History of Hair People - A Denver Salon


It all started in 1975 with Maree's parents...

Hair People was established in 1975 by Maree's father, Lontine Chavez. Lontine's many talents let him take what was once a 1950's-style Beauty Parlor into a hip, groovy salon of the 70's! Remember feathered hair, neon hair colors and the perms of the 80's?? He settled into a timeless, classic establishment in the 90's, and that has continued on to today.

Lontine's wife, Lee, joined him in the mid-80's and added her savvy skill of business, hard work and deluxe customer service -- a wonderful complement to Lontine's artistic talents and interpersonal skills. Together, they became more than an ordinary hair salon. They continued to grow, to connect with the community, and to create a neighborhood-friendly foundation for all generations.

The exterior of Hair People has undergone many make-overs...different paint colors, awnings and signs. The Glow Ball lights from the 70's have evolved into the soft glow of antique crystal chandeliers. There are new floors, and progressive products and training have kept Hair People fresh and new. But what will always remain the same is the energy that Lontine and Lee started 30 years ago, as well as the humble feeling of gratitude that exists when each and every customer walks in the door.
 

Building History

  • 1926 - The building was built, and has been a hair salon for its entire history.
  • 1976 - Lontine and Lee Chavez bought Circle Drive Beauty Salon from Jack Bryant....who had owned it since 1946. The salon was re-named to HairPeople.
  • 1995 - Maree Chavez took over HairPeople. She said the building had "Hair Karma" when they found three inches of hair under old linoleum during a remodel.

Chavez Personalities

  • Lontine previously owned a Cherry Creek Salon (Cherry Creek Terrace) in the Container Store location. Bankruptcy and tough times didn't deter him from trying again.
  • Lee joined in at HairPeople, leaving her job as a banker to go to Costmetology School, becoming the "business head" behind the "artistic free spirit".
  • Lontine began early "unisex" marketing when Colorado Supreme Court said "Hair has no Gender", agreeing that cosmetologists could cut men's hair without a barber's license. He threw out the uniforms of the day and encouraged trendy attire for the employees.
  • Maree operates with the philosophy that you're never too old to learn; you should never be intimidated by young talent. If you share your knowledge, you will continue to grow.
  • Maree's work with cancer patients and mentoring at-risk young women through her non-profit "Chicks With a Purpose" earned her Channel 7's "Everyday Hero Award".

Recession Thoughts

  • Lontine lived by the guideline, "If it isn't broken - break it!"...believing people need change to lift their spirits. Rather than downsizing, you should increase your creativity.
  • Maree remembers her Dad bringing home towels to wash late at night, doing whatever he had to in hard times. She feels tough times call for better customer service and more focused marketing, saying she's glad she got her business marketing degree before entering the field.
  • Maree adds that finding a niche helps you stand out; she teams with the community in developing unique ways to offer service.
  • The whole Chavez family believes your employees need to know you care. Maree encourages "flex schedules" and work/home balance, recognizing that family is LIFE.