Charlie Mack Salon is a family affair.

Owner Sally Knapp named her new business after her two children, Charlie and Mackenzie. Located in the historic Carver Fire Hall built in 1880, the building was transformed by her husband Ryan (of Knapp Custom Builders) into an open hair salon, complete with a working garage door that can be used in the summer months.

“I’m sitting in the jail cell right now,” laughed Knapp during a phone interview. “It’s our break room.”

Knapp went with a friend to check out beauty school and ended up falling in love with it herself. After starting school in 1998 and working in Eden Prairie for several years, she spent 15 years at the Hair District in Chanhassen before deciding to open her own business.

The Chanhassen Villager spoke with Knapp a few days after her Nov. 16 grand opening.

1What brought you to open your own salon?

My husband always encouraged me to open my own salon, but I never thought it was my dream. I like to work and leave. But about a year and a half ago, we started looking at properties...we initially were going to lease a building in Minnetonka, but I had a gut feeling that it just wasn’t right. The COVID hit, and thank goodness we weren’t locked in to a place we couldn’t use!

My son and I were mountain biking when we saw the sign in the window that the old Carver Fire building was for sale, and I just had this feeling like God was telling me to buy the building. It was, financially, the biggest leap of faith we’ve ever taken in our lives, but we knew His plans don’t fail.

I didn’t want to just be another hair salon, I wanted to be different — upscale with a small town feel, where you could come in and get a cup of coffee and just say hi. High-end, welcoming and comforting was the goal.

2How has the

first week been? I would compare it to being a mom — when you bring home a baby, you are absolutely exhausted, but you’re on a high. You can’t believe it’s yours. I’m exhilarated, on a high, tired, exhausted, but I’m having so much fun. It feels like a dream.

I’m already booked out until the middle of December. Right now it’s me and my friend Melissa, and we’ve both had new clients that are from the area. They saw our ad on Facebook, or saw us mentioned in this group, or had been driving past our renovations for the last three months. But we’ve heard so much good feedback from the community, saying ‘we love what you’ve done here, and we’re so excited for our town to grow.’

3How has COVID

affected the business?

I wasn’t surprised Gov. Walz kept salons open, because we are safe. Everyone wears a mask, we clean everything we touch, we never use a comb twice, and this is stuff we did before COVID. I’m glad he finally listened to us. When we had those 11 weeks off earlier this year, my fellow stylists and I didn’t get a dime because we’re independent contractors, which was really hard. It’s hard to be excited that you’re allowed to be open when my friends who own businesses can’t be. There’s not much we can do if things change — we lock our door and pray we get unemployment.

I hope I can be a light in a dark cloud of COVID times right now. I love being able to change someone’s day or how they feel about themselves through hair. Hopefully we can bring some sunshine to our gloomy days...I’m excited to be a part of this community.”

For more information and to book an appointment, visit https://www.charliemack.co/.

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