The first time Corey Sleet stepped into a hair salon; a rush of excitement shot through him.

“I was like a kid at Disney World. I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

When he told his mother that he wanted to go to beauty school out of high school, she was supportive but adamant that he attend college first. He followed her wishes but did not find any new passions in college.

Sleet was at a New Year’s Eve party in 1999—that crazy year when everyone thought the world was going to end—when he met a woman named Sarah Cooper. The two quickly became best friends.

Sleet still longed to pursue a career in cosmetology but was working in the insurance business at the time. Then one day, he was involved in a horrible car crash that changed the course of his life.

“I hit black ice going 70 mph and was spinning out of control across all four lanes of the interstate,” says Sleet. “My life really did flash before my eyes.”

Miraculously, he walked away from the accident unharmed. He was given a second chance at life, so he wasn’t going to waste it. The next day, he enrolled in beauty school.

Sarah Cooper has been in the beauty industry since 2007. From owning one of Indianapolis is preeminent salons to developing software for salons from scratch with her company, Aura Salonware, she has gained a wealth of expertise in and around the beauty industry. If you had asked her in 2004 if she would be so immersed in the beauty industry if she would’ve have said, “Not a chance.”

In 2004, Cooper gave birth to her first daughter, who was born with a number of medical issues—so many that she was in and out of the hospital for 3.5 years.

“To date, she’s had 34 surgeries,” says Cooper. “It’s been a wild ride.”

Because her daughter was so sick, Cooper didn’t work for the first several years of her daughter’s life. She did, however, spend her down time learning how to open a salon since her husband at the time was a hair stylist.

“Having 3.5 years to research gave me a leg up on the business side,” says Cooper. “I had time to truly research the industry, find mentors, and put together a business model that was rock solid.”

After opening the Bobby Cooper Salon, Sleet was one of the first apprentices Cooper hired. She was immediately blown away by his talent.

“Within six months, his book was full,” she says. “Not only is he an extremely talented stylist, but he’s also extremely charismatic. His clients come for both his talent and personality.”

Cooper had long talked about wanting to open a second salon location, one that would incorporate a med spa as well. After 13 years of being a salon owner, Cooper had heard all of the needs, wants, and desires of her clientele. They all wished that they were thinner, tighter, and more toned with fewer brown spots and thicker hair. She began to research med spas in hopes of offering her clients the aesthetics elements they craved.

One day in 2017 Cooper and Sleet were on a rooftop pool in LA when Sleet told his bestie that should she ever decide to open that second location, he would be interested in partnering with her in the endeavor.

“She was a bit perplexed because I’d always said I would never want to open a hair salon. I knew how much work it was,” says Sleet.

Nevertheless, the friends raised their glasses and toasted the moment.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the global pandemic. In November 2020, Cooper’s medically fragile daughter contracted COVID. Cooper was incredibly worried.

“I tend to get productive when I’m anxious,” says Cooper. “I couldn’t sleep so I wrote out the business plan for Lux Lab with a mission of providing attainable luxury beauty to the community.”

She sent that business plan to Sleet and asked if he remembered their rooftop toast from three years before. Not that she expected him to be interested because he was prospering as a successful stylist already. But he read the plan and within minutes called Cooper to say, “Of course I’m in!”

Next steps involved finding a building and hiring architects, designers and engineers. Ultimately, they landed in Carmel at the new Proscenium development on Rangeline Road next to Wahlburgers.

Now, 24 years after first becoming friends, this dynamic duo’s dream has come to fruition as they open Lux Lab!

It turns out, they make a great team precisely because they are so different.

“I’m the nerd on the business side—the one buried in spreadsheets, and I love it,” says Cooper. “Corey is the artist—the creative juice.”