Meet Your Local Maker: Taylor Goldberg of Rae Talbot Salon

Join us as we shine the spotlight on the business owners, craft artisans, and makers of Castro Valley!

Taylor Goldberg’s intention for Rae Talbot Salon was to inspire a sense of beauty and wonderment, for clients to feel like muses to the hairstylists as they walked through those glass-etched doors. Eight years later, with timeless chalkboard signs, natural wood flooring, vintage chandeliers and furniture, and thoughtfully engaging stylists, it’s easy to see that she achieved her vision of creating something enchanting.


Growing up with an appreciation for art and fashion, and a desire to work with her hands, it only seemed natural for Taylor to one day become a hair stylist. After completing 1,600 hours of rigorous cosmetology training and gaining salon experience in cutting, coloring, and business management, the young entrepreneur partnered with her mother, and opened the doors to Rae Talbot Salon in November of 2012. 


While Taylor’s passion lies in hair design, she also deeply cares about involving herself in the local business community as a way to facilitate meaningful change. Serving on the Castro Valley / Eden Area Chamber of Commerce and regularly participating in local events like the Castro Valley Fall Festival and Light Parade, has allowed her to develop deep and thoughtful connections with community leaders and local business owners, and better understand the desires and needs of prospective clients.  

“I’ve gotten really close with a lot of clients who share the same ideas as me and some are other business owners in town, and so we chat about how we can create positive change in our community.”

Being both a hair stylist and business owner of a salon, allows Taylor to be more acutely aware of how these challenging times are affecting her industry on both a local and national scale. The heated debate of whether salons should be opening or if stylists should be allowed to work on clients outside, is one Taylor is all too familiar with as the economy slowly opens. Rae Talbot Salon has already begun to take measures to adjust their business practices and interior design to keep both staff and clients safe for when they are given more guidelines and the green light from the county. 


But for Taylor, there are so many factors to consider if they were to work outside, especially with environmentalism being a core component to her business model. Rae Talbot Salon is a member of Green Circle Salon (GCS) that sustainably disposes of salon waste products. For example, GCS takes the hair waste (which is not allowed in green waste) and makes pet beds for animals in natural disasters, brooms to clean up oil spills in the ocean, and binding agents in plastic and cement mixtures. And their brand of products for hair coloring and styling use natural ingredients, the packaging is made with 100% ocean plastic waste, and does not contain ammonia and paraphenylenediamine (PPD).  


Left over hair dye gets properly disposed of and the sinks at Rae Talbot Salon are fitted with Eco Shower Heads to reduce the salon’s water usage. 

But how are these initiatives supposed to work outside? And how are outdoor conditions going to affect the work of the stylists? 


County permits, access to power for equipment and tools, water usage for washing hair, waste collection for hair cuttings and foil from coloring, location for all of her stylists to safely set-up, and outdoor temperatures affecting the color treating chemicals on the hair, are just some of things running through Taylor’s head when she part takes in conversations about working on clients outside.


None of this begins to address how a salon environment is built to curate a personal and sophisticated experience for each client that emphasizes comfort and confidence. If they’re not able to do color services, which accounts for a majority of the money spent in salons, how will they be able to find enough new customers to compensate for the loss of those services? Taylor wrote out her thoughts about this in a post that was re-shared throughout the Bay Area stylist community.

“Finding new clientele to make up for our color services is problematic. Most stylists charge for the experience,” she wrote in the post. “We can’t shampoo your hair or blow dry, and so now we feel we have to cut down our prices? What about clients coming in with dirty hair? Sure, we can ask them to wash it before they come, but by the time they arrive it’s already dried making the cutting more challenging, and so it’s still making our work harder for less of an income.”

While all of these concerns make navigating into an unknown future more murky for hair dressers, it has not dimmed the energy of Taylor and her fierce team of creative stylists. They have been able to use this time to get inspired,  share their industry concerns to the larger public, and advocate for change.


As we wait for more guidance from Alameda County, buying styling products and gift cards for future appointments can help to support Rae Talbot Salon, but Taylor tell us there’s something even more simple everyone can do: “…try and stay home, slow the curve, and wear your mask. That’s really it.”  


“Taylor is a strong, artistic, and reliable salon owner with high integrity. I am grateful to work at a salon that focuses on teamwork and thrives on building each other up. I love the inclusive and open environment that she has created for her space.”- Nicole Ruiz, Hair Stylist at Rae Talbot


Check out Rae Talbot Salon’s s page to purchase Kevin Murphy styling products and gift cards.