Five and a half years ago, a tour through Taj Salon and Spa would have taken a few quick seconds. It opened with six styling station and eight employees. Shortly after opening, however, the owners realized that wasn't enough.
"We knew pretty shortly into it we needed more space for retail," says co-owner Tasia Ashton. "We needed more hair stations."
Ashton and her co-owners, Andria Strandin and her mother, Jeanne, decided to expand, adding three more stations.
They say before they opened their shop in the Park Place Promenade shopping center near Highway 610 and Zane Avenue in Brooklyn Park, the area was missing a salon and spa experience. Once Taj Salon and Spa opened, it grew fast.
"People in the area telling their family and friends and neighbors about us, made them send their people to us, which is just a snowball effect," says Ashton.
Just last year, they expanded their business a second time, this time adding a specialty boutique.
"We have different women's lines," says Andria Strandin. "We have men's lines. We have local jewelry artists and other artists we like to feature. We've got shoes, we've got purses. We really have just a bunch of different gift ideas."
Amy Baldwin, Business Development Manager with the city of Brooklyn Park, says several businesses in that immediate area have found success during the recession.
"Certainly there’ve been some great examples of businesses who have just thrived or at least done very very well during the economic downturn," says Baldwin, "to the point that they were able to stay even, stay in business, stay in a good position and now be poised for growth with the new residents and office users coming into the area and really servicing an area that otherwise doesn’t have a lot of retail service to provide a lot of amenities to the area."
Both Baldwin and the owners of Taj Salon and Spa credit the Target campus for boosting business in that area. Ashton says a lot of Taj's clients are those Target employees. She says the company's expansion that could bring three thousand more employees to the site is exciting.
"Well, just all those people that are going to be right down there is going to be amazing,” she says. "The more of their services we can do, the more people they'll tell there."
The owners operate another Taj Salon and Spa that they opened a few years after opening the Brooklyn Park location. At this point, they say they have no immediate plans to further expand either site. However, they say a big reason they secured the boutique space at the Brooklyn Park location was so they would have a place to grow the salon if they wanted to.
"We talk about things we want to remodel here and remodel in Minneapolis and do differently," says Ashton. "We’re always thinking about what the next thing’s going to be."
August 13, 2012