The Lookbook: Parlour Salon

By CLARK LEWIS

Megan Mandigo and Lisa Phelps of Parlour Salon. COURTESY PHOTO

This week, instead of discussing an item, I will be featuring one of the new businesses in town. Parlour Salon just moved onto Main St. A short walk from campus, the salon provides hair and beauty services for the community. These services include hair styling, waxing and more. 

Parlour was opened by local residents Megan Mandigo and Lisa Phelps. The two women met several years ago through their husbands, who both work with Middlebury College Athletics. Mandigo is a Middlebury alumna from California. Phelps grew up in Waitsfield, Vt. before moving to Florida and then Burlington to train as a hairstylist. After years of joking around, the two women  decided to open a business. They were with their children at a local playground when they decided they would try and bring Parlour into fruition. It was a daunting task. Mandigo and Phelps have a collective five children and needed to simultaneously run their households, open a business, market their salon and hire staff when they started in 2016. The women are grateful for the support of their friends and family who helped them through the daunting task. 

Having both spent parts of their lives in cities very different from Middlebury, Mandigo and Phelps wanted to create a salon with beauty services comparable to what one might find in a large city. Mandigo explained that the name was chosen because parlours tend to be spaces that people go to feel welcome, socialize and develop community. Their clientele includes the greater Middlebury community, including college students. The town of Middlebury brings in people from all over the world and from different backgrounds, so creating a space for people to interact has been extremely important. 

As residents, Mandigo and Phelps want to revitalize downtown Middlebury and add to the growing community. The salon is hiring more staff and building their clientele as they have been growing over the last few years. Parlour was previously located on Seymour St. but moved to the more central location on Main St. Mandigo mentions that, since their move, they’ve been welcomed by other local businesses. She describes how the business owners try to build relationships with each other by referring customers to one another.  Having a strong business community has proven beneficial to the local business people and the residents. 

One of my favorite parts of attending Middlebury is the intentionality of the community. During my visits to the salon, I appreciated walking into a space with familiar and unfamiliar faces who were all open to socializing and chatting. Given that salons are venues to pamper and rejuvenate the body, it is nice to see that Parlour works both for the mind and community.

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