The James Salon Knows How To Hustle


You’ve heard of one-stop shopping, but The James Salon has us upgrading to one-stop styling. The salon, located in the Gaslight Village area, recently moved—just two doors down—to a new space to house the salon and a new, expanded boutique area dedicated solely to clothing and shoes.

“In the beginning, it was mostly the salon and some jewelry, but I saw boutiques leaving the area and I have so many people coming through my salon and I saw a hole in the market,” said owner James Garnant. “The intention of the move was to bring that back—the fashion and salon play off each other.”

The salon’s new look is a softer industrial and urban atmosphere featuring exposed ceilings and real barn wood accents to create the perfect spot for the community to be pampered, shop and gather. “I’m very community-oriented. I like helping people meet each other and we can connect with events in the salon. It’s a free-flowing salon where you can get a service done or talk with a friend.”

Merging fashion and salon services is not only a no-brainer but it happens to be Garnant’s forte. He’s been a hair stylist for 25 years but also loves fashion and dressing people. Adding the clothing and shoes was just another outlet for his creativity. While the salon’s services include men’s and women’s haircuts, blow outs, special occasion styling, coloring, and waxing and eyelash services, the boutique side of things will have fresh offerings to keep you guessing.

The James Salon expands to provide one-stop styling.
The James Salon expands to provide one-stop styling.

“We try to keep it classic and trendy—fast fashion,” said Garnant, adding that “casual wear is the new dress up” so expect everyday pieces that bring relaxed comfort but work in a little edge. The added clothing collection gets inspiration from Boho vibes that can be worn during the day or night. The salon fills the high demand for dresses too, especially patterned dresses. Also in stock are long jumpsuits, baggy pants, suede pants, dark camo jeans and flowy jumpers that are “almost like a dress jumper. You throw a jean jacket on and the right shoes and it’s done.”

The salon has a special love for footwear and the latest gem is a stunning pair of pony hair loafers with a smart back zipper by Adam Tucker. A big seller is the 100 percent waterproof Blondo boots that are very popular with the Chicago crowd. Another brand draw is Jeffrey Campbell. Garnant describes the shoes as fashionable yet still very comfortable and The James Salon is the only place in Grand Rapids that carries them.

“Right now, a big trend is embellished sneakers or metallic sneakers. We’re bringing more forward fashion to the Midwest and filling that hole in the market for shoes.” Even the guys can get in on the shoe selection as the salon has brought in well-constructed leather boots from the brand Testosterone and plans to expand its men’s fashion down the road.

Get your hair done and walk out in a new pair of shoes.

Whether you’re looking for a haircut or color or a new dress or shoes, it’s the everything-in-one-spot convenience that’s a crowd pleaser, allowing customers to swap out multiple stops for one complete styling experience.

“We’ll have dedicated people up front in the clothing and shoes. One of the buyers I’ve aligned with is the owner of the Rockford boutique LA Miller, and we’ll have some of her clothing. It’s a win-win for us,” said Garnant, whose customers tease him for being a bad influence.

“Customers keep saying that they get in trouble for coming here and spending so much money. They love coming here so they can get their hair done and do some shopping all in one spot.”

The James Salon is located at 2249 Wealthy Street in East Grand Rapids.

*Photos courtesy of The James Salon

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