16 Jul

When Ashley Haley decided to follow her dream of opening her own salon in the heart of south Minneapolis, she had no idea just how influential and creative the business could become. “Midwestern girl at heart… but love for the hustle and bustle of the city! Is Minneapolis a big city? Coming from a small town in SouthDakota 11 years ago… yes! It most definitely is!”

Since I was a child I’ve loved people, culture and their style! My mom would have her bridge group over, they’d play cards, drink martinis and laugh at shared stories late into the night! While a school night, I was tucked in bed much earlier. But, I would wander out to peek around the corner and listen and watch the ladies. I loved their clothing, hair, and was mystified by their mannerisms as they told their stories!

I would say most of my love for a city is the people and culture. The things one can learn simply by watching and listening to the people around you amazes me. While a college education was considered “normal” in my family, I decided to go about a different path. I chose getting a certificate in my trade. I attended the Aveda institute and lived in downtown Minneapolis at the age of 20. For the first time I loved school and I was actually good at it! As far as the city, I was pretty intimidated! Looking back I wish I had been more brave and explored more those first few years. I graduated from the Aveda Institute and started building a career as a hair stylist! I will admit that for a couple of years I felt like a visitor in here in the city! Still heading home to South Dakota frequently for weekend family visits! A short sidetrack relationship brought to the suburbs and then spit me back into the heart of the city rather abruptly! I left my salon of eight years and worked in uptown for less than a year! My clients were my family in Minneapolis (my longest sustaining relationships).

Now my love for bigger cities and travel continues to grow! When I travel I think to myself, ‘This is GREAT, but I miss Minneapolis!’ Other times I experience things and wonder why Minneapolis can not sustain something similar. Minneapolis has an amazing restaurant/art/culture and music community and year round the music venues host a broad list of musicians keeping MPLS entertained! Once we finally venture out from our dark cave of hibernation post winter season – there is life again! There are infinite things to do outside in the summer. Art fairs, live music and our trails and 10,000 lakes entertain us! I bought my little 1916 craftsmen home in the city 4 years ago. There was something here, something greater and I could feel the budding neighborhood! I believed in the Kingfield neighborhood!

The minute Blackbird Cafe announced they were opening soon, I began to see new space! I did it all backwards. I wanted the space with the windows two blocks from my house. Imagined my own salon, then dreamed up the business plan. I realized I wanted my own company after working at a couple different salons that were run entirely different from one another. I wanted to carefully pick the people I would be spending every day with! I wanted to create a space that inspired me, offered bright light and an ever-changing display! I wanted to pick the music and actually be able to hear and sing along! This is all happening at BANGBang… so I guess you could say I am truly living out my dream!

Now, more restaurants are opening and hopefully retail spaces will appear on the corner! I cannot start my day without strolling into Five Watt Coffee for my morning caffeine boost! The group seems like a family Рresembling a similar team effort we hold on to at BANGBang. Sometimes even twice a day I pop over! It could either be for the crafted coffee drinks or the mood boost Caleb and Lee seem to always deliver. Every time I visit I am never disappointed. I suggest the Kingfield (vanilla, coriander, espresso, milk, and black hawaiian sea salt) as a beverage choice. Or on a hot day the Hendricks (cold press, juniper + basil simple syrup, grapefruit bitters and cream) hits the spot!

What’s next for BANGbang Salon? Now we are currently doing a lot of collaborating and getting our hands into a mix of different projects! Stay tuned for our “WHO/WHAT/HAIR” project that will be launching VERY soon! I also look forward to doing more work in NYC this summer! I can honestly admit that for now, I am one happy lady living in my little Minneapolis Kingfield neighborhood!