In the hair industry, some of the greatest success stories come from taking risks—and that’s exactly how Studio 921 Salon And Spa in Baltimore, Maryland came to be. After spending nearly 10 years in corporate America, salon owner Judy F. Sulisufaj Kelly opened the space with one simple goal: To make people feel good about themselves.
Whether you want to make a drastic color change or you’re looking for a luxurious spa service, read on to find out why you should make your next appointment at Studio 921 Salon And Spa.
Though Sulisufaj Kelly had no background in hair, she was ready to move on from her previous career and use her business-savvy in other areas. Studio 921 first opened its doors in 2004, when Sulisufaj Kelly’s business partner, Colleen Smith, suggested they start a salon—which she thought was a crazy idea at the time. They opened with four employees and a dream that the salon would turn into a success.
“We had no background in hair whatsoever, but after doing research and a lot of hard work, we agreed to it and 17 years later, here we are,” Sulisufaj Kelly says.
At Studio 921, the focus is on hiring stylists with a passion for their craft. The salon is proud of their eclectic 18-stylist staff, all from different walks of life and each with a specific skill set to bring to the table.
“Whether you’re a day out of school or have 20 years of experience, we interview everybody the same,” Sulisufaj Kelly says. “At the end of the day, the way we hire people is really based more on their passion for the industry. If you have passion, you’re going to have great skill.”
Studio 921 is located in the bustling area of Downtown Baltimore. Once a foundry in the 1800s, the 53,000 square foot space was gutted from the ground up—but the exposed piping and brick walls help the space maintain it’s rustic vibe.
“We didn’t want a stereotypical feminine salon that men didn’t want to go into.. we wanted a space that was very urban and gender-neutral and something that really fit Baltimore,” Sulisufaj Kelly explains. “I’m originally from New York, and my partner Colleen and I both lived in the city...We really wanted to get back to the city.”
The space has 18 stylist stations, eight treatment rooms, and a room for microblading and other beauty procedures. While Studio 921 is one of the bigger salons in the Downtown Baltimore area, Sulisufaj Kelly emphasizes the salon’s welcome environment.
“Even though were a big salon, we’re a small business...What I mean by that is that we’re a very upscale salon with nice brands, but people come in in their sweatpants. There’s no judgements or snootiness,” Sulisufaj Kelly says. “We’re all just people trying to feel better about ourselves...Of course were focused on what’s on the outside with how our hair color and style looks, but at the end of the day, it’s about how you feel on the inside.”
The variety of services offered at Studio 921 is what takes the salon a step further than its competitors. In addition to offering haircuts ($35+), balayage (160+), Keratin treatments ($400+), and bridal hair styling ($120+), the salon also offers a wide range of spa and wellness services including microblading ($500+), massage therapy ($55+), custom facials, and Reiki ($90).
When it comes to the color used in the salon, Studio 921 is all about L'Oréal Professionnel.
“Our stylists absolutely love the color line and the tools behind all of the brand’s education,” Sulisufaj Kelly says.
If there’s one thing you need to know about Studio 921, it’s that there’s passion for every single service they provide—which is what Sulisufaj Kelly loves most about the business she created.
“I don’t do hair, but I’m so inspired by all the stylists in different ways,” Sulisufaj Kelly says. “Even after 17 years, I feel blessed coming to work everyday.”
Studio 921 Salon And Spa is located at 921 East Fort Avenue, Suite 108 in Baltimore, Maryland. To book an appointment, visit their website at http://www.studio921spa.com or call 410-783-7727. Follow the salon on Instagram @studio921baltimore.