When Sydney Helms opened Sydney’s Shoppe of Beauty seven years ago, she had no idea that today she would be able to cultivate a community space and have such a big brand.
Sydney, 30, became a cosmetologist after deciding against nursing school. She completed an apprenticeship at D’Allens in Columbus and eventually made her own way in Phenix City with a 5,000 square-foot building. Back then, she knew she wanted more than just a stylist space, so she named her business accordingly.
Over time, her building evolved from having a boutique and other businesses to what it is today: hair care, a coffee shop and boutique, and event space.
“I wanted to create a space for our community,” Sydney said.
Now, there are Bible studies and people lounging and enjoying each other’s company. There is also a space for rent for small parties and showers. While she hasn’t held an event big enough to max the space out, Sydney said the event suite can hold 25-30 people. Tables, chairs, and linens come with the suite. It also includes a bar for food or a blowout bar for bridal parties.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave Sydney some time off. Ordinarily a bad thing, this time off allowed her to refocus and decide on a direction for her brand.
“It gave me time off that I’d never taken before,” she said. “I was able to refocus on the brand that I’ve taken time to create over the years.”
Some of those improvements include a new website where clients can schedule appointments, book the event suite, order products, and request curb-side pickup. She also has a more intimate group of 10 stylists who specialize in color, extensions, and more.
In addition to the change in her own space, Sydney is opening a blowout bar in downtown Columbus.
“I’ve frequented them in bigger cities,” she said on how she got the idea to open one locally. The bar will offer shampoo and conditioning services with additions like hot towels, etc. Then a stylist will blow out your hair and give you the options of a sleek or curly style, ponytail and more.
“You won’t feel like you’re cheating on your hair stylist when you’re there,” she said. “It’s a great way to try out Sydney’s.
Sydney got married last year to Chris Helms. Chris was an assistant band director at Smiths Station High before joining the Air Force Band. He is stationed in San Antonio. Sydney travels every other week to the city, time that she says allows her to handle more of the administrative side of her business. She also has two girls, Jennings and Jules, who love running around the salon and playing stylist.
Sydney said opening the shop in Phenix City was great for her. She enjoys the location and the support she’s received over the years.
“I wanted to be in Phenix City. There are so many people here and it’s where I’m from. Thank you to the community for always supporting us,” she added.