It all started because Ypsilanti resident and landscape architect Rachel Blistein wasn't satisfied with the hair product options she found in stores. She wanted something natural, but also needed the quality and complexity of the products sold in salons. So she started experimenting with making her own.
"I was doing a no-foam shampoo, and after about a year I was connected with a stylist who was willing to try out my products on her clients," Blistein says. "Then, by word of mouth, I got into Plum Market in Ann Arbor."
Now, that experiment has grown to a full-scale haircare manufacturing and retail business, Original Moxie
. And because it just won't stop growing, Blistein is now moving the business from her home into a downtown Ypsilanti storefront.
"We found places way out in no man's land, but they had no connections to pedestrian traffic," she says. "I had my eyes on this space, and I didn't even know they had manufacturing space in the back. Then it came up for lease, and everything just sort of came together unexpectedly."
Blistein aims to open the 1,800 square foot retail and manufacturing space by Black Friday. In addition to growing into the new space, Original Moxie has grown in staff as well. First run entirely by Blistein alone when it all started five years ago, she now works with two employees, two freelancers, and, should the retail end of the new storefront demand it, she'll add another employee as well.
With her proximity to the Ypsilanti Coop and her own business's commitment to sustainability, she hopes to partner on events and initiatives in the future.
Source: Rachel Blistein, Original Moxie
Writer: Natalie Burg