As you step into the basement of the Mercer building and turn into Weekly Hair, you can’t help but notice the salon's relaxed atmosphere. Off to your right, Craig Boa is at his station beside the entrance applying the finishing touches to another trim and true haircut.
After opening Weekly 4 years ago, Craig and his team have quickly climbed the ranks - becoming YEG’s go-to salon for people who expect a unique experience and elevated level of service. Humble about the impact he’s had on the city; this south side kid prefers to let the Weekly experience do the talking for him.
For this edition of The Helmsmen series, we sat down and had a conversation with stylist and business owner Craig Boa.
The Trim True Experience
Chad - You made a conscious effort to open your business on 104th street, specifically the Mercer building. How did that unfold and why did you choose this space?
Craig – We wanted to be downtown on 104th st. To be honest we lucked out with the Mercer building. We have quite the community here that has really helped us grow into who we are today. So all in all, there was a bit of luck paired with our desire to be on the 104th street promenade and arena district.
Chad – The Mercer building has really taken on a culture of its own over the past 4 years
Craig – It definitely has. It’s always changing.
Chad - Can we talk about the space you designed and built for Weekly? It has a very mellow and soothing vibe to it. Was this something that came by design?
Craig – We put a lot of energy and effort into the design. We had a local architect help with the planning and design of our space. It was definitely something we were worried about because you can build a beautiful room, but when the vibe is off, those are the things you can't control. The music also helps create the calm and relaxed atmosphere as well.
Chad – Was there any specific place that you drew inspiration from?
Craig – For sure, the Ace Hotel Group has always been a big one for me. I was trying to keep things simple - clean lines. I would also go down to Calgary from time to time for weekends, I found they had things going on down there that we didn’t here in YEG, so I’d pull ideas from their hospitality scene during my visits.
Chad - You mentioned music. You’re a known music buff, what's currently on the Weekly playlist?
Craig – The mood and time of day always dictates what’s playing at Weekly. Arkells are our dudes, so we love their jams. Anything by The Growlers is always a favorite for most of us(minus Stacie). Anderson Paak is another one, and Leon Bridges never sounds bad in here!
Chad – You and the team here at Weekly have quickly become one of Edmonton’s top places for hair. What exactly do you feel it is that sets you apart?
Craig – We have a good group of very talented stylists, who at the end of the day help us offer quality service. But I think it’s a bit of everything to be honest. People like coming in for the music, and people like coming in for the relaxing vibe of the space, but at the end of it all, we do offer a good service – which is something we’ve always been big on.
Chad – So who cuts your hair? Or do you cut your own?
Craig – (chuckling) Ha yeah sometimes. Little bit of Andy, little bit of Hieu, Patricia, everyone kinda cuts it. I’m actually a picky one; everyone seems to touch it at some point during a cut.
Chad – We can’t come down to the Mercer building without talking to you about the development happening around the building. What’s your outlook on how this area is going to evolve over the next 5-10 years?
Craig – I certainly love being in the middle of the Ice District development. I’m optimistic that once everything is done, and all of the restaurants, retail and living/work spaces are occupied, it’s going to be a great area to be in.
Chad – Over the winter, what does Edmonton’s go-to stylist do to kick back and relax?
Craig – I love the winter to be honest. I love playing shinny at the outdoor rink. I also love cross-country skiing. Getting a dog this year has been great for getting out of the house on walks. He keeps me busy, but I enjoy it.
Chad – When you do get out of town, what are some of the places/cities that you like to visit?
Craig – I really enjoy Boulder, CO. I’ve been there more than anywhere else. I like the Oregon area as well. Pretty much anywhere with mountains, trees and lakes.
Chad – With warmer weather approaching, what are your plans for spring?
Craig – Well I’ve never been to Tofino, so hopefully I’ll get out there. Other than that, lots of lake and mountain trips, but all in all Tofino would be my main destination this summer.
Chad – Thanks for your time my friend.