Short in the front, long in the back — a killer combination according to Kayla Matthews.
The Goulais hairstylist will be teaming up with photographer Cheryl Proulx this September to revive the infamous hairstyle craze, most popular in the 1980s and 90s, in support of a cause close to their hearts.
The long-time friends will produce and sell mullet-themed calendars to help raise money for ARCH Hospice ahead of the holiday season this fall. The calendars will feature Goulais and area residents with freshly cut and styled mullets courtesy of Matthews, while the photography will be done by Proulx.
A graduate from Sault College’s hairstyling program, Matthews says the idea came to her during a conversation with her mom.
“My mom recently bought me a mullet calendar, just a random one she found on Amazon,” Matthews recounts. “I was looking at it and thought that would be cool to have mullets of Goulais because I have a bunch of clients who have them.”
“Then I thought this would be a great opportunity to give back to ARCH.”
During her time at the college, Matthews’ passion for mullets was so evident that even her classmates knew she was destined to specialize in the hairstyle.
“I’ve been coined as the ‘Mullet Queen of the North’ — I love it,” she laughed. “I told my classmates in school I was going to be the Mullet Queen, and here we are.”
Currently the proud owner of Backwoods Salon, Matthews opened up her space in Goulais several years ago so people wouldn’t have to travel to the Sault for a haircut.
Since then, she’s noticed a growing trend of locals requesting the classic cut.
“I ended up falling in love with the recent trend of shags and mullets, so I’ve really honed in on that talent,” she says. “Mullets are super in right now for whatever reason, but I’m totally here for it.”
Intending to sell each calendar for $35, Matthews and Proulx will donate $10 from every unit sold to ARCH – an organization that means a lot to them.
“At first, I was just going to sell the calendars and do it to break even, but then I thought it’d be a great idea to raise money for ARCH since I volunteer there every Friday,” Matthews says. “They do such good things for the residents there. If I can contribute in anyway possible, I will. They remind me every week how grateful they are for having me there.”
“Cheryl has also volunteered her time at ARCH and has done some pictures for them. She’s an absolute gem.”
As ARCH is only partially government-funded, the organization must raise a minimum of $850,000 to keep its doors open each year.
Aiming to have their calendars available for purchase in October, the long-time friends are hoping to sell 100 calendars, or raise $1,000, for the hospice.
“Every bit counts,” she says.
Matthews told SooToday the public’s response to their idea was so positive that they’re already had to cap the involvement at 24 participants for two volumes of calendars.
“I never expected this much,” she says. “People who already have mullets, or those willing to get them, have been really behind this. We’re so excited.”
“I have this one client whose husband has a mullet. Their baby daughter has started getting their hair, and the back is growing and the front isn’t, so the daughter has a mullet too. They also cut their dog’s hair into a mullet, so they’re all doing a picture together.”
Already hoping to make the Goulais mullet calendars an annual tradition, Matthews and Proulx are looking forward to providing their 24 models with free haircuts and a photo shoot from Sept. 9-10 at Backwoods Salon.
“I went into hairstyling to make people feel good,” Matthews says. “This makes my heart happy, and to see the behind-the-scenes of ARCH and what goes into that place is indescribable.”