Liz Healy and her sister Sara Prokop are proud of the role their business is playing in the rebirth of Cedar Rapids’ New Bohemia District.
“We feel we add a special something to this up-and-coming neighborhood,” Healy said. “We feel we have helped bring it back to life.”
Lush Salon is the first business venture for the sisters, who have nearly 30 years of hair styling experience between them.
Healy previously worked at a salon in Iowa City while her sister worked at their parents’ Cedar Rapids salon, which closed.
About four years ago, Healy came back to Cedar Rapids to work for a friend at her salon. When that friend decided to get out of the business, Healy and Prokop took over the lease, purchased the equipment, and reopened the salon with a new name.
“It was the right opportunity and the right timing,” Healy said. “Owning our own salon was always a goal.”
Since Lush Salon opened in September 2012, the sisters have seen a lot of growth in the neighborhood. NewBo City Market opened across the street, and a new coffee shop and bookstore opened down the block.
The increase in traffic has helped Lush attract new customers.
“It’s been great,” Healy said. “We’ve had a lot more walk-ins.”
Lush Salon is growing along with the rest of the neighborhood.
In November, the business will move into a newly renovated space around the corner at Twelfth Avenue and Second Street SE. The move will make way for neighboring Parlor City Pub and Eatery to expand into Lush’s current space.
“We jumped on it,” Healy said, when presented with the opportunity to relocate by Jon Jelinek, who owns both buildings. “We knew we couldn’t expand in our current space.”
The new, larger space enables Healy and Prokop to add more services and hire more stylists. The salon will offer manicure, pedicure and makeup services beginning in November.
Massage and facial services will be added in about six months after a second phase of the building remodeling is finished.
Healy and Prokop also plan to have a booth at NewBo City Market later this fall, where they will offer samples and simple services like nail polish changes.
“We are excited to be part of such an energetic community,” Healy said.
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