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Crowning beauty 

Melanie Mulvaney had been dreaming about opening her own salon for 15 years. On Dec. 1, that dream finally came true.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and it was just good timing. The real estate market for this area was good, and so I went for it. I’m pretty excited,” Mulvaney said.


- SALON CULTURE:  Melanie Mulvaney has dreamed of opening a salon for a decade and a half, and her family members have been her biggest supporters along the way. Pictured are Finley (left) and Kieran Mallon (right). -  - PHOTO BY STEVE MILLER
  • SALON CULTURE: Melanie Mulvaney has dreamed of opening a salon for a decade and a half, and her family members have been her biggest supporters along the way. Pictured are Finley (left) and Kieran Mallon (right).

Her passion for doing hair began in the late ’80s, but her career path took a turn, and she found herself doing human resource work for a law firm. It wasn’t until later, when Mulvaney met her husband, that she decided to turn her passion into a career.

“My husband said, ‘Look, you’re already doing people’s hair out of the house and you love it, so why not make it your work?’ So I wrote a letter to Bladerunner in SLO and they offered me a job,” she explained.

Mulvaney worked for Bladerunner Salon for seven years, an experience for which she says she’s very grateful.

“I loved working for the Bladerunner, and I’ve had a good crossover with my clients,” Mulvaney said. “Everyone was very supportive when I opened the Crown; this is just something I’ve dreamt about doing for a long time, and my husband has been my biggest champion throughout this whole process.”

The Crown is a one-seat salon that offers hair and makeup service. Mulvaney says that having only one chair offers a unique experience for her clients. “I get to know my clients much better by having only one chair,” she explained. “People feel much more comfortable being open when they know there aren’t all these different ears listening in. … It’s a space where people don’t have to feel uncomfortable talking or not talking.”

Mulvaney also offers bridal hair services and is soon going to be extending her talents to airbrush makeup.  “From May to November, everybody comes into town for the wedding season, and I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I’ve already gotten several calls.”

 Mulvaney said she often does one or two weddings a weekend during the busy season and offers on-location services.

The Crown’s cozy and stylish space also offers a place for friends to come together, and Mulvaney said she loves seeing people feel at home in the salon.

“I had a girl come in for an appointment a while back, and she asked if she could bring a few friends with her and I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ So she and her friends did some shopping, had a bite to eat at Giuseppe’s and then came in for the appointment. It was a lot of fun,” Mulvaney said.

She said she wants to cultivate a happy, non-judgmental space for each and every one of her clients: “It’s about being your own kind of beautiful.” Mulvaney also doesn’t accept tips.

The Crown offers both hair and makeup services for all sorts of occasions. You can book an appointment online 24/7 at or You may also call 441-0253 to book an appointment. The Crown is at 1075 Court St., suite 205, upstairs and next door to Yogurt Creations. Hours and price listings can be found through the Crown’s website,

Fast facts

A free rose pruning seminar and two fruit tree pruning workshops will be taking place on Jan. 14 at Farm Supply in San Luis Obispo, 224 Tank Farm Road. The first session, on roses, will be held at 9 a.m. The second session, on pruning young fruit trees, begins at 11 a.m. Both sessions are at the store. At 1:30 p.m., there will be a second fruit tree pruning demonstration at the Crops Unit on Cal Poly’s campus. The workshop is free, but an RSVP to Cara Crye is appreciated. Call 543-3751 or e-mail

Intern Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to

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