Arbor Hair Studio has been part of the Greater St. Cloud Community since 2017, but owner Michelle Meier has been in the industry since 2003. “I opened a salon that uses safe, holistic, and naturally derived ingredients in our products. We were the first Green Circle Salon in Central Minnesota, which means we recycle hair, foils, and everything else we’re able to.”
So why the focus on safe, natural, environmentally-friendly products? “I was working in the industry for almost 15 years and recognized that the majority of my health problems were coming from my work. Hair stylists handle harsh chemicals every day. I started doing research and discovered there are much safer ways to operate in this industry and still get great – or better – results. I also discovered the waste that leaves the salon has a very negative impact on the environment. I knew the only way to do the work I love was to do it in a safe environment – and to do that, I had to create my own salon.”
Arbor is a salon that uses holistic and naturally derived ingredient-based products. “The bonus is that you get amazing hair without the harsh chemicals. I wanted to create a salon that puts the focus on determining the root cause. Through consultation, each client is individually given a tailored plan for their hair care. Our tagline is “Beautiful. In a healthy way.” and everyone here tries their best to live that each day. We want the community to know that you do not need to use dangerous chemicals and that there really are healthier ways to be beautiful. We also provide our customers in the community with healthier alternatives to everyday products.”
Michelle’s a true Central MN hometown gal. She’s originally from Melrose, attended the Model College of Hair Design in St. Cloud, and received her Bachelor’s Degree from St. Cloud State University. “I stayed in the area because of my love of my local clientele, family, friends, and the community here. Arbor is my full-time gig but I am also a full-time mom and wife. My family is just as much of a part of Arbor as I am. They have been very supportive of the business and are a major part of the heart of Arbor.”
“My favorite part of being part of this business community is getting to know all of the other small business owners and watching them succeed. I think it is so important for us to support one another and be each other’s cheerleaders. My second favorite part is the Central Minnesota community. Some of our clients are people I went to Elementary school with. Some of our clients are people we bank with. Some of our clients own a business down the road. Some of our clients are people whose wedding hair I did 10 years ago. I get to witness the growth of their lives, careers, families, children, and beyond. It is truly amazing to grow with our clients.”
“If it wasn’t for the Central MN community, we could not be where we are today. From day one of sitting at the SBDC-Small Business Development Center, we had the support of the community and the St Cloud area. With the help from Falcon National Bank, BCI Construction, Premier Real estate, and of course our clientele and staff – we couldn’t have done it without any of them. I could never thank the Greater St. Cloud and Central MN community enough for what they have done.”
After growth from the community, Arbor expanded to its new site in Waite Park in 2021. The new location allowed Arbor to offer an expanded lineup of more natural, holistic, and organic alternatives, as well as offer additional services. Today, Arbor is a 6,500-square-foot salon that not only operates the best in the industry but does it in the safest and healthiest way possible.
“Just like all small businesses, we hope you check us out! We sell a variety of safe, natural, holistic, and naturally derived products. We have some of the most amazing staff and Independent Contractors out there. We understand that we are different … but, different in an amazing way!”