Styling business owners open Artisan Salon and Spa in REO Town

They're a team that finds perpetual inspiration in creating works of art. Their medium? Hair. And with a palette that includes massage, waxing and makeup, the new Artisan Company Salon and Spa is poised to bring a contemporary cosmetology business to Lansing's REO Town.
Last fall, owners Jason Franks and Lance Davis acquired a vacant two-story on South Street. After a few months of planning, the two began rehabbing and refurbishing the 1920s building.
"It has the character of the tin ceiling and brick walls and hardwood floors that has come to be known as Lansing's signature look," says Franks. "We're aiming for that industrial Bohemian sheik."
Franks started a cosmetology career after a stint as an actor, singer and dancer right out of high school. Franks worked in New York, California, and other metro areas, then returned to his Michigan roots. He settled in Lansing and enrolled in the Douglas J Aveda Institute to become a licensed cosmetologist.
Franks graduated in 2012 and found his home at the Fahrenheit Tanning and Salon in Eaton Rapids where he submersed himself in the life of a cut and color specialist. He researched trends, carefully honed his techniques, and re-energized his drive to be out on his own.
Combining his talents with those of Davis and Lead Stylist Erin Wichman, Franks opened the Artisan Company in early May—just as local artist Steven Allen began finishing up the building's exterior mural. The company's 2,800-square foot space features 12 upstairs and downstairs styling stations—some hand made from reclaimed barn wood and concrete. A coffee bar, seating areas, and rooms for massage and shampooing are part of the footprint, with two grass walls being among the unique interior design features. Customers can also select from a line of natural products in an area set aside for personal care items.
The Artisan Company will employ about 14 full- and part-time people as well as apprentices. Franks says his focus will be on bringing out the beauty in every person—whether a member of a bridal party or someone seeking to stand out from the crowd.
"This is the place to come if you want to look like nobody else," says Franks. "While we do hair and makeup and make you beautiful, we're all about bringing out that natural beauty inside and allowing that confidence to shine."
The Artisan Company Spa and Salon will host a grand opening on June 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. Franks says he is working to involve as many members of the REO Town business and art community as possible, with food trucks, BBQ, jazz bands, fire eaters and fire dancers on site.
Source: Jason Franks, Co-founder, Artisan Salon and Spa
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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