Ever-evolving salon thrives in small-town setting


The interior of the Imperial Styling salon. The salon has been in Cheney for 19 years and is seeking to re-open its barbor shop | Sam Jackson for The Easterner

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

Imperial Styling is an ever-evolving full-service salon and barber shop with an owner who is determined to adhere to the local community’s demands.

The salon is ever-evolving because it’s been remodeled more than once—most recently a couple of years ago—to fit as half barber shop and half full-service salon.

The owner of Imperial Styling is Amy King, who truly embraces the Cheney community by choosing to reside her business here for almost two decades. She believes that Cheney desperately needs a barber shop and maintains a barber shop has always been her dream.

“Two years ago, probably in an eight month period, I lost all of my barbers due to different reasons,” King said. “One [barber] was a long commute and one [barber had] health issues. I have not been able to find anyone since. So it’s this beautiful barber shop and I’m not quite ready to give that up and turn it back into the salon side. I think that I do have a barber coming in the next month, so that’ll be exciting.”

In the beauty industry, word of mouth is everything. Luckily for King, her talent—and 19 years in a small town like Cheney—has given her an advantage.

“I was in Spokane for a few years and it was much harder to build a clientele,” said King. “It was so big and you have so much competition. Word of mouth is a lot harder in a bigger town. In a small town, word of mouth and being involved in stuff is so much easier […] I think doing hair is such a personal thing, and obviously in a small town you can connect with people a lot more. I just think that’s what has made it successful. You can just connect to your community a lot easier.”

King prefers not to work alone. She moved from Four Lakes to Cheney to expand and bond with other cosmetologists. There are two other cosmetologists that work with King.

“We’re all pretty busy, I have a pretty good mixture of students and locals,” said Miranda York, a cosmetologist at the salon.

With the barber shop as the main focus of growth, King and the other cosmetologists plan to continue maintaining their momentum with their success in Cheney.

“As for the salon, I just want to keep it strong and community oriented,” said King. “Right now the way we are going I am very happy with it. There is always stuff I want to tweak, but I am very happy. I mean obviously you always want to keep growing, but I want to keep our education fresh and keeping a positive place in the community is really my goal.”

Imperial Styling is located on 424 1st St. in downtown Cheney.