Family-run salon and boutique offers upscale experience with a down-home feel.

By Jill Whitley |

It’s not unusual for hairstylists to discuss roots and new growth, but clients of James Malone Beauty will surely notice that Newnan’s newest salon and specialty boutique brings a whole new take on the theme to its presence on the Square. 

From the moment you enter the spacious, warmly-lit Jefferson Street salon and sink into one of the overstuffed leather salon chairs, you’re not just relaxing into a luxurious salon experience, you’re contributing to a cause and community. 

Founded by husband and wife duo Russell and Millie Baggett, the new salon is James Malone’s second location. The first, located in Alpharetta, was previously known as award-winning salon RuMM Color Studio. 

“Our new name is in honor of our driving force- our children,” says Millie Baggett. 

The James Malone story began more than a decade ago when Millie, then a make-up artist working in Los Angeles, returned to Atlanta and applied to train under board-certified colorist Russell Baggett. Their professional partnership soon bloomed into a romance. 

Their first salon, now the flagship location of James Malone Beauty, was born in 2007. Their two children, Maeve and Dutch, followed several years later.  

As it does for many of us, parenthood shifted the Baggett’s entire perspective: 

“You have so little time with these kids to turn them into good people. We wanted to slow down and savor every moment,” Millie said. “Moving out of a fast-paced area, closer to family, would help with that.” 

But Millie and Russell had no intention of simply slowing down to savor their success. In fact, the children’s arrival inspired the couple to dig deeper and create something new: 

We wanted to expand our salon into something more meaningful,” Millie said. “Yes, we make people feel good, but after becoming parents, we realized how lucky we were to have a healthy family, and we wanted to do more.”

While the salon had long been a major donor to the Creedlove CURE Childhood Cancer Fund in honor of the deceased son of a beloved client, the couple felt it wasn’t enough; it was time for a shift in direction- and location. 

Newly rechristened as James Malone, the salon expanded into a lifestyle boutique- offering products that share the Baggett’s commitment to philanthropy- and the search began for a second location- away from the city and closer to the couple’s families. 

“When we found Newnan, we knew we wanted to be ‘all in’ with this community,” Millie said. They fell in love with a house on LaGrange Street and made the leap: “Once we found our house, the Jefferson Street spot went on the market, and it was perfect for us.”

Once the space was ready, the philosophy was simple, Millie said: “I want my salons to be safe spaces. Our team of stylists is primarily moms. They make their own schedules, and they’re mostly part-time, so they can be there for their kids.”

Russell agreed:  “There’s no dress code, and no tiers or titles– everyone here is a master stylist.” 

“We give them a key, they come in when they have a client. It’s very laid back. We want to give them the freedom to do their own thing as long as they respect the clients and the health of their hair.  It’s very liberating, but requires a lot of courage.”

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