Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Syndicate a dream come true for former Kalispell mayor and lifelong friend

Daily Inter Lake | May 5, 2024 12:00 AM

At The Syndicate Hair and Beauty Parlor, former Kalispell mayor Tammi Fisher and master cosmetologist Sandy Palmer have fine-tuned their new business to deliver great customer service and reflect their community-minded values. 

“Evergreen is really a reflection of who Sandy and I are, we are blue collar kids — we grew up that way. Even though I became a lawyer, I still have very strong blue collar roots. Evergreen kind of represents everything that we love about Montana, it's freedom, it's very business-friendly, easy to do work here,” Fisher said.

Fisher and Palmer have wanted to open a business together for decades. As the two friends pursued their respective careers, they couldn’t predict that the same girls who put on fashion shows for each other at 12 years old would go on to see that dream through.  

Palmer spent most of her life in Washington but decided to move to Kalispell about a year and a half ago. Fisher said even though she wanted to do hair and makeup when they were young, it was Palmer who harbored a real talent for it. 

“I had two sisters, and growing up with all girls in the house, it's all about hair and makeup and looking pretty and dressing up and things like that. I've always been a very girly girl, but also worked on a farm for quite a few years. I love to get my hands dirty, started working when I was 13 years old doing stuff,” Palmer said.

They were looking at a four-month renovation project on their building, which is located on U.S. 2 in Evergreen across the street from Kalispell Copy Center. But, it ended up taking a year after encountering many challenges. 

“I think that Sandy was more like, ‘When is this ever gonna be done? Is it going to actually happen?’ She started doing the hair out of her house, because we weren't open yet and there's such a demand,” Fisher said. “But I've been in business a long time, I'm very optimistic. A business concept that I know is going to succeed, I knew I could see the end of the line there.”

The opening officially came in March of this year and it was well worth the wait. Fisher said they ended up doing a full remodel and opened up the space, completely transforming how it looked before. They hit one more speed bump when the building flooded in January, postponing their original February opening to March. 

But for Fisher, there was nowhere better for the business to be than in Evergreen.

“My family's been investing in Evergreen for about 15 years, and so we knew that this was a location where we wanted to be. We wanted to be part of the Evergreen community and we knew that Evergreen needed something different, and knew our business could offer something different to meet the needs of the community,” Fisher said. 

The co-owners saw Evergreen as an underserved community when it came to cosmetology services and clothing stores. Affordability is important to them too, Fisher said they want to keep their services at a reasonable price and that every item they sell in their boutique comes in under $100. 

“I don't want to really look like I just went to Costco and we all got the same shirt, or TJ Maxx or Ross, even though those are great places to shop, we wanted something unique. But that was also price point sensitive so that everybody could afford it. And we were successful in being able to bring that to bear,” Fisher said. 

Other aspects of the business that Fisher and Palmer were dead set on included cleanliness, in both how the storefront looks and how hygienic their services are. They opted for copper sinks because of the metal’s natural antimicrobial properties. There are a lot of issues that can arise from unclean equipment or environments while doing someone’s nails, like nail bed infections, so offering something top of the line was important to them. 

But what sets them apart, according to Fisher and Palmer, is the experience from their stylist team. On top of Palmer’s nearly 30 years of experience, their other master cosmetologist has 15 years of experience. They’ve also partnered with Glacier Med Spa, having an esthetician and physician's assistant available at The Syndicate. In addition to this, they also have another licensed esthetician on site. 

“We were fortunate enough that Glacier Med Spa felt that we had a business model that was worthy of expanding to, because they have the very best with respect to injectables and facials. You know, they have top tier providers for injectables, who are medical professionals themselves. They just have a really good eye for detail and care for our patients and our clients,” Fisher said. 

They’ve also partnered with Waters Edge Winery and Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits to provide guests with a refreshing beverage if they so choose. And Fisher even got her favorite blend of Craven Coffee in the store, the same that she used to order at Espressway in Evergreen, a way of honoring the shuttered coffee stand. 

Those partnerships also extend to charitable causes too. They support nonprofit Gapfillers, which Fisher helped found. That organization helps pay-off student lunch debt, provides hygiene care kits and life saving medical supplies, among other goals. They also give their support to the ABS Park in Evergreen, a nonprofit and baseball facility providing low-barrier athletic opportunities for local children. 

“It is critically important to both of us that we give back to the community because they have been so supportive of us,” Fisher said.

She said they want to give back to law enforcement too, adding that veterans, first responders, or law enforcement get a discount of 10% on anything they offer.

All of that giving back wraps into their ethos for how they want to run the business: it’s a place they want the community to feel welcome at, in an almost “Cheers” like fashion, according to Fisher.

 “My hope is that this place becomes a community gathering for everybody in the valley, in particular Evergreen, that people feel comfortable walking in, no matter who they are, no matter their background, no matter anything. And that they know that they're going to be treated really well,” Fisher said. 

Despite the ups and downs of the renovation over the past year, Fisher said she and Palmer haven’t fought once. It’s a sign to Fisher that they are in it for the long haul.

“We get to work together every day and that's been fantastic for our friendship. We've been friends for 35 years and we've never once had a fight. While going through the construction process, you would think that that's where the nails would come out, but we've never had a fight. So I think if our friendship stands the test of time, that our business will too,” Fisher said.

The Syndicate is still hiring for positions of all kinds, and Fisher said they plan on having a grand opening for the business sometime in June. 

Find out more about The Syndicate Hair and Beauty Parlor, including how to book an appointment, at

Reporter Taylor Inman can be reached at 406-758-4433 or by emailing

    The Syndicate Hair & Beauty Parlor in Evergreen on Wednesday, April 24. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 

    Boots, clothing and self-care items are among the variety of shopping options also available at The Syndicate Hair and Beauty Parlor in Evergreen on Wednesday, April 24. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider