Back in December, I had great fun introducing the Athens Now community to New Beginnings Salon and Trading Post, and ever since have enjoyed getting to know the owners, Cindy McCurry and Toni Lea. Truly, every time I have gone into the shop to deliver the latest edition of the paper, they have done something new, whimsical, clever, humorous, or just plain classy to the place or the products.
Spring is traditionally a time when that which could be labeled “serendipity” shows up everywhere, if for no other reason than life has begun anew. The definition of “serendipity” is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. However, the creative energy between these two friends only makes it look like this has “happened by chance.”
Believe me, these gals know what they are doing, and they both work hard at running the salon, repurposing items, developing new product lines, and loving their families. When I sat down between them at the lovely antique table just outside the workroom in the back of the shop, they took off and brainstormed about what their next project will look like, or how they’ll maybe “try this,” or “experiment with that.” I was happy to listen to their creative banter, ask questions, and watch as yet another sad, discarded item was lined up for its own “new beginning.”
The first thing they did to show how skilled they are at “posh re-purposing” is show me the new shop sign out in the yard. “It took awhile to get it just right,” they said, and their efforts, along with the help of Toni’s husband, Chris, captured the essence of the place handsomely.
One of the things they do often is repaint the outside door to reflect the season. Right now it looks like spring, all decked out in several pastels. Because of their skill with chalk paint, they can take a few minutes, paint the door, and use their lovingly restored items carefully placed on either side to give you an idea of what is waiting for you inside. Whether you are going to the salon, or looking for that unique item for your home or office, a visual feast awaits you before you even get past the door. Memorial Day is coming, and the entrance is going to change again in honor of remembering those troops who have fallen in service to our country. The door is going to sport a vintage flag, and I’ll leave the rest as a surprise. Cindy told me that right now they are putting together several pots and planters for spring, all of which will be rustic.
“We still are taking orders for custom items,” Toni told me, and then took me to see her next project: a Deco-era wardrobe with 3 drawers, 2 doors, and what will be a full length mirror. As she told me about her plans, she added, “I am going to keep the original character of this piece.” I was glad to hear it, as sometimes I have seen items “lose their soul,” or original charm and substance, in the process of being renewed.
They then told me about several new additions to the New Beginnings Salon and Trading Post that will be making their debut closer to fall. One is their own line of chalk paint, which is in the last stages of development. “I have tweaked my own recipe,” says Toni, “and I am really pleased with how it is coming out.” She took me to a vanity that had been done with her personal recipe, and I marveled, remembering how it looked when she first got it.
They are also adding a clothing line that they described as “Modern Romance.” It is going to be “frilly yet classic, and tailored,” they told me, and I am looking forward to seeing how two ideas that almost seem to be at odds with each other will come together. However, I know from experience that if anyone can pull that off, Cindy and Toni can.
Lastly, Cindy and Toni are looking to add to the salon staff, and in addition to being skilled in your craft, you need to be a people person and have a sense of humor, ‘cuz that is just their “vibe.” New Beginnings has long been the stomping grounds of Debbie Lambert, who has twice cut my hair to give away to cancer patients, and years ago gave me an amazing facial massage that made me want to stay in her chair for the rest of the day! Debbie also does full body waxes. Cindy said, “We have a position open for a hair dresser, you can have your own room, and can decorate to suit your style. We are also looking for a manicurist,” she added. I’ll tell you, if I had those skills, I would beat feet to the salon and join their team, but for now, I shall remain a more-than-happy customer of New Beginnings Salon and Trading Post.
Address: 1221 Kelli Drive #C Athens, AL 35613 (next to Clark’s Restaurant, across from Cracker Barrel)
Hours: Tue-Fri 9-5, Sat 9-2
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner