Union Salon & Barber, a new shop that introduced itself to downtown Lethbridge in the late fall of 2016. Union is a merger of salon, barbershop, spa and offers some pup loving from their shop dog, Franny.
The Union family is made up of owners and stylists, Kathy Nelson and Jessica Drake and barber Chris Henderson. Barber Chad Paquette, stylist Raven Scott, stylist, makeup artist/lash technician Kyle Goett, esthetician/lash technician Jaime Griffin, hair/makeup apprentice Kenney Linden, salon coordinator Lacey Day, and assistant salon coordinator Michelle Roy round off the rest of the Union team. Kathy and Jessica have both been stylists for around 15 years. Jessica explained they’ve been doing their thing together ever since they became close friends 11 years ago. Chris has been a barber for 5 years and specializes in old-school barbering techniques and hot shaves. The three of them worked together at the old Lethbridge salon, Bad Apple. When the lease was up at their old shop, they were at a crossroads. They really wanted to create a shop that was equal parts salon and barbershop, which would bring both worlds of hair together. The three of them, with the help of their team, created Union. As much as they loved the old shop, it was time to try something new.
Union Salon & Barber is located at 415 3rd Ave. South, snuggled in-between Owl Acoustic Lounge and Silla Designs. The Union crew loves being downtown because of the sense of community. Chris admitted that it was harder for them to be a part of everything at their old shop.
“A huge thing for downtown right now is community, and I don’t think we could have been a part of it as much as we are now at our old shop.” With higher foot traffic at their new location, they’ve seen many new faces coming in.
Union has an open-floor concept where everyone is a part of everything going on, which is what they envisioned from day one. The stylists face their in-chair clients to the waiting area so their clients can be a part of the conversation and everyone can get to know each other.
Together, they all strive to create an atmosphere that’s comfortable and where everyone knows your name.
“We want people to come in here and feel like they fit in. It’s not super feminine or super masculine, everyone is welcome. We have guys getting their hair done with the girls in the salon and girls getting their hair done with Chris and Chad in the barbershop,” said Jessica.
Every little detail of the interior is picturesque and suits the crew perfectly. You could spend hours taking photos in that shop and admiring the quaint décor. It didn’t come easy though. The space used to be storage for Express Coffee and hasn’t been a store-front since the 90’s. They had to build all the walls, tear things down, put in new flooring and had friends help them create most pieces in the shop. Jessica said it’s special because they all built it together and they made it what it is. “It’s a little bit of all of us”.
Chris said that while not everyone is an owner, everyone has a piece of themselves in the shop. When creating Union, everyone had the opportunity to add their own style. Barbers Chris and Chad had no theme for the barbershop, they simply put up the things they liked and made it into their clubhouse.
“People ask if we like our jobs and we say it’s basically hanging out in an adulthood clubhouse. We get to hang out with you and cut your hair while we do it,” said Chris.
Union brings a new face to salon life in downtown Lethbridge. Union is a friendly, down-to-earth community where everyone is welcome.