Quinn West is a mini-antique shop and hair salon all in one, offering a nice browsing alternative to flipping through pages of LiLo's latest drug debacle while waiting for a trim.
Walking down the steps from the Parkdale entrance, the first thing I notice is the fabulous orange sectional and vintage white coffee table. While those aren't for sale, two white stools by the register are, as well as the Victorian jelly moulds, antique cups and saucers, and other kitchen odds and ends displayed on wire racks.
"It's all stuff I would have in my own home," owner Erica Quinn tells me. "Some of the décor is mine, some is bought by my pickers. I just love anything art deco or retro."
It only makes sense that Quinn's salon is an extension of her own living room. That's where she performed cuts for her clients after leaving a Toronto salon to go back to school. But she eventually got tired of living and working in the same space, and longed to get back some structure and camaraderie in her life.
So when she found this lower level space on Queen West formerly occupied by a church, she jumped on the space. As for camaraderie, it's just Quinn and her full-time colourist now that the salon is four weeks in, with two part-timers and a freelance makeup artist on the side.
"I really have no specialty whatsoever," Quinn tells me when I ask about her style of cuts. "I do a lot of everything, since my clients are all over the map. But, I guess I am focused on teaching people how do keep up their styles themselves. I want to make sure clients go home with the tools to keep their hair looking great."
In terms of what she's digging now, Quinn says she's all about the shaggy, layered cuts for women. "And for men, I'm loving the 1950's military cut; a chance for me to get out the clippers."
Women's cuts are presently $70, men's are $45, and colour ranges from $65 to $130.
Quinn hopes to make the space feel even more like home. "I want to get local art on the wall, create spaces for photoshoots, and of course, just get people in the chairs."
"Parkdale has a wonderful sense of community," she continues. "I'm hoping this place can be a hub."
Photos by Dennis Marciniak