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Inspiring Conversations with Natasha Downs of Salon Ludic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natasha Downs.

Hi Natasha, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started my hair journey in high school. I lived in a small town, less than 1000 people, Witt IL. I always had a love for doing hair but it was not until a hair salon came in next door to my house that I really fell in love. I spent time over there watching and learning how fun and excitement of a career I could have. That was when I decided to pursue cosmetology after high school. I graduated high school early in January and started my first day in cosmetology school in March of 2005.

After completing school, I was what you would call a “salon jumper”. I was not sure what exactly I was looking for or what goals I was ready to achieve yet. I decided that I was ready to get out of our small town and see what else was out there. I then moved to the St. Louis area where I eventually found my salon home in O’Fallon. I still say it was fate, I talked to one of my best. friends into driving me around to drop off my resume at different salons. I had gone to so many salons but nothing seemed like the right fit until the last stop. She actually pulled up to the door and I said “no, I don’t want to go into anymore” and she replied “just this last one” thank god she did because it was truly exactly what I was looking for. This is where I truly started my career!

I began working at my current salon in January of 2008. This is where I really discovered that being a stylist was more than a fun job but a career that I could be really proud of. I started setting goals and was amazed at the career unfolding right before my eyes. I felt so blessed to find somewhere I could call home. In 2012, I was approached by the owner to buy the salon. At the time I was 25 and truthfully, scared to death, but took the leap and went for it! I officially bought the salon and took over on September 1st of 2012. I had a lot to learn and so much growing to do but with some help and support from my amazing staff, my family, and friends, we made it happen!

In the last 10 years, we have had some wonderful ups and downs. We have grown into a business that I could not have even imagined before. I have made the salon my own, starting with a business name change and redecorating the salon. I asked my team for input and ideas for the salon name because I wanted it to be something that really showed who we are. After so much debate, we decided on Salon Ludic which means lively and full of fun. That is exactly what we strive for every day. We want to not only give you the best service but to also have fun and enjoy each other’s company every day.

In 2020, along with everyone else, we were shut down due to covid. During this time I was 9 months pregnant with my first child, stuck at home, and trying to keep the business and staff up and running. Honestly, I could have never done it without all the support from my wonderful staff. We set up weekly zooms to stay in contact, set up product pick-ups for income at the salon, and did as much education as we could so we could stay motivated and ready for the day we could open back up!

After reopening in June 2020, we were thriving and busier than we have ever been. I then decided to expand the business to a second location. We started looking at spaces in the Edwardsville area to open our second Salon Ludic. We found the perfect space at Trace on the Parkway and began to build. We opened the doors of our Edwardsville salon in July 2021. I have loved being a part of the Edwardsville community and they have been extremely supportive of our new business.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think there is a business that doesn’t have challenges and struggles and if they do exist, please tell me your secrets!

In the beginning, I felt that I struggled mostly with being taken seriously as a young woman owning a business but with time, I let my confidence grow and it has actually pushed me to be more successful.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Salon Ludic?
At Salon Ludic, we specialize in color, balayage, and extensions. With years of experience and continuing education our dedicated team is ready serve you and your beauty needs. We will help you decide on the best look, and deliver just the right service.

Our comfortable, relaxed atmosphere is designed to make you feel great! Our team will pamper you in every way. We offer complimentary consultations, 5-minute relaxing shampoos in our treatment room, and complimentary drinks and snacks with every in-salon service.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Always be prepared for the unimaginable, nothing is off the table. To take everything one day at a time and not stress about what is not in your control.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Instagram: @natasha.downs @salon_ludic
  • Facebook: @salonludicofallonil @salonludicedwardsville

Image Credits
Chelsea Dufresne

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1 Comment

  1. Debby Yeske

    September 14, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Natasha my name is Debby I live in your hometown and married to Larry Yeske. I saw where you do extensions but wondered if you do hair pieces. I have thinning hair on top and just wondered if you provide that type of service.
    Thank you
    Debby Yeske

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