Our Story

Story 1a
Founders Stratton Smith and Matt Briger

In 2004, Sola Salon Studios co-founders Stratton Smith and Matt Briger wanted to do more than design beautiful, move-in-ready salon studios. They set out to build a thriving community.

From the beginning, Stratton and Matt made a humble commitment to serve the beauty professional and always to put their best interests first. Their vision was to give the beauty professional control over their environment, schedule, choice of retail, pricing and so much more. When they were in the early stages of developing the innovative concept of turnkey salon studios in a co-working environment, they met with Denver-based stylist Kim Bennett Horvath.

Story 2
Kim Bennett Horvath

"I was inspired by their vision of Sola. They didn't want to sell me anything or compete with my business. Everything was all my choice! So I signed up right then."

- Kim Bennett Horvath

Impressed by Stratton and Matt's unwavering commitment to bettering the lives and businesses of independent salon owners, Kim took a leap of faith and became the very first Sola stylist in Denver, Colorado.

In 2005, the first franchised Sola location was opened, paving the way for our best-in-class franchisees and onsite operators. And in the blink of an eye, 10 years later, Sola celebrated 5,000 independent beauty professionals across the country.

Throughout the years, Sola has become more than just another salon suites rental business; we are an all-encompassing independent salon business solution. Our leadership team drives constant innovation for the on-site studio experience as well as providing cutting-edge technology and ongoing educational resources to the Sola community.

In 2016, Sola launched Sola Pro, an exclusive app, to host industry deals, special offers and a variety of educational resources to bridge the gap between the professional beauty industry and the Sola community. Shortly after, the first Sola Sessions event kicked off in Denver, providing a unique live education experience to inspire and connect the ever-growing Sola community. With the 2017 addition of our exclusive technology SolaGenius—an all-in-one business platform launched in partnership with GlossGenius, designed to help an independent salon owner manage their schedule, customer relationship management, marketing, analytics and payment processing—we can proudly say that we support our customers along every step of their independent salon journey.

Today, Stratton and Matt's humble commitment has blossomed into a worldwide movement. We are proud to say that Sola Salon Studios is a thriving, diverse and welcoming community of more than 10,000 independent salon professionals across 400+ locations in United States, Canada and, soon, the rest of the world. Our culture has been cultivated around one simple ideal: "freedom to live the life you love."

"The goal is for every stylist to live their best life, and that's something different for everybody. At the end of the day, the stylists are the ones who win."

- Matt Briger
Story 3

Sola has blazed the trail for the independent stylist movement, offering new levels of creative freedom to those who are inspired to make the transition. We aim to make your transition to independence as smooth as possible. You are independent and unique at Sola, but you are not alone.

Through our business-building tools, educational offerings, encouraged networking and strong support system, Sola empowers hairdressers, estheticians, nail techs, massage therapists and other like-minded professionals to take full control of their lives and careers. With a bright future ahead, the Sola team continues to identify ways to cultivate growth through innovation, creativity, and most importantly, community.


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