MONCTON – Kaitlyn Sutton and Jason Bergeron’s Soulflower Salon Spa is not a typical spa where you’d go for quiet relaxation. The couple is opening a high-energy spa on Mountain Road where Ego Studios used to be.
“A typical spa that somebody thinks of has your kind of quiet, serene, massage, facials, body scrubs, which is wonderful. What we’re going for is more of a high-energy, open-concept environment. So it’s all about friends coming in together, groups of people, maybe bachelorette parties,” said Sutton, who hopes to open Soulflower in April.
Soulflower will carry exclusively natural and organic products by Aveda, a brand owned by cosmetics giant Estee Lauder.
Customers can come in groups or alone, and Sutton said the environment allows for people to have conversations.
“While you’re getting your pedicure, you can see people getting their manicures done, you can see people getting their hair done, there’s music on that’s a little bit louder than a typical salon and it’s really upbeat. And you have your glass of wine while you’re having the services,” she added.
The couple is working to get a liquor license for the business. They plan to hire five people to start with and grow from there. Sutton, who has 15 years of experience as a hairstylist, will also work with the team as a stylist.
Sutton and Bergeron chose the Mountain Road location because it’s busy and highly visible. It just so happened that when they were ready to launch, the building became open for new tenants.
“If that space had come up even six months ago, we wouldn’t have been ready,” Sutton said.
As parents of three children, and with Jason working full-time as a firefighter for the city, the couple has had to adjust their schedule to work on the business.
“The work day for business starts when the kids go to bed. So we’ve been starting work from seven at night and going to bed at two, three in the morning the past month, just trying to get all the paperwork in order. There’s no easy way about it. It’s just grinding and getting it done,” said Bergeron.
“There’s been a lot of time when I’m typing something and Theadora the baby is on my hips, or Jason’s on the phone while he’s feeding her. She’s attended every single meeting with us,” Sutton said. “With the kids at home and the dog, we’ve really kind of had to depend on each other to get things done and really work together.”
This is also the first time the couple will become business owners. Sutton and Bergeron said they’re thankful for the resources available for business planning and funding.
“If you want help, there’s a lot of people willing to help. That’s what kind of saved us. Like 3plus for example, that was a stepping stone for us. The rest is your own work,” Bergeron said.
“[The funding] has been a combination of business loans [and our own money]. There’s a program called Futurpreneur that’s been able to help us,” Sutton said.
“There are big learning curves, a lot of ups and downs. It’s a risk, right? But if you don’t take risks then nothing can ever be gained,” she said.