Pandemic leads MDG salons to consolidate in Carmel


The aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic convinced Travis Moore to consolidate his two MDG salons.

CIC DOUGH 0316 MDG Consolidation
MDG Salon stylist Mallory Mosley works with a client. (Submitted photo)

Moore, a Carmel resident, closed his MDG Salon in downtown Indianapolis in February, consolidating it with his MDG salon in Carmel at 820 E. 116th St., Suite 100

Moore said after reopening in June 2020 after closing down because of pandemic restrictions for two-plus months, the atmosphere was different.

“When we came back, downtown Indianapolis seemed to change overnight,” he said. “We relied on business from clients from Salesforce, Eli Lilly, IUPUI and OneAmerica, and now all those people are working from home. The decision to consolidate in Carmel was an easy one. The Carmel market is and has always been a lot more stable.”

MDG has a staff of approximately 30.

MDG was rebranded from Meridian Design Group in 2011. Meridian Design Group was started by Moore’s parents, Carmel residents Joe and Sue Moore, in 1984 in Carmel. In 1987, his parents opened a salon in Pan Am Plaza in Indianapolis. It moved in 2011 to 355 Indiana Ave.

In 2011, Moore said the Carmel salon was relocated to its present site.

Moore owns Black Orchid Barbers, which opened in 2017 in Indianapolis, and has a Carmel spot inside MDG salon that opened in 2018.

“We have 6,000 square feet in Carmel. We’re enormous,” Moore said. “The Black Orchid Barbers takes up 500 square feet. It gave our new staff the availability to concentrate on the craft of barbering.”

The two salons are separate with different employees.

“I would say 95 percent of our clients at MDG are women,” Moore said.

Black Orchid Barbers is moving into a new location on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis later this month. An additional Black Orchid Barbers is planned for the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis this spring.

“Our main clientele didn’t change a whole lot,” Moore said. “We saw a dip but nothing like we saw on the MDG side. It’s sad to see how downtown Indianapolis took a beating.”

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