It started as a running joke for Keighley Harrison and Branda Blundell as they whiled away the shutdown days of the coronavirus pandemic watching videos of other people opening mobile hair businesses.
But maybe, just maybe, the two Bellevue hairstylists decided, they could do the same thing.
The pair, the best of friends since attending La’James International College in Fremont, found a 1998 Dutchman classic camper trailer in Iowa, spent six months turning it into a salon and suddenly, Good Life Grooming for Men was open for business.
It’s still hard for them to believe.
“We are young women, we put it together, even though it seemed freaking impossible,” Harrison said. “We did it. I feel proud of myself, proud of Branda.”
Harrison and Blundell, both in their late 20s, spent six months tearing apart the camper and then putting it back together, adding salon chairs and stations for each of them, a wash station, a wax pot, a waiting area and a restroom. Even a coffee bar.
Harrison jokes that her boyfriend, Greg Knaff, better beware of her new construction skills. Who knows what she could change in their home while he’s away?
“He will leave for work, and now I have some knowledge,” she said.
The two women had none when they started working on the camper.
Zero construction background is how Harrison frames it.
“So once we gutted it, we figured out our new layout and went for it,” she said.
Knaff and Blundell’s brother, Mykel Miller, also helped with the transformation, which took from July to December. Between the purchase and renovations, they’ve invested $30,000.
It brings a “wow” from everyone who enters the mobile salon.
“I feel like clients are always super surprised when they walk in,” Blundell said. “It looks like a small camper on the outside, and it’s so open and spacious. It’s really surprising.”
Now all they need are more customers. The pair were used to cutting 16 heads of hair during always-busy eight-hour shifts at Sport Clips.
Their client list is small but growing as they travel between the DJ’s Dugouts in Bellevue and Plattsmouth and the Modern Work Suites & Studios at 84th and F Streets. It takes them about 15 minutes to set up for business, and about the same time to close up so everything moves safely.
Curiosity brings some in, and others have followed their journey on the business’s Facebook page. They have loyal customers from their previous jobs, too. They say their biggest strength is convenience.
They joke that they’ve learned to live frugally while they survive the growing pains of a new business. They have big plans; they’re just unsure what those will be.
“I don’t know if we have an exact picture of what the dream is; we’ve been letting it create itself,” Blundell said. “We’d love to have more than one trailer — have a gals trailer and numerous guys trailers. We’d love to get into weddings, do grooming parties for the guys. We’re open to whatever the future brings and building it as we grow.”