Alan Kolb knew his salon wouldn’t last forever. He had opened Sprout, an Organic Salon, in the fall of 2006 on “The Avenue” in Hampden. Offering organic products and minimal packaging, the salon’s eco-friendly mission was trailblazing at the time and has since gone on to become a major beauty trend.
Seven years later, in 2015, Kolb launched organic hair care line Organic Chemistry. The brand was supplied to salons across the country and was a mainstay at Sprout, whose clients were among some of the first to test each new product.
“There was always a plan for Organic Chemistry to live beyond Sprout,” says Kolb. “My idea was that one day soon, I’d sell Sprout to the people who have worked there all these years.”
But things changed in a way Kolb couldn’t have have seen coming. In 2020, like many small businesses, Sprout was hit with financial hardships stemming from COVID-19 and was forced to close. In turn, Organic Chemistry took off.
“Even though a lot of the salons we sold to are now closed, a lot of people have begun to buy online, and Organic Chemistry has been there,” says brand co-founder Davina Grunstein.
Today, Organic Chemistry carries on the environmentally conscious mission Sprout once held. Each product is formulated and packed in small batches right here in Baltimore.
The packaging is made of recyclable plastic and filled with ingredients that are organic and natural. The suppliers Organic Chemistry chooses to work with also must have a low carbon footprint. And sometimes, for customers close to home, Kolb might even ride his bike to hand-deliver orders to doorsteps.