Alli Flood has just moved around the corner, but in opening Roots Hair Studio, she has realized a childhood dream.
"I've always wanted to open my own salon, ever since I was little," Flood said.
The DeSmet native studied at the Stewart School of Hairstyling in Sioux Falls after graduating from high school, but she didn't wait until she had formal training to begin doing hair. In high school, when the football team wanted mohawks, she provided the cut.
After attending Stewart's, she returned to DeSmet but soon decided she wanted to have a broader clientele while staying close to home. She and the man she dates, Blake Gusso, live in Oldham with their seven-month-old son, Pryce James. Gusso is employed by Prairie Ag Partners.
Madison was a reasonable commute and offered what Flood was seeking. For the past two years, she has been renting a chair at Salon Etc. on S. Egan Ave. She found the work to be every bit as satisfying as she had imagined.
"I like helping people feel their best and look their best," Flood said.
After establishing a clientele, she began looking for a site where she could open her own business. She had been hoping to buy but opted to rent when she found her current location. On June 1, Flood's childhood dream came true when she opened Roots at 112 E. Center St., diagonally across from the Madison Post Office.
In decorating Roots, Flood created a chic and modern space suggestive of a safari with walls painted an earthy ivory and furnishings in a complementary black and white. These are enhanced by the building's structural features and natural lighting.
Kerrie Meyer, who also rented a chair at Salon Etc., has joined Flood at Roots. Between the two of them, they are open Monday through Saturday by appointment. While both have an established clientele, they are accepting new clients.
Flood said the name of her new business reflects her interest in doing color. Among the color techniques she offers is balayage, which Elle, a lifestyle magazine, says gives hair a sun-kissed natural look "similar to what nature gives us as children."
Because Flood is seeking a work-life balance that allows her to flex her time based on the needs of her family and clients, she does not currently recommend people plan on walk-in cuts. The studio will not be open regular hours on the off chance that someone will stop by, needing a cut.
"I'm not going to come here and sit for a day if I don't have clients," she explained.
To schedule an appointment, people can call 605-291-2850.