Parlor 127: Recreating A Building For Beauty

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

For the past 18 years, Haleigh Fairbanks has been a vital part of the beauty profession in the Athens area. She has been a stylist, part-owner of a salon, and wife and mother of 10-year-old twin girls. She and her husband Zachary have dreamed of adding “business owners” to that list. So, when the old Cricket’s by the Creek building on Jefferson Street became available, they took a deep breath and went for it. This week they had their ribbon cutting sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and the story of restoration, renovation, and ultimately, recreation is an inspiring one.

Parlor 127, which is located at 517 S. Jefferson in Athens has housed several businesses over the years. What was a two-story log cabin long ago had been relocated to Athens and ultimately, sat empty for several years. To say that it needed a great deal of tender love and care is an understatement. Erik Waddel with the City of Athens investigated it for me, and it seems no one knows of its exact origin or age, but it has been at the current location for “well over 40 years.” Haleigh was quick to point out that without friends, as well as the sacrifice of her dad, Bobby Crawford, and her husband, Zachary, Parlor 127 would have never gotten past the dream stage. I had been in the old building several times years ago, and the transformation is stunning.

Before we talk about this beauty of a building that is dedicated to adding far more than beauty in the community, the meaning behind the name “Parlor 127” is part of a tale worth telling. The twins, who are avid and excellent dancers who have trained for years at Kelly’s Studio of Dance were both born two days after Christmas 10 years ago. That is part of the “127,” and because Jefferson becomes AL Hwy 127 going north after you cross Elm Street/Hwy 99, voilà, you have “127.” The “Parlor” part has to do with the full circle of historically referring first to beauty parlors, then beauty shops, then hair salons, and now back to simply “parlor.” Haleigh also hopes to add a barber, so Parlor 127 seems like a good fit for guys, too.

The inside of the building is in keeping with the unique features of the original, with some post and beam as well as exposed ceilings. It is also blended with some contemporary touches, and a traditional-but-current brick exterior. All of it just works, and it is cozy, inviting, and sharp. It has all new insulation, wiring, HVAC and sheetrock. They tried valiantly to save the original wood floors, but could not. On the walls in the waiting area there is a beautiful photo journal arrangement of some of the things they discovered as they gutted the building, as well as black and white photos of various celebrities that Haleigh described as “beautiful-but-deep.” The walls are painted a deep green, which is one of Haleigh’s favorite colors, and the mirrors are edged in gold. The open shelving for supplies also functions as part of the décor.

At present, Haleigh has one stylist and herself but is looking to add several more in the near future. One of the visions for the facility is room for expansion and growth. The building has capacity for several more stylists, barbers, and other personal care professionals. Haleigh’s customers (whom she has had for years, as well as newer ones) followed her first to a temporary location in downtown Athens while the “reno” was going on, and now to Parlor 127 in its newly finished state. Business is brisk and by appointment, and walk-ins can be worked in between appointments. Both Haleigh and Parlor 127 stylist, Casey Mays, especially enjoy doing “special event hair,” meaning, styling for proms, weddings, galas, etc. Casey also loves to do hair and make-up for bridal parties, as well as spray tans.

Recently Haleigh underwent a certification process with an organization called Wigs for Kids. People donate hair for children who have undergone chemo, brain surgery, have had burns, accidents, or as is

the case that inspired Haleigh, have been diagnosed with alopecia. Alopecia is an auto-immune disorder that causes hair to fall out, often in clumps, and one of the twins’ friends has been open about her struggle. Haleigh wanted to position herself to be paired by the Wigs for Kids organization with the girl, and things are moving forward to make that wig a reality. Wigs for Kids charges no fee to the child or their family, and more information can be found at

Call Parlor 127 to see what Haleigh happily calls a “labor of love,” and enjoy a beautiful building that now specializes in building beauty. Cricket by the Creek is now Parlor 127, and we have cause to celebrate!

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner