Healthy Hairdresser

Jay Bulluck: Hair and Honey

Rosanne Ullman | April 21, 2014 | 1:04 PM
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Local Honey owner Jay Bulluck with the salon's artistic director, Caitlin Brennan. Bulluck's sitting in of several Kochs & Paider vintage barber chairs he keeps at the salon along with other antiques and local artifacts.
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A taste of honey for store customers and salon clients.
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Jay Bulluck: Hair and HoneyJay Bulluck wanted to do hair. He chose the name “Local Honey” for his Greensboro, NC, salon because local honey represented everything about his salon culture, not because he wanted to become a honey seller. But somehow that happened anyway.

“The concept of local honey is timeless,” Bulluck explains. “Local honey is well-known to cure what ails you. From aging and illness to family problems and job stress, locally derived honey can cure you. And that’s just we do at our salon—we make our clients feel good.”

The metaphor also applies to the way the team operates, Bulluck adds.

“We have a collective hive, like worker bees all cooperating together, but outside the hive we have our own lives,” he says. “It’s all combined to form that nectar that feeds the community again. Every local honey has its own flavor, just as every salon has its own feel.”

The salon opened only last year and already is buzzing! But seeing the bee motif and all of the vintage decor, clients grew so invested in the local honey theme that they wanted to buy some. In addition, the name attracted customers who believed they were coming to a honey shop. Very quickly, Bullock realized he’d better be selling local honey, and his second business was born.

“Our top three infusions are cinnamon, chipotle and lavender,” he reports. “I never used to eat honey because I didn’t like feeling sticky hands. I got over it, and now I’m a honey lover—and I do feel healthier!”

Bullock encourages his staff to stay healthy not only with a spoonful of honey but by keeping active.

“Our salon is directly across from a park, where people can bring their dogs and we’ll go play frisbee with the dogs,” he notes. “I’ve brought in the personal trainer I’ve used since breaking my collarbone in a motorcycle accident, and he shows the staff how to do stretches to prevent injuries that can occur in our profession. We work on core strength and shoulder strength to help stylists do a long blow-dry or color application. My trainer changed my life. Today I have no back pain, and I work long hours! I also provide health insurance as well as AFLAC for my staff.”

Bullock says the key is to avoid injuries.

“Instead of seeing a chiropractor, people should spend that money on a gym or a trainer,” he says. “We have to start talking about preventive rather than restorative.”

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