How’s Biz: Blue Sage Salon forging new opportunities with walk-ins |

How’s Biz: Blue Sage Salon forging new opportunities with walk-ins

Brandi Merril, owner of Blue Sage Salon, poses for a portrait in her shop Thursday.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Downtown Craig is practically Grand Central Station for haircuts.

But a new shop, which has the benefit of having taken over the location of an old shop, is finding its way in Craig’s crowded salon space by offering something that can be hard to find in other places just around the corner.

Blue Sage Salon, owned and operated by Brandi Merril, is focusing on walk-in clients specifically — primarily men.

“A lot of men try elsewhere and can’t get in for a couple weeks,” Merril said. “I do walk-ins.”

Merril is renting the space at 531 Breeze St., tucked in just north of the Elks Lodge, which for a dozen years prior was Janice’s Barbershop. The titular Janice was looking to retire, and Merril was hoping to get out on her own after about three years working in a salon that spent more time on women’s hair than she preferred.

So almost five months ago, Merril opened Blue Sage. She said it’s going great.

“It’s going really good,” she said. “I’ve been crazy busy.”

Merril reckons being in a location the community was familiar with helps business. But, even though patrons have to pass probably half a dozen salons on the way to Blue Sage, business has been booming.

“I put it on Facebook, and that’s really all I’ve done,” she said. “I get a lot of new (customers). ‘I’ve been to five salons, all of them are two weeks out.’”

Merril wasn’t always planning on opening her own shop. After attending cosmetology school in Craig, she worked for a friend at a shop around the corner for a few years.

“I figured it was a good opportunity to branch out on my own,” she said. “I was tired of working in salons, doing women’s hair. Lots of colors. I’m not too into color.”

Merril charges $18 for a standard haircut, $15 for veterans and seniors, and $12 for a buzz cut.

The demand has been there.

“A lot of places do walk-ins, but you come in and it’s ‘On we’re two weeks out,’ or ‘I can squeeze you in Friday,’ or something,” Merril said. “I just have you come on in. Sometimes I’ve got three or four men sitting here just visiting.”

Blue Sage Salon, 531 Breeze St., is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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