June 5 2013 12:00 AM

Momentum Adventure Sports / Matthew Ryan Smith Salon

Eric Finkler/City Pulse

Unless you’ve been living under a rock instead of ascending one, you’d know that Grand Ledge is a mecca for local rock climbing enthusiasts. The sandstone cliffs along the Grand River, called the Ledges, contain about 100 climbing routes, and are a popular destination for the area’s thrill-seekers. In fact, it’s one of only three outdoor climbing areas in the state, and the only one in the Lower Peninsula.

Last month, Momentum Adventure Sports opened not far from the Ledges to take advantage of the built-in foot (and bike and kayak) traffic.

“I opened this based on the interest of surrounding activities,” said owner/operator Cole Cain. “There’s obviously the climbing, but there are a lot of people who come to Grand Ledge for hiking, biking or to take advantage of the Grand River corridor. I’m surprised there were no other stores like this in the area. There’s a bike shop, and that was it.”

This is the first business for Cain, 33, who calls himself a “leisurely participant” in adventure sports. But the real impetus behind opening Momentum was a crappy economy — after spending most of his career in retail management, he was laid off last January.

“My company had a rough year, and they did what they needed to do,” he said. “The job market wasn’t turning out so well, but that just prompted me to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I decided to hire myself.”

The 1,200-square-foot store, which opened May 18, had a grand opening celebration last weekend with a ribbon cutting. Cain’s merchandise includes kayaks, long boards, climbing gear, adventure apparel and disc golf accessories. He’s also stocking the newest trend in water sports: stand-up paddleboards.

“They’re still pretty new,” he said. “I hope they take off.”

Old Town’s newest salon

Next week, hair stylist Matthew Smith opens his eponymous new business venture, Matthew Ryan Smith Salon. Smith, 37, moved into the space previously occupied by Hilltop Yoga, which recently relocated across the street.

“I like to bring people in as though they’re coming in to my living room,” Smith said. “I’ve done everything I can to make this a welcoming environment.”

Smith moved to the Lansing area from Paw Paw, to study hair design at Douglas J Institute, where he received his license. He’s been doing hair for nine years, specializing in hair coloring and extensions.

“I’m into natural colors, but being edgy and artistic with it,” Smith said. “And I’ll do everything from runway model long hair to conservative state worker short cuts.”

Smith joins Old Town’s booming salon district, which also includes Head Room Salon, Salon 1131, Bella Rio Salon, Old Town Barbershop, Lou’s Barbershop and Old Down Beauty Salon. Smith is a first-time business owner, but he said making the leap has been a lifelong goal.

“The timing on this has been perfect,” Smith said. “I made a decision two months ago that I was either going to California or do my own thing here, and once I did that, everything came together here.”

The 1,500-square-foot salon features hardwood floors that used to be part of the nearby Temple Club. Smith said he will have five chairs and has room to hire two more stylists.

Momentum Adventure Sports
617 E. Saginaw Hwy., Ste. B, Grand Ledge
10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
(517) 622-1400

Matthew Ryan Smith Salon
108 E. Grand River, Lansing
9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday-Monday
(517) 614-1290