A sign that says “Be Kind” is clearly visible from the road on County Road E in White Bear Lake, which not only advertises the all-natural and environmentally responsible salon and spa, but also “serves as a reminder for people to be kind,” says founder and owner Carol Fackler. That’s what the beauty boutique is all about; their motto is “Be kind to yourself, to others and to the environment.”
Fackler has been in the beauty industry for over 30 years, making her one of the most experienced cosmetologists in town. She and her son, Alan, opened Be Kind Salon and Spa in June as a result of several problems they encountered through their backgrounds in the industry. Having graduated from the Aveda Institute and pursuing a career in the business, Alan had some allergic reactions to products he used with clients. He and Carol, who also has sensitive skin, began researching the products and their ingredients in search of something healthier.
“[There is] very little industry knowledge of carcinogens in products,” Alan says. “Half the stuff we were using had neurotoxins, squid ink, or you could go blind if they got in your eye; we thought, there has to be a better way to do this.”
After doing research, Carol and Alan also discovered the overwhelming amount of waste in the beauty industry; turns out, much of the spent color, tubes and chemicals from those products end up in lakes and other water sources. All this research led to an obvious conclusion: create an environmentally responsible salon and spa.
Be Kind Salon and Spa is Green Circle-certified, which means that everything they use gets recycled and repurposed. Foils and empty color tubes get packed away to transform into something new; hair clippings get washed and used to create pillows or oil booms. Be Kind ships waste to Green Circle Salons, the organization that repurposes products. The building itself, and almost everything inside, has been repurposed, too, from the decorations and furniture to the insulation, which is made from recycled jeans. The Facklers also sought out only local businesses to help them with the building and set-up.
Carol and Alan are passionate about their team of stylists, as well, and wanted to make sure they were both good at their jobs and willing to be on board with the mission of their salon. “It’s very different than any other salon they’ve worked for,” Carol says. “I have a really talented, passionate, down-to-earth team, and this mission is a commitment. Either you want to take this journey, or you don’t.”
Be Kind offers a variety of organic, full-disclosure products, with no animal testing, that are more affordable than one might think, and the Facklers want their town to be informed.
“A lot of people don’t even know about waste this industry produces, and a lot of people don’t know there’s such a thing as vegan deodorant!” Carol says.
Be Kind Salon and Spa has been very successful since its opening, Alan says. He works on IT for the salon, and explains that social media has been great for promoting their mission. Showing the community how to give back to others and the environment has always been important to the Facklers, and their team gives back by offering free haircuts and tattoo removal to people who are homeless.
“Skin is your biggest organ, and if there are good and bad options for skin care, I’m going with the good one,” says Carol. “It goes back to being kind to yourself and the environment.”