New York City can break even the toughest of people—Anatalie David knows this story all too well. David was working at a luxury, corporate salon in Manhattan a few years back and she was feeling unmotivated and passionless, she says. She began bartending until she figured out where she wanted to take her career—which, turns out, was across the Hudson River to Jersey City, New Jersey.
"I wanted to create a space that was safe from egos and attitudes, preconceived notions and pretensions," David told Hoboken Girl. "I fell in love with the community in Jersey City when I moved here eight years ago and knew this was the perfect neighborhood for my idea to come to life.”
The Hair Room Jersey City opened in a 750-square-foot former salon space in the heart of downtown Jersey City in 2015. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 and many businesses were forced to shut down, The Hair Room was not only surviving but thriving, and they were able to open a second location. In January 2021 the team moved to a larger space.
David admits that differentiation can be hard for salons, but it’s possible. "We wanted to break the mold of how guests view a salon when they first walk in," David says. "There are so many neighboring luxury salons that have a modern and clean décor and strict dress code, and after a while, they all start to blend in with each other," she adds. "My dream for The Hair Room was made to stand out and celebrate community, our friends and create a warm environment for everyone who came in."
Inside, The Hair Room combines bright colors with vintage, thrifted pieces that might remind you of a childhood bedroom in the '90s. "You’ll be surprised to find a board game on the wall you haven’t seen since you were a kid, or a poster of New Kids on the Block you remember hanging in your old bedroom," David says. "And with our newest location, we’ve opened up the opportunity to have sellers in the neighborhood display their products inside our space. Once you walk into our BAE ST salon, there’s an eclectic range of vintage clothing, doggy bandanas, perfumes and so much more to discover."
Looking back on her successes, David has one invaluable piece of advice: "If you’re an owner and want to flourish and thrive, you have to be a humble, fearless leader. A salon can only really be successful when you start to blur the lines between boss and employer," she says. "Success only happens when everyone is succeeding."