Now that you can make hair care appointments as part of the Phase 2 reopening, consider checking out a new local women-owned business that opened earlier this year – Kindred Hair + Beauty on East Main Road in Middletown. The salon, which began taking appointments again on June 4th, was opened by three partners who are veterans in the beauty industry: Candace Brisson, Emily Leialoha, and Remy Sweeney. We chatted with Brisson to learn a little bit about the inspiration behind Kindred and the women who run it. Here’s what she said.

How long have you worked/lived in Newport? Emily and I are lifelong Aquidneck islanders and Remy has lived on the island for more than 20 years. 

What do you like best about living/working on Aquidneck Island – favorite places to go and things to do?  We love the smallness of it. We love knowing who are clients are on a personal level and having a shared experience of living on the island is special. We are all foodies! The restaurants here are amazing! We are new to the Middletown area so we are really enjoying getting to know the businesses around us! We are excited to join the other new businesses opening up at our new location like Farm and Flora Collective,  Sprout and Lentil, and Le Bec Sucré. 

Can you share a bit about your background before you opened Kindred such as your past work and education? Candace and Remy have a long hair history working together for 15 years in a busy downtown Newport salon. Emily worked with Candace and Remy at the same salon for five years as the manager. We were ready to open our own hair salon and that’s what we did! 

Can you tell us a bit about the launch of Kindred – what was your inspiration and how did you decide on location and aesthetic? It was important to improve our working environment by using the healthiest products we could find in the industry. We wanted to improve the air our stylists and clients were breathing by using low toxic hair color. We’re using Original & Mineral color from Australia and Oway from Italy. The colors have no ammonia, no paraphenylenediamine (PPD), no parabens or rescorcinol. This adds up to products that are gentler and safer for people and the environment.  Removing harsh chemicals whenever possible was something very important to Kindred. As for the location – it just made sense. We thought it would be  convenient to all of our clients on the island. Endless parking! It’s a very large space to expand when the time is right, and we loved the idea of being in a new neighborhood! We were inspired by each other and what we wanted to see in our space. We wanted it to be bright, fresh, airy ,simple, clean, and minimal, with lots of love and creativity. We did all of the work ourselves. We renovated from floor to ceiling. We have all new comfortable seating and shampoo bowls and a gorgeous mural added for a little fun. A must for all of the girls was a lot of plants to contribute to the fresh air! 

What’s your favorite part of your work and being a business owner on Aquidneck Island? The best part of our work is being able to work together, laughing all day with our clients, and sharing our vision with Aquidneck Island.  It never feels like work.   The community of business owners have been really supportive and the clients are all amazing. We’re honored to be a part of the community of island business owners. 

For appointments, contact Kindred at 401-324-5504 or and abide by all current health guidelines.