‘Community, Culture and Couture’: Thompson & Co. celebrate new location with grand opening event

Thompson & Co. Salon Grand Opening

513 E. Washington St. — Friday, September 4 at 4:30 p.m.

Iowa City’s hair and styling community just got a little bigger. Thompson & Co. Salon Parlor, owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Bobby and Kayla Thompson, will have its grand opening on Friday.

Thompson & Co. co-owner Bobby Thompson -- photo by Adam Burke
Thompson & Co. co-owner Bobby Thompson — photo by Adam Burke

Bobby and Kayla have each studied and traveled throughout the country, working with and learning techniques from numerous stylists and salons. “I was fortunate to be in a couple of salons that had Intercoiffure accreditations,” Bobby said, singling out Kenneth’s in Ohio, the chance to work with Don Westbrook at Élon Salon in Atlanta, and training at House of Bumble as being especially impactful. His wife Kayla has also been trained at the Minneapolis Aveda Institute, and at Intercoiffure-accredited Roberts in Indiana.

In a phone interview, Bobby Thompson explained the business’s motto, Community, Culture and Couture: “We want to be active, responsible members of the community and do our part to bring a positive presence,” he said. “Iowa City is this unbelievable place, this melting pot of surrounding cities, but also foreign exchange students and people from the coasts. It reminds me a lot growing up in Chicago and having people call it a melting pot — I see Iowa City as that but with a small-town feel. People here care about each other. We want to add to that and be representative of the culture that’s already been here.” The Couture aspect, he says, is about “making somebody feel so confident, and so good about themselves that they just feel completely in control of any situation they are put in.”

Thompson and Co. will serve both men and women with a variety of services including beard shaping, waxing and makeup tutorials. The opening event will allow the community to meet the stylists, test new products and brush shoulders with local artists including Jamie Boling, whose work is displayed there, vendors and collaborators like Ellison Eyewear, Gentlemen Care and the Iowa Fashion Project (Disclosure: LV editor Simeon Talley is a key organizer for the IFP).

The event will also mark the launch of a $6/month membership program that will grant patrons free touch-ups and access to discounts on product. “And you can bring in your own bottle if you would like,” adds Thompson. “You get a rocks glass and a cubby hole that you can keep stocked with whatever you want.”

The location is a mix of traditional salon, lounge and barber shop. “It’s about comfortability. It’s a combination of creativity and structure. Whether it’s a half hour, or two hours you’re spending, your barber is your friend, your confidante, that’s huge to us. We named it Thompson and Co. because we want you to come in and feel like you’re a part of the family.”

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