Don’t go looking for Tomahawk Salon at The Loom if you woke up in urgent need of Lydia Deetz bangs. And if you were hoping to elegantly slide into a pair of vintage Prada shoes from Nouveau Vieux after getting a new ‘do, you’re not in luck. But worry not! Both Tomahawk Salon and Nouveau Vieux moved just a couple of blocks down the road to 17 Thames (yes, right next to the infamous motorcycle shop), and the owners couldn’t be happier about their new space and collaboration! We stopped for to catch up and take a tour of the new space. How is it? Read on!
“We’ve overgrown the old space,” Chantal Savaresse, the owner of Tomahawk Salon, told us. “I had two spaces at The Loom, and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to take a third one…It just wasn’t my vision. I wanted my own mini-mall, where you can get your hair and nails done, buy some clothes.” Chantal explained that she used to own a vintage store with a burlesque theme in Williamsburg, and originally wanted to open a hair salon combined with a clothing store. “I wanted a place where you could do something outrageous with your hair and then go get an outrageous outfit to match it. I tried to do something like that at The Loom but the hair was just prevailing,” Chantal continued.
So when she learned of a space for rent at 17 Thames, the idea was born. She and Shelby Lawson from the neighboring Nouveau Viex would join forces and rent the space together, finally giving rise to that one place to transform you from head to feet! “You come here and leave feeling like a brand new person. You can walk away with new hair, new bling on your finger and a new outfit,” said Chantal with a smile.
Both entrepreneurial women really appreciate this collaboration. “We can help each other out with our businesses,” told us Chantal. “We’re familiar with each other’s business,” added Shelby, “So if one of us wants to take off for a week, we don’t have to close down the shop.”
The ladies moved into a space that used to serve as a bike repair shop, and the motorcycle guys still have a clubhouse next door. We were wondering how they were welcomed by their new neighbors. It is true that the ladies are into a leather-and-tattoos aesthetic, but they are of a different kind…
“They’ve been nothing but nice to us,” told us Chantal. “We’ve been proving ourselves to them. We are a service and they see us here every day. It’s not like we’re rich girls with family money who came in here and took their space.”
Before Chantal and Shelby were able to open, they had to do a lot of work in the space themselves. “They saw us in here every day painting the floors, doing a lot of work ourselves, and I think they have a lot of respect for that,” concluded Chantal.
Needless to say, the new space is gorgeous with a lot of character. Scissors, old-fashioned photographs, and taxidermy hanging on the wall are witness to the prevailing aesthetic of New Brooklyn. But don’t be fooled into thinking that these businesses are just blindly following it – it was people like Chantal and Shelby who helped to define and create it.