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This local hair stylist just opened a new salon on Freedom Parkway in Cumming
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Melanie Raber braids a client’s hair during Boho Babe Beauty Salon’s grand opening on Saturday, Jan. 7. - photo by Sabrina Kerns

Melanie Raber couldn’t quite believe it when her first clients came into Boho Babe Beauty Salon after its opening in a suite on Freedom Parkway in Cumming this past week.

The hair stylist first opened her doors on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and held a grand opening for the new business the following Saturday, inviting clients to come in for her braid bar, hair tinsel and complimentary cookies, drinks and goodie bags.

“It’s going really well,” Raber said. “It’s been a lot getting ready for the opening, more so the business side of it has been a little stressful. But with the actual clients, I feel 100% myself and at home and just at peace knowing I’m finally where I have always needed to be.”

Although she had spent the week frantically getting ready for the opening, she said that stress completely melted away when her first client came in and sat down in her chair.

Raber first started working at a salon about five years ago, taking up a job as a consultant and social media manager before starting cosmetology school. During her time working for other salons, the idea to open her own was always at the back of her mind.

“It was something that I’ve always thought of since I’ve been doing the hair thing of, ‘One day,’” Raber said. “One day, once this settles down and that settles down and I have the rest of my life together and there is nothing else chaotic going on, then I’ll be mentally in the right place.”

Of course, she realized that day may never come, so she decided to go ahead and take the plunge. But instead of renting out a full building and hiring other stylists, Raber decided to start out on her own in a suite for individual appointments.

Later down the line, Raber said she might grow the business, find a bigger space and hire others to help her out, but for now, she said her suite on Freedom Parkway is perfect.

Though it is a small space, Raber can now take care of her everyday clients’ cut and color needs while using the space as a landing spot for consultations for her main job — styling hair for weddings.

Mostly, Raber said she is excited to be face-to-face with her clients and starting the career she was always meant to have.

Raber didn’t always want to be a hairstylist. Braiding, curling and styling hair was always something she was good at, but she always imagined herself in education. So she took a job as an elementary school art teacher.

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Melanie Raber adds complimentary hair tinsel to a client’s hair after finishing an intricate braid. - photo by Sabrina Kerns

“I love it,” Raber said. “I still love it, but I very much felt like the Lord was just calling me in a different direction very suddenly. It was not at all the plan I had for myself. If you had asked me four years ago if I would be doing hair, I would have told you, ‘Absolutely not. You’re crazy.’”

When she decided to go to cosmetology school, she told herself it was simply to develop a new skill and see where it would lead. She never imagined it would lead her to a new career, but when she started classes, she instantly fell in love.

She realized she could incorporate everything she loved about education and art into this new career that she also loved. And the best part for her is being able to meet new people and keep up with clients.

“I’m a people person,” Raber said. “I love people. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I’m doing hair or teaching or where I am, I’m going to talk to people, I’m going to build relationships with people. And, especially being able to incorporate that with what I love doing, all of the stress goes right away.”

Boho Babe Beauty Salon is located at 2635 Freedom Pkwy. in Cumming. Those interested can set up an appointment with Raber by clicking the “Book Now” button on the salon’s Instagram page @boho.babe.beauty_ or by calling or sending a text to (706) 961-1747.