Roughly a month after moving to a new location, the staff at one of Meridian Township’s most popular salons is officially acclimated to their fresh space and seeing an unexpected increase in new clients.
Fluid Salon, a staple of the community since it opened in January of 2015, made the move from 2755 E. Grand River Ave. to 5030 Northwind Dr. over the course of nine days, from January 30 to February 7.
Since its reopening on February 8, owner Kimmi Chubb has already noticed a change in business, despite the new location only being a few blocks from the previous one.
“Even just within these couple [of] weeks that we’ve been here, I’ve seen an increase in new clientele, so that’s been really exciting,” Chubb said.
This kind of increase is especially unusual for the salon given the time of the year.
“Currently, this is kind of our less busy time, so seeing this increase right now is really exciting, because hopefully that will mean it carries over into our busier times,” Chubb said.
This uptick in business is especially strange considering that 43% of local businesses reported nationally that in the past two weeks alone, they have still been moderately negatively affected by COVID-19, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Behind the scenes
One of the primary factors for this increase in business could be that Fluid Salon’s new location is in the same building as the leasing office of Red Cedar Flats, a newly-constructed apartment complex that houses primarily students.
“So far the new location has been a hit. The new space is beautiful, thoughtfully laid out and extremely busy,” said DJ Smith, property manager at Red Cedar Flats. “They have proven to be very popular with our residents.”
In January, Chubb was informed through a letter from her landlord that Strathmore Real Estate Group bought the building in which her salon used to be housed. Red Cedar Flats is a mixed-use project of Strathmore, so they offered Fluid Salon to move into their space.
“We asked them [Fluid Salon] to relocate because we are changing the use of their previous location and hoped to add them as an amenity for the residents at Red Cedar Flats,” Smith said.
The staff at Red Cedar Flats cleared out the previous apartment gym in December of 2021 because a new one was being added within one of the residential buildings; this paved the way for the addition of Fluid Salon to the Red Cedar Flats complex.
During the week and a half of the move, Chubb and her staff handled various inspections, trips back and forth to the new location, long waits and even a snowstorm. Despite this, she said the move went well.
“For what it was, it went very smoothly,” Chubb said. “You can never expect something like this to have absolutely no hiccups. When it’s just a few things that are easily remedied, then that’s fantastic. I was very pleased with how everything went.”
Developing a community
Being surrounded by the community of the apartment complex has also been a plus for Chubb and her staff. The salon, which offers a variety of hair, nail, microblading and full body wax services, among others, has many windows, which makes it easy to attract customers and meet new people.
“We really like it over here,” Chubb said. “We liked where we were before, but it’s nice to be around more people. You just see people walking by with their dogs or people waving.”
One of those people is Red Cedar Flats resident Erin Vimr. Although she hasn’t gone to a salon in many years, she is intrigued by the convenience of the location.
“It looks really attractive even though I don’t go to salons very often, and I think it’s at a location where it’ll be successful,” Vimr said. “While it’s expensive to lease a place on Grand River, I think it’s super convenient, and I might go there eventually.”
The ability to attract new customers through the community is something that excites Chubb and her employees.
“We’ve been around, we’ve been here since 2015, but just being over in this new location, I feel almost like we’re new again,” Chubb said. “Obviously we’re established, but it’s exciting to be in a little bit of a different area and experience things over here.”