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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Bradford

Why are we "The Alchemist"?

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

People often wonder what the significance is behind our name or what it means...

In my early twenties, I was introduced to a book called "The Alchemist". Paulo Coelho's tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

At that time in my life, I was working three jobs and just trying to get by. I had always had a longterm goal of owning my own salon but didn't see how that would ever come to fruition. Eventually, fate led me to a great teacher of the craft that apprenticed me and shared his knowledge of the industry. Finally, I was on my path. I worked for other salons and yet in my heart, the spaces never felt quite right. I dreamed of a magical space filled with books, plants and good music where I could connect with like minded individuals that allowed me to explore my artistic license.

I sought out a second story space above a coffee shop. Initially, I thought I'd just stay there forever. It was all I needed. While building my business plan, it occurred to me that I had to come up with a name. First, I went through every generic salon reference I could think of. Then, I dug a little deeper. I thought of my journey, what led me to that moment and how I could honor this life long dream of mine. That book I had read years prior came to my mind. I remembered how the main character had a similar journey to mine. I then started thinking about what the name of that book really meant. Alchemy = to turn metal into gold. What a clever analogy for what I felt like I was doing with hair as my medium. So the Alchemist Salon was born.

Shortly after announcing the opening of the salon, Shaina Witham came to work beside me. The dynamic between us created a perfect synergy. She was/is the ying to my yang. Eventually other stylists also wanted to join us. Ena (our Irish girl!), has been with us the second longest and is a steady pillar of our space. Throughout different chapters of our lives, people enter our stories. Some stay for a season and some for a lifetime. Regardless of who has come and gone, one thing is undeniable, The Alchemist Salon is a sacred space with an unspoken magnetism that attracts in need of its positive energy exchange for healing, self care and transformation.

We hope you follow your dreams...

Melissa Bradford

The Alchemist Salon

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