We are family
It used to be that getting into business with family meant nothing but trouble. For local hair-salon owner, stylist and country-rock singer Keri Carr, family has been the key to her success. She just opened up her first hair salon in Midtown, Honey Salon, 818 19th Street, where she employs her mom. Carr has also kept busy with her new band, Rowdy Kate. Combine working with mom and music? No problem. And there’s crossover—she cuts and styles a number of Sacto’s local-music celebrities. Carr’s online in both her professional capacities at www.myspace.com/rowdykatemusic and www.myspace.com/honeysalon.
Tell me about your relationship with your mom.
We’re extremely close. She’s my best friend. My dad left home when I was very young, so it’s been my mom and me ever since. The only person who’s ever been consistent in my life has been my mom. I moved out of the house when I was 26, and we started working together, so we’ve always been together in some capacity.
When did you start doing music together?
My mom has been singing since she was a kid. Later, after I was born, we lived in Spain for three years. There would be parties thrown for diplomats and we’d sing at them, or my mom would host parties and we’d always be the entertainment. She taught me how to sing. I didn’t take any classes or anything because I learned everything about singing from her.
How did that affect the style of singing you do now?
Actually, the style of music I sing now I learned from my dad. My dad’s a real-life cowboy—his family is from Arkansas and he grew up in the foothills—and every time I’d visit him, he’d be listening to country music. I always missed my dad growing up, so I kind of adapted that style of music from him. I basically got the voice from my mom and the style from my dad.
How long has your current band, Rowdy Kate, been around? Was it your first musical endeavor, aside from singing with your mom?
The whole band has been around about six months now, but I used to sing for Bright Anvil and have sung back-up vocals for other musicians in town like Bobby Jordan, David Houston and Bobby Martinez, as well as my husband’s old band, PopGun. I also used to sing my own stuff at True Love Coffeehouse. I got out of the scene for a while after that, but then I realized how much I really love country music, and [I] sing it well, so I decided to give in and start again.
How did Honey Salon come to be?
You know, I’m a firm believer that whatever you put out there will fall in your lap if you believe it can. One day at the old salon where I used to work, I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to own my own salon someday. A few days later, a friend called me to tell me she wanted to sell the salon she currently owned. I didn’t know how I was going to make it all happen, but it all happened so fast that I didn’t have a moment to stop and think about how scary that was. It took three days to gut the entire place and remodel it, and somehow we got everything done.
What’s it like working with your mom?
I love it. Having her there is a huge support, and she has helped out so much with the salon. Every time something needs to get done, she’s there. Susanna, who also works at the salon, is like my sister and she is the same way. It all feels like family, and it’s amazing.
Does it ever present any challenges?
None. Honestly, it’s never bad, it never has been. And, you know, we worked together at another salon before this, and it was the same there, too. We get along so well. People are so surprised to hear that we work together. They can’t imagine what it’d be like to work with a parent, but I can’t imagine working without her.
What do you think local businesses do for the community?
Local businesses are so important! People are given so many more options when they can pick from a variety of businesses, rather than having one monopolized corporate business where they get everything. Plus, businesses can customize themselves so that each business has something unique about them that consumers can align themselves with depending on what’s important for them. My goal at Honey, for example, was to create a luxury spa that had an intimate feel. Every customer that comes in knows us and feels comfortable but is still getting pampered.