When the bank across the street from his business went up for sale, Matt Miller, owner of Matthew’s & Co. Salon in Flowery Branch, seized the opportunity.
Looking at the old building with its metal beams and vault, Miller said he saw a piece of art, one that he could mold into his new “power house.”
He closed on the Ameris Bank, located at 7375 Spout Springs Road, in August 2020, and a month later he set to work on its transformation.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “This is a bank that’s been around for 20 years.”
The new location of Matthew’s & Co. Salon will hold its grand opening at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 9. Those wanting to get a peek at the new building and meet the business’ staff can visit during its open house from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 7. The event will have live music, a cookout and a car, motorcycles and boats show.
Miller said he purchased the bank to not only have room for more clients, but space for ample social distancing. At the salon’s original location in the shopping center on Spout Springs Road, he said the building has 21 chairs for clients. With the new 7,000-square-foot facility, he said it has the potential for 77 chairs and enough room for a spa and other services.
“You can justify driving from more than 30 miles away because we’re going to do your massage, your facial, your hair, your makeup, your nails,” Miller said. “This will be one power house where people can come and get all services done under one roof.”
Matthew’s & Co. Salon open house
What: Celebration of new location with live music, car show and food
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 7
Where: 7375 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch
And people aren’t the only ones who will receive self care. Miller said while guests are inside, their cars will be washed.
When people enter the newly renovated building, they’ll see the salon area as well as a space for men and anyone seeking barber services, which will be called the “Fellowship Hall.”
Miller said he converted the bank’s vault into a spa that will offer facials, lash options, spray tans, massages and more. To maintain some of the site’s character, he kept the massive vault door intact. If the spa goes well, he plans to expand it into the 2,000-square-foot second floor, which is currently designated as office space.
Amee Desai, master stylist at the salon, said the bank’s old drive-thru is currently being transformed into a garden space, which staff will use for outdoor haircuts.
Miller is a professional hairdresser with around 18 years experience in the industry, but also holds a horticulture science degree and has a knack for landscaping. The salon owner said he has harnessed this other passion to breathe life into the concrete area, constructing a 25-by-25-foot patio space that will soon be filled with fragrant plants.
“It’s going to be the most beautiful garden you’ve ever seen, and there will be chairs by reservation only to get your hair done outside,” Miller said. “We’re offering a new concept and social distancing for older customers that don’t need to be in a salon or don’t feel comfortable inside.”
Trinity Lund, hair stylist and Miller’s personal assistant, said she has enjoyed taking part in the new building’s metamorphosis.
“When we first got the bank, it looked like a very plain, standard bank,” she said. “Now, just looking at it, everything’s coming together, it’s really motivating. It makes me want to work harder.”
Desai, who has 18 years experience as a hairdresser, said Matthew’s business holds its own among other salons because of the atmosphere the staff cultivates. She said they find ways to make customers feel comfortable like sending guests home with trail mix bags made by Miller’s mom and even offering complimentary drinks on Wednesdays. Desai said they plan to embrace the same positive environment at the new location.
“Here, we’re all a family,” Desai said.
Miller’s brother Mark, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who works in the salon’s customer service, said the business harnesses its talent to serve those in need.
Each year, he said the salon offers free haircuts for underprivileged children around August and provides the same services to homeless people during Christmastime.
Miller, who grew up in West Hall, said he firmly believes that those who “give back, get back.”
“My biggest thing that I push is the power of the haircut,” he said. “I think with anybody, a good haircut makes you feel good.”
The salon’s hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.
For more information about Matthew’s & Co. Salon, visit matthews-co-salon.com.