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Posted on Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Zoey + Joey salon will cater to wiggly kids with distractions like Mini Cooper chairs, TVs, video games

By Janet Miller


Ilze Meija Ham stands outside Zoey + Joey Children's Hair Studio, which she plans to open soon in Ann Arbor's Arlington Square shopping center at Washtenaw Avenue and Huron Parkway.

Janet Miller | For

Zoey + Joey Children’s Hair Studio plans to cut the angst out of children’s haircuts.

Owner Ilze Meija Ham is almost ready to open what will be Ann Arbor’s only hair salon catering exclusively to youngsters. Zoey + Joey is scheduled to open in early December at the Arlington Square office and retail center at the southeast corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Huron Parkway.

The business idea was born out of frustration, said Meija Ham, who left her law practice four years ago to stay home with her two young children. She couldn’t find a salon that offered a kid-friendly environment and stylists who had the patience for wiggly little ones.

“There was no car to sit in, no movie to watch, no lollipop,” Meija Ham said. “Kids don’t sit still. They need help to get a successful haircut.”

Adult salons were also too expensive. “If you go to a full-service salon, you can pay mom prices,” she said. “They’re not set up for kids.”

So Meija Ham found herself driving to Canton to taker her children to a national chain hair studio that serves children.

Meija Ham considered opening a franchise in Ann Arbor, but decided she wanted to maintain control and put her personal touches on her own studio. “I wanted a place that felt modern and hip. You feel like you’re walking into a carnival with most children’s hair studio franchises,” she said. She also didn’t want to pay the franchise fees.

Zoey + Joey took two years of planning. A branding company helped her select the name (no, Zoey and Joey are not the names of her children). She hired a staff of seven and had hoped to open the studio in November. But construction delays pushed the opening back to early December, she said.

The 1,700-square-foot hair studio will include seven chairs, including three Mini Cooper chairs (with working horns) for the youngest clients.

Zoey + Joey will be all natural, from the shampoos, conditioners and nail polish down to the organic lollipops. “It’s a model I think will do well in Ann Arbor,” Meija Ham said. She hopes being across the road from Whole Foods Market will give her business a boost.

The build-out included some green features, including reusing existing materials and installing a dual flush toilet.

The studio includes a sleek area for parents, complete with coffee and tea.

Zoey + Joey will target more than tots. There will be a separate space for ‘tweens and teens, with four chairs, TVs and video games. There will be a mini-manicure area and a themed birthday party room for girls, where they can have a mini-spa party, princess party or tea party. Parties for boys may come later.

Haircuts for girls will cost $23; for boys it will be $21, and for adults, $25.

A second location, possibly on the west side of Ann Arbor, may also come later, Meija Ham said.


Amanda Erickson

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 4:41 a.m.

Ron Granger if you want an old school experience with a free cold one (sports talk and a big flat screen), go to Coach & Four Barber Shop on State Street at Hill! $16 for a haircut ...they have been there for almost 40 years. Oh and by the way...they also do kids haircuts for $10-$14

Katie Fife

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

The prices seem really high for a child's haircut. Don't think that's going to be a big hit!

Ron Granger

Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

Why isn't there a place like this for big boys? With beer taps on every chair.

Ron Granger

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

Thanks AL! You have responded with nearly exactly what I described, to the point that it is quite hilarous. I wonder why we haven't heard more about this place? It seems very newsworthy and deserving of coverage. I think the a2 staff need to visit for a haircut and a story.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

Ron, drive about a mile further on Washtenaw and try Lady Jane's.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

I wasn't anticipating the prices being that high. I'm bummed because I was excited to try this for my daughter. Unfortunately, that's not in our budget.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

Love the name. As a business owner myself I am not a fan of hiring out creativity (unless you really need too) they hit the nail on the head with the name for you.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

I should hire someone to write my You get the idea.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

Also, my daughter just reminded me that she gets a lollipop at Anneka's and that Dascola's on State Street still has the firetruck that they have had since probably the late 60's.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

I think this is a great idea and I wish them success, but it is simply not true that all salons charge adult prices for children. In fact, I take my kids to Anneka's on Main Street where I am charged $20 a child.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

This is a wounderful idea!! I wish you and your buisness the best. I look forward to scheduling an appointment soon.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 2 p.m.

Buy some clippers @ the store & do it yourself.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

This place sounds great, love the idea! But I will NEVER go there. If I took y two boys, I would have to spend $42 on haircuts? Seriously most kids don't have that much hair. I still only pay $15 for my own haircuts, and I get my boys done at Mirage on packard. My 2yr old has been getting his hair cut there since he was 9months and he does great. I'm sure he'd love a minicooper and id love to take him, if they would concider cutting their prices in half.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

And the place I go does kids cuts for $10

Renee S.

Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Sounds awesome! My only question is... can adults sit in the mini cooper chairs?