists at each salon the ability to define Elle Marie’s style. The salon has achieved “Redken Elite” status and invests in education, often sending their4 stylists to the Redken Exchange in New York City and hosting classes with industry leaders.
“It is an incredibly supportive culture,” Bossert says. “You don’t see a lot of cattiness that you might see at other salons, because we are all here to work together and help each other. We really think our guests feel that ene4rgy of the team vibe when they come in the door.”
In keeping with the good vibes, Elle Marie salons also give back to their communities. They participate in local fundraisers, such as Relay for Life, and create fundraisers of their own. In October, they raised money for breast cancer research through a “Pink Hair for Hope” event. They also organized a dress drive to collect used prom dresses and donate them to local high schools.
“We have been fortunate enough to grow and see some successes even during a recession,” Bossert says. “So it just dawned on us that if we have success, we need to remember to be humble. We aren’t just awesome; we are awesome because our clients make us that way. They are the ones that keep coming back and they are the ones we are building the relationships with. So we just have to keep it all in perspective.