Looking for a new hair salon? Want to be pampered like no other? Need a place to take an Instagrammable pic of your new do? Indie Mane Salon, located at 531 Virginia Avenue, is where you need to go! We interviewed Belinda Benham, salon owner, to get the scoop on her hairdressing background and what it takes to open a hair salon in the heart of Indianapolis.
Congrats on the salon’s grand opening! Tell us a little about the process of opening a salon and why you decided to open your own?
I’ve worked in salons all over Indianapolis, I tried them all, but there was always a disconnect between the owners and stylists. A year ago I felt the need to open a salon that supported hairdressers with education, and offered flexibility with work schedules. But first I needed to find the space. Then one day in April I was researching commercial real estate downtown Indy and I found it, the first day it came on the market. I signed the lease in June, and opened in September. It was crazy. Everyone told me I was doing it all backwards, but everything came together perfectly. The process was me working my normal crazy schedule, plus planning all the salon stuff during and after work. I couldn’t have done it without my assistant, now manager, Sami!!!! And of course my parents! They are crazy supportive, and funny.
Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere. I love to travel and see different cultures. LA is one of my favorites because it is so ahead of the trends and I learn so much when I go. I went to Tulum Mexico right before I signed my lease, and was obsessed. That’s where my tropical vibes come from. The first item I bought for the salon was from Tulum, my macramés! Need to go back!!
What kinds of customers are your favorite and why?
I love clients who trust my recommendations. I love to suggest color and cuts that suit their lifestyle, their own personal style, and their color palette, such as eye and skin color.
Describe a hairstyle you’ve done that you are most proud of.
It was four years ago on prom day. This girl showed me this updo that looked like a rose made of hair. I had never done anything like that, but figured it out on the spot, and it turned out beautiful. And then I got a ton of likes on Facebook. Lol.
What advice would you give to aspiring hairdressers?
You have to do everything for nothing, in the beginning. This career pays back way later. So say “yes” to everything and be patient.
What is the most rewarding memory?
I would say meeting my hair bestie at a hair show in Italy. I was by myself but with my mom at this hair show. I saw this guy with this really cool blazer on. He was super tan so I thought he was Italian so I went up to him, rand told him really slowly, that I loved his jacket. He responded in English, and I was like “oh my God thank you!!!” Then we both realized we were American and we have been besties ever since.
Describe your earliest memory of an interest in hair.
It was going to visit my family in England when I was six. I had straight across bangs and a bob. My mom said on day two I came downstairs with my hair all slicked back. Everyone laughed at me and asked what I was doing. I said, no one in England has bangs and I have bangs so they need to go. So I slicked my hair back into a gelled pony tail for a whole year until they grew out. Obsessed.
Describe your personal style in five words.
Please don’t copy me, thanks.
What’s next for you? What short and long term goals are on your list?
Short term, is actually working on getting some work/life balance. Making time for work outs, friends and family. And maybe a hobby whatever that is. Long term, expanding cross country. Indy will always be my base and home.
What has been your favorite hair trend this year?
These curtain bangs are sweeping the nation!!!
Name your all-time favorite hair style.
Technically speaking, a hairstyle is just the way the hair is styled, so I have to go with a high bun. Great for in the shower when you don’t want to wash your hair, great for the weekend and can even be made fancy for nice events. Overall, it’s a winner.
What are your goals for the salon in the future?
I have some stuff up my sleeve! I just want to be known as a salon with the best energy. I want people to go on a hair(cation) when they come and get their hair done, that vibe is priceless!