My good friend and stylist for the past 10+ years, Trent Lowther, has opened up his own salon! Called Sweet William (some pics on Facebook if you're nosy), and located on St Laurent Blvd in Montreal (between Fairmont and St Viateur, across from a nice resto called the Sparrow, btw), it is a salon for those who cringe at the though of salons.
Here's how Trent described it to me (I likely can't do this concept proper justice here, but I'm all for trying...): Many people such as, for instance, Trent and I, in our twenties and thirties, can name a stylist they like but can't name a salon they like. In fact, many salons are pretty icky places to be, if you're a certain type of person: loud, pretentious, stagey, superficial, and frankly stinky (I told Trent if Sweet Willam starts doing nails, I'm out - thankfully, that will never happen!). Many also suffer from the Leather Pants Factor, or employ stylists who take their jobs way too seriously.
Sweet William is being set up as a salon for the type of person who cringes at this salon experience: someone who wants a spectacular haircut, but without the hype (or the sensory overload). She's attracted to the work, not the scene - to the human factor. It wouldn't kill her if there were some books lying around to look at while she waits, too, instead of those hair magazines (often older than her). And, if Trent wants to play Philip Glass, that's fine with her, too.
Sweet William inhabits a second-floor unit in a building that is also home to a few dance studios, and looks much like a dance studio itself: bright, airy, open, with varnished wood floors and toile wallpaper. The walls are adorned with antique sepia-toned photographs of Sam and Trent's ancestors. A sofa faces a coffee table laden with art books and various other client-donated reading material.
*Sigh.* I hope I spend another decade visiting this place, 200 kms be damned!