My name is Kay Gregory. I moved to the Valley in the summer of 2006 and opened my first Aveda salon, The Firefly Salon, on Main Street in downtown Northampton. I spent eight years in that space, beautifying the fine people of Western Mass. After I moved my salon down Route 9, I went solo with Kay Gregory Salon. I was at that unexpectedly great location for four years when a fabulous opportunity arose and I moved my salon, once again. This time, I moved to Amherst, a three minute walk from my house and here I hope to stay.
My new salon is called If Wishes Were Horses and was inspired by designs that I love. I like to say it is Louis XIV meets Parisian boudoir meets thrift store meets fairy garden. Stop by some time and see for yourself.
Before becoming a Vally-famous hairdresser, I had a whole other life. I was born and raised in Cleveland. Life was lonely but also, I knew there had to be a world outside of Ohio. I started university in Cleveland and then moved across the pond to Paris, France where I studied French, Art, and Art History. Not knowing what to do with my fancy degree, I went to graduate school! I moved to Montreal, attended McGill University and earned my M.L.I.S (Masters in Library and Information Studies).
I worked as an art librarian, ending up in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts as the library director. But, I had always wanted to be a hairdresser so I attended cosmetology school, got my license and moved down to NYC where the real training—life and career—began. After working in a few salons uptown, I found my way to the Aveda flagship salon in SoHo (it’s no longer there, sadly). There, I worked with some incredibly talented and wonderful people who I am still happy to call friends.
But, I was missing the trees and streams of smaller places and found myself dreaming of a slower way of life and a small town in which to open my first salon. I looked all over the east coast for a year before settling in Western Mass. I moved back to NYC part-time in 2013/2014 to attend horticulture school at the New York Botanical Garden. It was an incredible opportunity, but I never once wanted to move back there permanently. I love living here and, I suspect the best is yet to come…