Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Alysa McClendon is the founder of “Insideout Beauty Studio.” McClendon shares how she came up with the name for her business and much more about her journey as a business owner.
Nine years ago, Alyssa McClendon decided to open a hair salon in the city.
In a conversation with her young niece, McClendon asked where beauty comes from. McClendon said when she saw her niece point to her heart, she knew she wanted to share the narrative with other women that beauty is deeper than appearance.
That’s when Insideout Beauty Studio first arrived in Dover.
“I tell my clients that it’s not just changing your hair that makes us who we are, it’s the concept that as we transform your outward beauty we’re also getting to know you and hopefully making you fall back in love, or fall more in love, with who you are on the inside,” McClendon said.
Insideout Beauty Studio first opened on Chestnut Street before later moving to 6 Franklin Plaza in Dover. Last year, McClendon looked for a new location to move to as her business grew. When she saw the nearby storefront at 444 Central Ave. open, she knew it was right. Insideout Beauty Studio reopened last Wednesday in its new location. McClendon is hopeful that this will be her salon’s “long-term home.”
“We were at Franklin Plaza for five years, and there was a lot of growth organically happening to and around us,” McClendon said. “Our neighbor, Garrison City Beerworks, needed extra space as well, so it worked out perfectly.”
McClendon looked at the space in March 2020, right before everything shut down for the coronavirus pandemic. With the lease scheduled to start on May 1, McClendon put the move on hold. Renovations on the new space took longer than anticipated due to the pandemic so the move has been “a long time coming.”
“We’re super excited to be there,” McClendon said. “It just feels right. It feels like home.”
Insideout Beauty Studio took a seven-week pause when the COVID-19 mandates first shut businesses down last year.
“It was a little nerve-racking and it was incredibly difficult to navigate how we’re supposed to provide services that we’ve always given, but under a time restraint of one hour and under new protocols,” McClendon said. “For a lot of people getting their hair done was like the one time that they were out of the house to socialize, so it was hard on our clients as well.”
McClendon said she doubled down on outreach efforts to clients during the shutdown, to provide pickup service for hair products, product tutorials, and private FaceTime visits with clients.
“We just made sure that our clients knew that we were still there for them,” she said. “I didn’t want to crawl into a fetal position say, ‘I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ We instead looked at it differently. We took the approach of ‘we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re here for you and what can we do for you from home?’ We stayed pretty busy throughout the year. When we reopened, it was a different energy and a lot of people wanted to try new things with their hair.”
McClendon also took time to reflect on her brand, and how things could improve once they did move to their new location.
“I did feel like this was another chance to do something a little bit differently,” she said. “In the past, we’ve had massage, nail, lash extension and spray tanning services, and as much as we loved all those services, I decided I just wanted a studio that specialized in hair services.”
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.