A few weeks ago, I went to the opening of Amity Loft, a new hair salon in Bayview, Wisconsin. Kaley Wittnik, who's been featured on MMWIS before, is one of the founders of the space. Not only is she super cool and a total hair genius, but she's also an incredible entrepreneur. She and her business partner, Denise Steele, have big plans for Amity Loft, and I was excited to talk to Kaley about them. Check out our Q&A and some photos from the opening!
My Midwest Is Showing: Why did you decide to open Amity Loft?
Kaley Wittnik: We took one look at the space in its half-renovated glory and while basking in all the natural light felt an energy we both had been searching for in a work environment. We put a deposit down 12 hours later. Both of us have been in the hair business for some time and always had the desire to create something fresh for the people of Milwaukee. Our vision was to create a bright and open space that feels like home to the people we have been serving for years but also attract new people who share in good vibes.
MMWIS: How did you meet your business partner, Denise Steele, and why did you decide to work together on this?
KW: We actually met before we met, if that makes any sense. Still to this day we discover a new connection between us almost daily, we were definitely destined to find one another. But technically our first introduction was at the salon we both used to work at before creating Amity Loft. The universe put us together and presented an incredible space, and we couldn't deny the signs.
MMWIS: What's the meaning behind the name Amity Loft?
KW: "Amity" means a friendly relationship and "loft" means a room or space directly under the roof of a house or other building – our space has been a part of the Bayview community since 1921 when it first opened as a butcher shop. The last business before we were there was a tax service. We imagine there to have been an incredible amount of friendly relationships that were made under its roof in its almost 100 years of existence. The mission we have is to follow suit and provide the community with high-quality service while fostering an environment where natural beauty is celebrated, where craft and creativity are not lost, where the focus is on providing a real, human experience. Because we believe after all, it is through our personal relationships that we can truly enrich our history and lives.
MMWIS: Favorite part of your new space?
KW: The energy. And our puffer fish :)
MMWIS: What do you see for the future of Amity Loft?
KW: The future is completely open. Not only do we see holding classes here relative to our industry but we also want to collaborate with other businesses in the city to have classes on a variety of topics, especially revolving around entrepreneurship. We also like to have pop-up shops and events here with local makers and artists. Our mission to create and maintain friendly relationships is really our main vision for the future of Amity Loft.