Linus Inc. tries to be upscale, not high end. That's what owner Luke Martin tells me as I enter his new space on College just west of Dufferin. And I think my face gives away that I have no idea what he's talking about.
"We try to be upscale, trend-driven, contemporary," he elaborates. "But our prices are quite medium," Robin Richer, Martin's partner, pipes in. "We're urban and trend-aware, while serving all types of clients from actors to artists and lawyers."
The space has a relaxed vibe with bamboo floors, white walls, and comfy black leather furniture. This location opened in October after Linus Inc. had run its course on St. Nicholas Street near Yonge and Wellesley for eight years.
"The building was being demolished, so we were losing our home," Martin says while he blow dries a fresh cut. "But we have an affinity for the west end so we were excited to move here."
Richer tells me this space used to be an appliance store, which doesn't surprise me. This stretch of College isn't exactly 'hip,' with a couple of laundromats, an employment centre, and weary looking sports bar all in the near vicinity. Martin and Richer are optimistic, though, and looking to grow their team and possibly expand their services to include nails and waxing.
Right now, though, they're all about hair. "Client consultation is our main thing," Richer says. "We want to really find out what you want and why you want it. And then work with you to create a style that really suits you."
"I knew I needed to start my own salon when I realized I knew too much," Martin adds. "I couldn't work for another boss unless that boss was my client."
Martin and Richer say they have similar styles and both like lots of texture and movement. "So you know you'll get something similar whether you're in my chair or his," Richer says. "Take your pick: a cute guy," she says, grinning at Martin, "or a hot blonde girl?"
There is no actual "Linus" at this salon though, and was simply named after the Peanuts character. Martin shrugs. "I just like Peanuts."
Pricing is gender neutral and depends on the type of hair. A base cut is $30, highlights start at $55, and colour starts at $40.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak