For most women, getting beauty treatments is a huge deal. The outcome of a cut or a coloring is important and the financial commitment is not something taken lightly. Holly Alexander-Toole understands this and has created a beauty haven like no other in the back yard of her Lyons, Georgia home.
The Dollhouse is a she shed made especially for a warm and friendly connection between Holly and her clients, one at a time. Privacy and quiet replace the normal bustle of the average salon. Holly’s clients love it so much they have a hard time leaving after their services.
“I literally giggle to myself some mornings and think how blessed I am that this is my work life now. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Holly is a cosmetologist and former owner of a large salon with nine chairs. (That’s pretty big in the salon world.) Three years ago, she decided to sell. “I was tired of the overhead and the extra stress of managing a salon that big,” Holly says. Still, she didn’t want to quit doing hair altogether, especially with two college educations looming in the future.
The Dollhouse is a 12 ft. x 16 ft. shed that Holly and her husband dolled up with an inviting front porch, single French door, and two front double-hung windows. A large wood platform provides a transition between porch and gravel driveway.
Inside, a single chair sits next to the back bar, designed by Holly’s husband. The bar holds all of her supplies and even has a facial waxing area. The shed is plumbed and wired, of course, yet it holds nothing but the essentials … and a whole lot of charm. “I was concerned initially that some of my clients wouldn’t like it because it is so different from what they’re used to,” Holly recalls. “But on the contrary, they love it! Business is booming.” Even with one client at time, Holly is successful and has gained even more clients. A drastically reduced overhead helps, too.
What else is cool about the Dollhouse? It’s the feeling Holly gets when she goes out the door each morning. “I walk out my back door, across the driveway and I’m at work. I literally giggle to myself some mornings and think how blessed I am that this is my work life now. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Find Holly on Instagram @goodgolly_mrsholly
I love this idea- but how do you get running/hot water out to the shed?
Hi there — Holly connected to her home’s plumbing lines. She has a small hot water heater inside the shop under the back bar counter.
Andrea Coppage says
Hello there, what kind of foundation is your shed sitting on? And is your plumbing under the shed or out the wall
Hi Andrea, talked to Holly and here is what she said: “I have a concrete foundation and the plumbing runs under the shed.”
Did you have enough room to put a bathroom in the she shed for your clients? I’m not sure I want all of my clients going into my house to use the potty 🙂
Hi Lindsey, Holly says she didn’t really have enough room in her shed for a bathroom. Plus, you would need to connect to your septic or sewer lines and she didn’t feel the need for a dedicated bathroom. She only services 1-2 clients at a time.
Is your total inside space 12×16 or do those dimensions include the porch?
Hi Anne, the shed itself is 12 x 16. The front porch is extra.
LAUREN BRANSTOOL says
Does Georgias cosmetology regulations not make you have a restroom ?
Hi Lauren, per Holly you are required to have a restroom within 500 feet of the salon. She has a half bath near the back door of her home.