Rhonda Fisher has worked as a hair stylist for 22 years, but her proudest career moment took place last month when she opened Girl & Guy Republic in the Short North.
What makes the salon so special to Fisher isn’t just that it’s her first foray into being a business owner. On weekend nights, the space transforms into a stage.
“My husband is a musician, and it seemed like it was the right time to bring our two passions together,” Fisher said. “He and I are both very artistic, and it’s cool to get to do it all and create under one roof. We want to be able to help other artists, too, and it’s so exciting that we have the potential to do that now.”
In addition to the free music showcases on select weekends (upcoming acts include Ill Atmospherics, Beauty of My Land and The Magnumb Opus), Girl & Guy Republic will feature work from a local artist each month.
“There are so many artists out there who don’t have an outlet to play at yet,” Fisher said. “Our intent is to provide that for people. Diversity of art is so important.”
Diversity also guides Girl & Guy Republic’s approach to its salon services. The name is indicative of the welcoming atmosphere Fisher hopes to create, and she cites her staff’s expertise in multi-ethnic hair and both men’s and women’s styles. The team also recently helped make over a transgender individual. The salon is a stylish republic of acceptance.
“That’s part of why I chose this location,” Fisher said. “There’s such a diversity of people here.”
The decor in the salon also echoes inclusivity: Masculine dark gray walls have subtle specks of glitter, and local art hangs above a luxe white leather couch.
Cuts at Girl & Guy Republic start at $55 for women and $35 for men, and a gamut of hair services are available. The salon will offer waxes, manicures and pedicures in the future.
“I want this to be an upscale place but somewhere you can be yourself,” Fisher said. “Going to a salon should be fun, like going into an old record store, upbeat.”
Upbeat — and to the beat of local musicians’ drums.