Darren Pena Salon: Green is Beautiful!

by Alison Lueders, Great Green Editing

This is the second in our series of posts about companies that have achieved the City of Tampa’s Green Business Designation. This week we highlight the Darren Pena Salon in Carrollwood. It is a salon and spa offering a full range of eco-friendly and organic salon and spa services with a mission of spoiling guests, giving back to the community and conserving the environment.

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Darren Pena is a Tampa native, and has been a stylist for more than 20 years. This first salon opened in July 2011 and received its Green Business Designation in November 2011.

A Multi-faceted Approach
As with most green businesses, the salon’s approach to sustainability is multi-faceted. It includes:

  • Being paperless. Where most salons print work tickets and credit card receipts, Darren’s system is electronic. Darren provides iPads for salon and spa staff to book appointments and edit transactions. Credit card payments are processed through an iTouch and all receipts are emailed directly to guests.
  • Reusing cups, plates etc. instead of using disposable ones.
  • Recycling. When paper is needed, the salon buys recycled paper products for note pads, sticky notes, stationery and envelopes. They also recently switched to business cards printed on 100% recycled paper using plant-based biomass inks.
  • Prioritizing energy efficiency. The salon uses energy saving appliances and lighting.

According to Ashley Beale, the salon’s Social Media Manager, “Basically, since the salon opened all building and supply ordering decisions are made after considering the most eco-friendly options available.”

Profitable Results

According to Ashley, “Since opening in 2011, we have been amazed by the exposure we’ve received in the community for our eco-friendly practices. Our guests really appreciate that we make sustainability a priority, and in return it does drive new business into the salon each month.”

  •  Guests appreciate products with quality ingredients, which increases revenue through product sales. The hair care line, Pureology, is a sulfite free, vegan hair care line made with certified organic botanicals. (Darren is also an International Educator for Pureology.) Pureology also values sustainable practices and recently redesigned their packaging so it’s made with at least 50% recycled materials, is recyclable and they use steam power to conserve water in production.
  • The salon uses Redken’s new Chromatics ammonia-free hair color which provides beautiful, healthier color without the harshest chemicals.
  • The spa offers organic facials and organic products for home use. The organic and vegan options attract more guests to the salon and spa. It sets Darren Pena apart from other local salons and spas and meets a need in the community.

Looking Ahead

Darren Pena looks forward to partnering with other local sustainable businesses. His long term goal is to open 4 sustainable salons in the Tampa Bay area. Hmmm. Maybe my hairstyle could use a change. 🙂

For more information about the Green Business Designation Program, contact Janet Harrison at 813-470-5055.