The owners of longtime San Luis Obispo-based Spoke SLO salons, formerly Salon Lux, have big plans to open more stores on the back of recent success in metropolitan areas.
Since 2013, business partners Christine Thompson and Jon Reyman have opened Spoke & Weal salons in San Francisco, Los Angeles and SoHo, New York. The pair also own Spoke SLO — Thompson opened the first San Luis Obispo location on Broad Street about 20 years ago, before expanding into a second location on Court Street about 10 years later.
The salons offer several high-end style, cut and color services.
Thompson and Reyman plan to open one or two more salons within the next six months — they’re looking at locations in Chicago, Nashville and Boston, Thompson said. The pair plans to continue growing the salon collection, opening more stores around the country in both metropolitan and smaller suburban areas.
The salons in metropolitan areas will be called Spoke & Weal, and salons in smaller suburban areas will be called Spoke, followed by the city’s name — for example, the local stores are named Spoke SLO.
The services and technical ability are the same in the metropolitan and suburban-based salons, Thompson said, adding that the prices reflect each area.
Thompson said the two don’t have an intricate growth strategy, but rather they open salons when and where they see an opportunity. They prefer moving into locations that were previously salons.
Thompson and Reyman opened the San Francisco location in December 2013, the Los Angeles salon in May 2014 and the SoHo location last year in May; each of the salons became profitable quickly after opening, Thompson said.
Thompson said they anticipate total gross annual sales at the three Spoke & Weal salons to be about $4 million this year. So far, sales are up 50 percent from last year. Sales at the San Luis Obispo salons have continued to grow again over the past two years after plateauing for a few years, she said, adding that gross annual sales last year at the local salons were more than $1.5 million.
The pair remains involved with the San Luis Obispo salons — Thompson returns to the local stores monthly to oversee operations, and Reyman visits quarterly to train the staff.
Thompson and Reyman have a staff of about 80 mostly full-time employees.
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