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Let me cut to the chase (pun intended), after one spin in the stylist’s chair at Let ‘Em Have It Salon, I’m now a devotee. My new status as salon superfan is variously inspired. I was offered, and accepted, a locally brewed beer to drink while I had my hair cut. My stylist, Carlos, and I bonded easily- he even posed for a goofy photo with me. And I walked out of the salon knowing that my former mop of hair (now a stylish coif) would go to help soak up an oil spill. That’s right! My sheared off hair now has a useful afterlife. That’s motivated me to recruit anyone and everyone to take my place in the stylist’s chair at Let ‘Em Have It. The salon’s pioneering co-founder, Fallene Wells, is on the cutting edge (pun intended, again) of adopting socially responsible salon practices. As a leader in her industry, Fallene is poised to own the first Certified B Corp salon in the country and the work it’s taking to get there will pay off for salons- and similar businesses- that follow in Let ‘Em Have It’s path. If you’re not a devotee, like me, yet, you’re sure to be after hearing more from Fallene.
C.C. You recently became the first Green Circle Certified salon in Colorado. How do other certifications, like this one, help or hinder you on your path to becoming a Certified B Corporation?
Fallene: The Green Circle Salon certification helps to cut down on waste that ends up in the landfill. We send all of our discarded color to them to process and turn into clean water and we also send in hair clippings that goes to help soak up oil spills. The Green Circle Salon certification helps to improve our score in the environmental portion of the B Impact Assessment. It also helps us to be more aware of everything we throw away. Before becoming a Green Circle Salon, we were throwing away at least 5 trash bags per day. We have drastically cut that number to one 25 LB bag per week. With the Green Circle Salon program, we also have the opportunity to have clients bring in light bulbs and batteries to get recycled.
C.C. You’re aiming to become the first salon in the county that is a Certified B Corporation. Given that you are a trailblazer in your industry, how has this affected your experience with the B Impact Assessment?
Fallene: The B Impact Assessment, although it’s extremely time consuming and hard to reach the minimum score of 80, has made a huge positive impact on our salon. This is my husband and my first time as business owners. I have used the assessment to become a better leader and a better business owner. It’s helped me create guidelines for what we provide for our employees, for how we treat our customers, for how to be more involved in the community, and to push ourselves to think of new ways we can be sustainable. When we first started out it was all about being the best salon in Denver. I would often compare what we were doing with other salons. After taking the B Impact Assessment it’s made us ask: How can we be the best for our world? It’s not about just business anymore for us- it’s about creating a culture in our business that inspires our team, our customers, and the community to change the world for the better.
C.C. How will becoming the first B Corp Certified salon benefit your business? How will it impact your industry overall?
Fallene: I think becoming a Certified B Corporation will benefit us internally first, since it’s about creating a positive culture for our business to operate on. When you make a positive change in how you treat every person and how you are impacting your community, the environment, that feeling spreads like wildfire. The positivity will start to resonate with our customers. B Corporation isn’t a trend, it’s a new way of thinking about operating your business for longevity and sustainability. To me it makes sense for salons to take action and become B Corp Certified. Consumers are starting to vote with their dollars and support companies that have like-minded values. Today so much more goes into choosing a product or service. People want to feel like they belong to something bigger, and knowingly supporting a company that is striving to make a difference makes a customer much more loyal to that company.
C.C. Is there anything else you want to share about Going B?
Fallene: I want to say, “thank you” to Cultivation Center for hosting B Lab events and spreading awareness about the B Corporation certification. I also want to give a shout out to the B Certification team at Denver University that’s taking the time to help us improve our score and become certified this year! I look forward to helping other salons be a part of this great movement!
Are you considering becoming B Corp certified but are befuddled by the process? Check out our upcoming Going B BootCamp !