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Finally Part of Downtown: Maven Salon Moves to Main Street

Mar 17, 2024 06:25PM ● By Kelly Sennott Photography By CPerry Photography

Stylist/manager Shelby Morse and Owner/ stylist Kayla Brannen

The Maven salon has called Hanover home for decades, but only since its move to Main Street does owner Kayla Brannen feel like they’ve truly become part of the downtown fabric. “Our space upstairs was lovely and beautiful, and it had been renovated, but I just really wanted to be downstairs and feel like I was part of town in a way that I hadn’t before,” Kayla says.

Maven moved into the space Traditionally Trendy used to reside in this past September after a long year of working with architects and builders to revamp the storefront. Kayla says she enjoys watching passersby and the increased foot traffic the first floor provides. What’s more, she thinks the salon feels more inviting and on brand with what Maven has become since she began with the company 20 years ago. 

The Renovation

Kayla began working for the salon at age 19, when it was under different ownership and a different name. She purchased the business seven years ago and, in 2018, did some rebranding, renaming the salon to Maven (formerly We’re Makin’ Waves). She’d always wanted a first-floor location and had been keeping an eye out as businesses around town came and went. When the space underneath Maven became available, the timing and location felt right.

She had the ceiling opened and the carpet ripped out. Demolition involved the discovery of original brick walls, but also asbestos. “You’re kind of opening a can of worms,” Kayla says. “You don’t know exactly what you’re going to find.” 

She worked with a designer to come up with the salon’s new aesthetic: modern, cool, and edgy, something that resembled a city gallery and would also be wheelchair accessible. Exposed brick was white-washed and interior windows were installed to break up the space. Everything was trimmed out in black, white, and gold, and a state-of-the-art air-filtration system was installed. 

Guests’ Favorite Day

Stylist Olivia Little with a guest.

Growing up, Kayla says she always loved going to the salon. Hers had this magnetic vibe: stylists looked great, with cool hair and cool clothes, and everyone seemed happy to be there. “People were chatting and laughing, and it was loud and inviting. And that’s what I love about a salon. People congregate there,” Kayla says. This is how she wants people to feel at Maven. She says that for so many clients, coming in and getting their hair done is “their favorite day.”

“Some people come in and they just want to grab a magazine and have a coffee and chill, and that’s totally fine for us. We’re always open to having some quiet time. But most of the time, we dive right into the juicy life stuff,” she says. “I always say that we make people feel heard, seen, and loved doing their hair. And we get to be creative by doing it.”

Recently, the salon began offering new services, including hair extensions, lash extensions, lash lifts, and eyebrow tints. The majority of clients want hair-coloring services, but truly, they ask for everything. “Everything is kind of always in. That’s what’s fun about 2024. It doesn’t matter what the big trend is,” Kayla says.

Career Longevity

Kayla says one of the things that excites her about running the business is helping stylists grow. She has been intentional about creating a different kind of pace since the pandemic. Staff used to juggle multiple clients at once, but now, services are longer. Stylists have time to have lunch or step outside, and she frequently gathers them together for regular meetings and workshops. “That’s really important for me—to stay healthy as a hairdresser. It’s the only way we’re going to have longevity in our career,” Kayla says.

Longevity is something Maven has done very well. Half the team members have been on staff as long as Kayla, some even longer. Stylist and manager Shelby Morse has been seeing some clients for 30 years. They’ve become like family to her.

“Even if we don’t do things outside this space, we know about them; we know about their lives, their children’s lives, what they do for work,” Shelby says. “They become part of your people.” For her, the move downstairs was bittersweet. The old space had been her home for so long, but she loves being part of town in a new way. “After 30 years, a little revamp feels good,” she says. t



36 South Main Street

Hanover, NH

(603) 277-2921

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