Late afternoon sunlight streams through the windows of the Granary Building in Bellingham, illuminating Honey Salon’s new location. People in various stages of haircuts and blowouts laugh, lounge, and sip on complimentary tea and coffee. Honey Salon occupies the fourth and fifth floors of the building, looking out onto downtown Bellingham to the east and the San Juan Islands and the sparkling sea to the west. The entry areas in the salon are graced with bouquets of colorful flowers, sleek and comfortable chairs and couches, and displays of sustainable products. 

The Granary Building sits at the gateway to Bellingham’s new Waterfront District. Another current tenant is Bellingham Yoga Collective, with more businesses and restaurants on the way. The converted historic grain elevator is adjacent to Waypoint Park and trails, giving visitors to Honey a chance to explore the district, too. 

I spoke with Bre Sanders, the salon manager, who’s been with Honey for ten years. She’s excited about the opportunities that the Granary space offers. 

“We now have two floors and twice the amount of chairs,” Sanders says. “We’re growing our apprenticeship program, which allows people to get their license to do hair or their cosmetology license in a salon instead of going to beauty school.” 

Honey’s apprenticeship program was a key motivation in finding a new space. “We really pride ourselves in being able to offer education for less than a beauty school would traditionally cost,” Sanders says. 

Honey makes space for professionals in all stages of their beauty career. “The fourth floor is where we have a lot of our students, apprentices, and recent graduates of our program,” Sanders says. “Upstairs we have our independent contractors — people who maybe graduated a long time ago — and established stylists who have come here.”  

Inclusivity is a core value at Honey Salon. Honey is a mainstay of downtown Bellingham, participating in art walks and other events. This has cultivated, as Sanders puts it, “a strong client base,” which is something Honey is particularly proud of. 

“I’ve always really loved this industry,” she says “It’s awesome seeing people come in — maybe they’re having a bad day — and when they leave they just feel better. It’s a real self-care kind of thing. It makes a difference for people, and it’s so nice to see that.” 

Honey is also a Green Circle Salon, meaning they are part of a comprehensive recycling and reuse program to address environmental waste in the hair and beauty industry. So not only does the salon offer high quality services and a warm, friendly atmosphere, they also are constantly working to redefine what environmental accountability and sustainability look like for their business. 

Finding a home in the Granary Building lets Honey Salon expand their services and offer their community even more of what they love. “It’s such a fascinating place,” says Sanders, clearly enthused. “It’s really cool to feel like you’re a part of a bigger community but also the smaller community that is within the Granary Building. We’re super happy to be here.”  

And their clients seem to be as well – everyone walks out the door with a smile on their face.