In 2015, I hosted the first Chester County Pride Gala to raise money for my new non-profit venture, LGBT Equality Alliance. As a new organization, we were wet behind the ears when it came to fundraising and seeking support for our project. And I assumed that finding LGBT supportive sponsors in a mixed political county was akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, I was wrong.
Shortly after promoting our inaugural gala, I received a call from Biff Piner, co-owner of Balance Hair Spa in both Exton and West Chester, PA, who, along with husband Thomas Crisp, was excited to see an LGBT start-up in the burbs. He quickly offered the support of Balance Hair Spa as a top sponsor of the event.
Later that year, both Balance Hair Spa locations became drop-off points for our LGBT Pride Drive, supporting community foster children. And in 2016, the company partnered with OUTWORD.Today, the newest LGBT start-up business in the burbs.
Two years later, their commitment to equality and support continues, and their commitment to their clientele is unmatched. Lucky for me, I’ve had first-hand experience with both.
Two weeks ago, after the insistence of my wife to get my unruly thick and wavy hair trimmed, I scheduled an appointment with Crisp, whose schedule is almost always packed. Although I’ve been to their Exton location several times, I ventured to West Chester to meet Crisp, who travels back and forth between their two locations.
I found parking at a meter along Gay St, then walked into the salon. I was surrounded by bright green and brick walls, which provided a fun yet authentic feeling to a space situated in the downtown borough of West Chester, known for it’s architectural charm and history.
I watched Crisp for a few minutes as he trimmed the hair of the red-head in his chair, giving great care to each cut. She turned to look in the mirror at his work, smiling from ear-to-ear as she admired her long locks.
After she paid her bill, Crisp led me to the sink, washed my hair with his amazing masseur-trained hands, then invited me to join him at his station.
A master of short hair, Crisp quickly grabbed the clippers and then the shears and got to work. He danced around my head, clipping and snipping away. He didn’t miss a beat in conversation.
He told me about their upcoming Valentine’s Day special in partnership with Bridge Street Chocolates. According to Crisp and the Balance Hair Spa website, if you purchase a gift card valued at over $80 or more, you receive a complimentary box of Bridge Street Chocolates truffles.
A short while later, I turned around to look at my reflection and I, too, smiled from ear-to-ear.
If you are in need of a trim, color, or blowout and want to support a company who has supported and is part of the LGBTQ community, please visit the Balance Hair Spa crew in Exton or West Chester. And tell them that Rachel sent you! I promise smiles and equality all around.