Photo by Austen Macalus

Paring it down

Updated: June 18, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Owners of Squared-Up are bringing cutting hair back to the basics

Sada Estrada and Meredith Anderson were best friends long before opening Squared-Up, the pair’s boutique hair shop at 13th & 2nd in Northeast’s Sheridan neighborhood.

Estrada and Anderson trained together at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. They’ve worked next to one another in salons. They’ve gone on vacation together and stood in each other’s weddings. The close relationship is at the center of their new venture.

“We’ve been tight for the whole run so it was a really natural growth into business,” Anderson said.

After thinking about owning their own place for the past few years, the two opened Squared-Up in mid-May.

They set up shop in small studio space, featuring a clean aesthetic and a simple setup. There are just two chairs, placed next to each other so Anderson and Estrada can share in the back-and-forth banter that comes after almost a decade of friendship.

“It just made sense… to pair down and strip away what we don’t need,” Anderson said. “We just need a blow dryer, some clippers and some good product.”

Photo by Austen Macalus
Photo by Austen Macalus

Squared-Up puts a modern spin on the traditional hair shop, focusing on short-hair cutting, predominantly for men.

The shop is a reflection of Anderson and Estrada’s background. Both were trained in classical barbering, on top of their high-end stylist schooling.

“We wanted to have this nod to old-fashioned barber shops,” Estrada said.

Anderson and Estrada see the shop as a way to combine what they’re already good at: cutting hair and making conversation. She envisions it as a place “where everyone is comfortable to talk to each other and can join in the conversation.”

For the pair, it comes down to a simple formula.

“At the end of the day, we work hard, we be nice and we do the best quality work.” Anderson said.

Squared-Up, at 1228 2nd St. NE, is open Tuesday through Saturday. Hours vary per day.