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Replacing Urban Outfitters, Mosaic Salon and Spa Studios to create new space for independent hair and beauty pros on Capitol Hill

Mosaic is creating space for 58 independent studios inside (Image: CHS)

@hairapy.by.natalia operates out of Mosaic’s downtown location (Image: Mosaic)

By Jethro Swain

A big hole in Broadway’s commercial offerings is about to move from the youth fashion retail era of the past to a new era of hair and beauty.

Mosaic, a privately owned facilities management company that leases studios to salon and spa business owners, is opening its biggest location yet this spring on Capitol Hill.

The new set of leasable suites scheduled to open as early as May is taking the large retail space formerly home to Urban Outfitters in the Broadway Market shopping center corner of Broadway and Harrison. There will be both a street entrance as well as a second floor entrance above the market’s QFC grocery store.

“We’ve targeted the Capitol Hill market for a while, the ethos of Capitol Hill is perfectly suited for what we do,” said Mosaic owner Paul Griff. “The independent spirit and sense of community will be perfect.”.

Mosaic provides salon and spa owners with individual spaces that they can lease on a weekly rent basis and make their own. “What we do is straightforward — We provide a place for people to come and open their business and not have to worry about other things,” said Griff.


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The resources that come with Mosaic facilities include wifi, communal washers and dryers, free parking permits, and 24/7 access to their studios. Mosaic also says it allows tenants the freedom to design their studio however they like; artists are welcome to paint, decorate, and furnish each studio to fit the needs and style of their business. “We’re providing a platform for people to be self-employed who maybe don’t have that opportunity otherwise,” said Griff.

Mosaic isn’t necessarily in the business of selling you a color or a cut. A visit to the group’s website at mosaicsalongroup.com illustrates the company’s business focus with pitches for stylists and beauty entrepreneurs to lease spaces at its seven Seattle-area locations. Growing a customer base and attracting new clientele? While Mosaic provides the ability for a customer to search out specific services by the location of its studios, more of the individual marketing is done by each owner via social media and their own websites.

(Image: Mosaic)

Griff explained to CHS that there are typically three types of people who choose to rent from Mosaic: people who use an independent, smaller studio as a stepping-stone to their own salon, people who have already owned their own salon but now want to work by themselves, and those who never want to have to worry about owning their own salon and want the things like maintenance, electricity, and other utilities done for them so they can focus on the job.

You can contrast that cut of Mosaic’s business with Rudy’s, the Capitol Hill-headquartered barber concept saved from bankruptcy last year by a group including its E Pine-powered founders. All of its stores were company-owned and its 600 employees were full-time with health benefits prior to the pandemic.

Mosaic has also made space for offerings beyond hair. While roughly 70% of the salon artists that lease studios at Mosaic locations across Seattle, Kirkland, and Edmonds are in the hair business, the variety of cosmetic artists spans from skin care to permanent makeup to lash extensions. With at least 20 suites at every location, the setups are designed to make it possible to find a variety of cosmetic work within the Mosaic locations.

On top of finally find a spot to open a site on Capitol Hill, Griff and his team are excited about the new location because it will hold 58 studios that range in size from roughly 100 to 250 square feet, and is about double the size of their next biggest location. The space that Mosaic is moving into used to be a two-story Urban Outfitters that closed last year after nearly 30 years on Broadway, a shutdown that had been in motion long before the COVID-19 crisis.

“When this space became available we were on it as hard as we could be,” said Griff on the new location. On top of its sheer size and opportunity to expand, Griff said he loves the location because it’s in the heart of Capitol Hill and because it’s a part of the historic Broadway Market.

Mosaic’s arrival might also be an example of a key Capitol Hill commercial space can change — an example that might be useful soon on 15th Ave E.

Meanwhile, it joins a Capitol Hill hair and beauty economy that was thriving pre-pandemic and that has stubbornly held its ground  and added new businesses and new locations during the economic fallout of the crisis. Another new player is set to join the mix as Seattle style fixture Vain announced it is moving its headquarters from Belltown to lower Pike in the former home of the Red X Hair Studio.

While the date of Mosaic’s opening isn’t set in stone, Griff expects the facilities to be ready for use by the end of May. Mosaic is beginning the process of looking for tenants soon.

“We will soon start premarketing and have people sign preleases. We can’t do that too soon though, especially in a COVID world, since we don’t know exactly when we’ll open,” said Griff, who explained that most tenants hear about Mosaic through word of mouth, then reach out if they’re looking to lease a studio.

The construction process inside the space is fully underway. The walls of most of the studios have been built, and some of the studios already have flooring and panelling along the doorways.

Stepping into Urban Outfitters longtime location on Capitol Hill at 401 Broadway E means Mosaic will have some big shoes to fill but Griff said his team is up to the challenge. “We work hard to tailor to the neighborhood we’re in,” said Griff. “We work really hard to create a sense of community with our tenants.”

You can learn more at mosaicsalongroup.com.


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RWK
RWK
1 month ago

I was hoping for something more interesting than “hair and beauty.”

John Whittier Treat
John Whittier Treat
1 month ago

Oh great, just what we need.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Interesting. Not exactly what I was hoping for to take over that big space, but not the worst thing.

Michael C Wesner
Michael C Wesner
1 month ago

Was hoping that goodwill would go in there since they are closing on cap hill

Natalie
Natalie
1 month ago

I spoke to a Goodwill employee recently and whoever wrote that article jumped the gun a little – their lease doesn’t expire for another 5 years or so.

jseattle
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Natalie

CHS reported on the development plans and plans to sell the building here.

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Boring. How many of these sorts of places do we need on the hill?

Andrea
Andrea
1 month ago

Too bad they didn’t survey the neighborhood to get an idea of what they would have liked to see in that space. I bet there would have been far better options.