On October 12, 2022

New hair salon comes to Rutland for BIPOC clients

By Victoria Gaither

A new female Black-owned hair salon is coming to Merchants Row in Rutland.

Euphoric Hair Experience is angling to create a place for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) clients to get their crown done — although all are also welcome.

Founder and owner La’Keiah Batista Sanchez said of this venture, “I am opening this salon because there is a huge need in this community for the BIPOC population to be able to have our hair done just like everyone else.”

Submitted
La’Keiah Batista Sanchez stands in front of her new salon, Euphoric Hair Salon, in downtown Rutland.

Often BIPOC clients leave Rutland and travel to larger cities to get their hair done, she said, as services for kids to get their hair braided or cut aren’t always available in the area.

Sanchez worked with the NAACP Rutland Area Branch to create four successful hair clinics to bring kids in to get their hair braided or for boys to get a haircut.

Plus, it’s an opportunity for kids to ask questions about hair and all that goes with being BIPOC.

The hair clinics were sponsored by the Rutland NAACP and volunteers were put into place to fill a void for these kids. Then, when no one wanted to continue the clinics, Sanchez decided to open her salon.

The Rutland resident explained, “The hair clinics were designed to fill a need that would eventually turn into a salon. Just, no one was willing to take the chance, so I did.”

And just like that, she got to work on securing a place, obtaining licenses, developing plans, and still, more work needs to be done before she can officially open the storefront in April of 2023.

Submitted
Raya and Nahla attended a past hair clinic services in Rutland and are excited to have a local salon to meet their needs.

When asked why opening a salon with Covid still looming and the challenges that go along with that, Sanchez responded, “I am very aware of how still shaky the world is with Covid, and I’m not afraid that Covid will disrupt this amazing project. This project has been a long time coming!”

She works full time in the emergency department at Rutland Regional Medical Center as an emergency medical technician and sees cases of Covid every day.

“Covid is not going anywhere anytime soon. We have to learn to work around it and still live our lives to the fullest. Just carefully,” she said.

The word is already out among the local BIPOC community that Sanchez is opening a hair salon. I

t is exciting news for Wallingford mom Erin Coote who explained why “having a salon in Rutland that does BIPOC hair is a complete game changer. I’ve been saying for years there’s such a need for one.”

Coote usually has to travel at least two hours to take her daughter, Raya, to get her hair done.

Brookline mom Tina Bills echoed the same sentiments in her interview, “There are no local places that can do African American hair, and to have knowledgeable and capable people is huge.”

La’Keiah also explained that opening a salon in Rutland is essential to her because she has lived in Rutland for 80 years, and says, “You always take care of your community. ”

On Nov. 6, La’Keiah is putting together her fifth hair clinic, but this time it’s different,.“I will be doing this one under Euphoric Hair Experience, my salon,” she said.

Appointments are now open for the upcoming Nov. 6 Rutland hair clinic. Sign up at: signupgenius.com/go/ehellc2023.

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