My Charlotte: POZA Salon
Pooran and Zahava, wives and owners of POZA Salon, share what inspired them to pursue their dream of opening an inclusive, safe space for people to come as they are, and some of their favorite things about their Queen City.
by Ally McCain
How did you get to where you are today?
We met in 1998 at an academy for hair styling and eventually went on to work in a salon together. In 2006, we opened POZA Salon on Park Road. We were in that house for about seven years before moving to our current location in the Myers Park neighborhood. We decided to open our salon because we wanted a place that was inclusive for everyone.
How did you get involved with the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce?
We wanted to find our community. We were business professionals with growing careers and we were raising children; we didn’t have time to go out and meet people. We had approached another organization but it didn’t feel right to us. Then we found the Chamber in 2019 and have been involved in their events and charities ever since.
What are some of the ways you support the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce’s mission to support the LGBTQ+ community around Charlotte?
We got involved with different events, the most recent organization being Transcend Charlotte. Transcend Charlotte is an organization that supports transitioning humans of any age. Our salon is donating haircuts to the organization and its members to help those transitioning feel more like themselves.
What inspired you to create this type of business?
Equality. We’ve worked in many different salons over the years and were never able to find an establishment with our business model or type of environment. Our business is focused on the people that we serve; we want to add value to our client’s lives. Our salon is a safe place for everyone to feel like themselves.
How can people support small businesses like yours?
Definitely through word of mouth. We have our social media but the best way to get the word out is to tell everyone you see. We have a client that drives up from Georgia so that their grandchild can get a haircut.
What makes Charlotte welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community?
Charlotte used to be a small, religious town. Before all the growth and development, there wasn’t much diversity or openness. It’s really warmed up to the LGBTQ+ community within the last 10 years. The LGBTQ+ isn’t just in one neighborhood in Charlotte — it’s all over the city.
What makes Charlotte feel like home to you?
Charlotte is home. It’s a safe place for us to raise our family and our immediate family lives here, too. It used to be a very conservative community with almost no diversity. As it’s grown it’s brought so many people with their different cultures and different kinds of food, it’s brought a freedom to Charlotte for people to be different and those differences are appreciated now.
If someone is visiting Charlotte for the first time, what should they see and do?
Definitely the U.S. National Whitewater Center and Discovery Place. The neighborhood of NoDa, for sure. There are more than 70 breweries around the city, too, so that’s a cool thing to check out. Any of the sports teams around the city, like the Panthers, the Hornets or the Checkers.
What are some of your favorite places to pamper yourself around Charlotte?
We enjoy checking out various restaurants around the city. Good Food On Montford is one of our favorite places to eat and we really enjoy hanging out in NoDa.