While most salons have front desk employees, SALON by milk + honey has "day-makers"—an amiable and fitting name for the salons' knowledgable concierge. Tasked with greeting and catering to guests upon their arrival, these friendly faces are only one of the many ways the salon brand makes the clients' experience unique.
The front desk at milk + honey's South Lamar location.
"We began as a day spa with no intention of ever opening a salon," says Katie Austin, general manager of SALON by milk + honey. "A few years after the spa opened, a salon moved out in the middle of the night and our landlord asked us if we would open a salon. We had a thriving spa business and realized our clients were going elsewhere to get their hair done. After a lot of soul searching, SALON by milk + honey was born."
Austin says the business started with just eight chairs, eventually expanding to a five-chair salon adjacent to their second spa location. "After seeing the success of our two salons, we expanded to include two satellite salon locations without the full day spa," she says. Today, SALON by milk + honey has five shops scattered throughout Texas, three of which are full-service salon and spa operations. A fourth location will operate as a full-service salon and spa come winter.
Because SALON by milk + honey was born from a day spa, each of the salons aim to offer an environment centered on wellness. "We like to create a spa-like energy in the salon space," Austin says. Lavender and eucalyptus drift through each of the locations and immediately calm the mind and spirit. To add to the ambiance, subtle music is on repeat throughout the salon and guests are invited to take a seat in a comfortable and modern lounge area while awaiting their appointment. "Clients can sit back and relax while enjoying a glass of wine or hot tea," Austin says. "We also have light snacks, like almonds, dried fruit and apples. Plus, every client is treated to a complementary scalp massage during their shampoo," she adds. "Every moment from start to finish is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable."
Guests can take a seat in this warm and inviting lounge area at milk + honey's Arboretum Market location.
Even though clients are top priority at milk + honey, salon employees are treated just as well. "We pride ourselves on offering a great place to work," Austin says. "We have strong leadership teams that are dedicated to leading the stylists and managing the needs of the salon. We also offer full benefits, including medical, dental, vision, 401k and paid time off," she says. "We truly believe that happy employees lead to happy clients, and it's proven true for 10 years and counting."
In those 10 years of experience, Austin has learned more than a handful of valuable lessons. Perhaps most importantly, she's learned the significance of staying true to her values. "Always trust that your values and intentions are being upheld," Austin says. "I love to coach my team and see their progress and growth throughout the years. Sometimes those coaching conversations are tough or uncomfortable, but you have to trust that what you're doing is the best thing for both the individual and the team," she says. "Some days are harder than others, but always keep your sights focused on what you're working towards."