Our Story

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Sola Salon Studios was founded in 2004 with the dream of doing more than designing beautiful, move-in-ready salon studios. Co-founders Stratton Smith and Matt Briger set out to build a thriving community where independent beauty professionals could create a life and career they loved.

From the beginning, the Sola team has made a humble commitment to serving the beauty professional and always putting their best interests first. Our vision since the beginning has been to give beauty professionals control over their environment, schedule, choice of retail, pricing and so much more. During the early stages of developing the innovative concept of turnkey salon studios in a co-working environment, the founders sat down with Denver-based stylist Kim Bennett to learn more about what was important to her in creating the salon career of her dreams.

Impressed by Stratton and Matt's unwavering commitment to bettering the lives and businesses of independent salon owners, Kim took a leap of faith and became the very first Sola stylist in Denver, Colorado.

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Kim Bennett

"I was inspired by their vision of Sola. They didn't want to sell me anything or compete with my business. Everything was all my choice! So I signed up right then."

- Kim Bennett

In 2005, the first franchised Sola location was opened, paving the way for our best-in-class franchisees and onsite operators. And in the blink of an eye, 10 years later, Sola celebrated 5,000 independent beauty professionals across the United States.

Throughout the years, Sola has become more than just another salon suites rental business; we are an all-encompassing independent salon business solution. Our leadership team drives constant innovation for the on-site studio experience as well as providing cutting-edge technology and ongoing educational resources to the Sola community.

In 2016, Sola launched Sola Pro, an exclusive app, to host industry deals, special offers and a variety of educational resources to bridge the gap between the professional beauty industry and the Sola community. Shortly after, the first Sola Sessions event kicked off in Denver, providing a unique live education experience to inspire and connect the ever-growing Sola community.

In 2019, we changed the game once again with our online booking search engine, BookNow, which allows clients to search, discover and book appointments directly on our website. This ground-breaking technology allows us to help drive client bookings for our beauty professionals, so they can spend more time doing what they love behind the chair. One of our Faces of Sola Ashley Lantz has seen incredible growth in her business since the launch of BookNow. “I got to the point where I was getting so many inquiries from the BookNow system a day that I had to actually stop taking new clients all together so I could make sure that I could still get in my regular clients.”

Sola has blazed the trail for the independent stylist movement, offering new levels of creative freedom to those who are inspired to make the transition. We aim to make your transition to independence as smooth as possible. You are independent and unique at Sola, but you are not alone.

Over the past 15 years, the original Sola dream has blossomed into a worldwide movement and a thriving, diverse and welcoming community of more than 15,000 independent salon professionals across 500+ locations in the United States, Canada and Brazil. Our culture has been cultivated around one simple idea: empowering people to have the "freedom to live the life you love."

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Through our business-building tools, educational offerings, encouraged networking and strong support system, Sola empowers hairdressers, estheticians, nail techs, massage therapists and other like-minded professionals to take full control of their lives and careers. With a bright future ahead, the Sola team continues to identify ways to cultivate growth through innovation, creativity, and most importantly, community.

"At our heart, we are a service business. We are totally committed to the success of our community."

- Christina Russell, CEO
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Sola has blazed the trail for the independent stylist movement, offering new levels of creative freedom to those who are inspired to make the transition. We aim to make your transition to independence as smooth as possible. You are independent and unique at Sola, but you are not alone.

Through our business-building tools, educational offerings, encouraged networking and strong support system, Sola empowers hairdressers, estheticians, nail techs, massage therapists and other like-minded professionals to take full control of their lives and careers. With a bright future ahead, the Sola team continues to identify ways to cultivate growth through innovation, creativity and, most importantly, community.

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