Wedding season is officially in full swing and that means planning the perfect look for your loved one’s special day. Sounds simple, but it never is. You have to plan your outfit, accessories and of course, what to do with your hair.
Not to worry. Whether you’re a hairstyle pro or a no-fuss kind of gal, we’ve got you covered with these on-point but easy to manage styles that are picture perfect for any event.
The One-Sided Wave
I love this style for so many reasons! It’s super easy to do, it’s very romantic, you can shake it around on the dance floor, it works with any length or texture, it’s flattering for any facial shape, and chances are you already know how to do flat iron waves with your hair. If you don’t, check out our video tutorial [insert a link to the video blog - hairstyles for busy moms).
So if you’re stretched for time, you want something very easy to achieve, or you’re going for a simple but elegant look, dress up your waves with a dramatic side part and sweep them over to one side.
You will need: A Flat Iron or Curlers, A Paddle Brush, Bobby Pins (preferably in a shade that’s close to your hair colour), Aveda Air Control Finishing Spray
There are so many ways to put curl in your hair. I tend to prefer the flat iron because I’m partial to loose, beachy waves, but you might want to use rollers if you want your curl to really stay. Hot rollers will set a curl that lasts for days. Magnetic rollers are great if you want to let your hair set for an hour while you do your makeup and get ready, it’s completely up to you. Whichever way you do your wave, don’t worry about where your hair’s part is, just be sure to spray your hair with a light hairspray before you curl it for extra hold.
Once you have your waves, determine where you want your part to be. For this style you’ll want a side part so take wherever your usual side side part is and exaggerate that by at least an inch. The deeper the side part the better because the whole look is swept over to one side.
Once you have your deep side part, take a paddle brush and sweep straight back from the hairline to just about the nape of neck. Go straight back, not back and up, then secure the hair with a bobby pin.
Depending on how much hair you have and where your part is you may have to do this again.
I personally like to do either an X to secure the pins or an exaggerated row of 5-7 bobby pins to secure the hair from the back of the ear to the nape of the next because it looks intentional. Rather than hiding the bobby pins, you can play them up.
Once the bobby pins are in place, spray all over with finishing spray. You can add volume and a bit of edge by backcombing or scrunching the loose side, or leave your curl as is for a more perfectly polished and minimalist look.
The Full-Body Ponytail
I love taking everyday styles and making them formal. I als really think that the ponytail is serious underrated. This tight, slick-back, full-volume ponytail is the epitome of elegance (with a wild side).
It’s a little bit more difficult than The Wedding Wave but still relatively easy to do and you’ll need medium to long hair to pull it off, but it’s extremely versatile. You can wear it with pretty much anything. It’s formal but simple, and just a little sassy.
What you’ll need: Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam, Aveda Confixor Liquid Gel, Aveda Air Control Finishing Spray ,A Paddle Brush, Hair Ties
You’re going to need a bit of mousse, a little bit of gel, and a lot of hair spray. They key to a full body pony is to start with a wave. All of the volume in the back is going to come from the curl that you put into your hair beforehand. If you want a big, dramatic ponytail, put a big curl in your hair and make sure that’s completely set and cooled before you start styling.
Next, gather your hair loosely and put it up into a ponytail wherever you prefer it to sit. The higher the better in my opinion, but you might prefer it a little lower. This style works either way.
With your hair tied back, run 2-3 pumps of styling foam over the hair from the hairline to the base of the pony, smoothing it all over the front, sides and back.
Let it dry for a moment and take the ponytail out. You’ve created the general shape of where you want your hair to sit, now take the paddle brush and brush your hair back into the point tail again to smooth everything over and create a nice, tight ponytail, and affix it with your elastic. I recommend putting the ponytail in as tight as you can.
Once you have your ponytail secure, take a bit of gel and smooth it over the hair from the hairline to the base of the ponytail to slick everything back and secure it firmly in place.
Spray your entire crown generously with finishing spray. Then spray the pony by gathering all of the hair in your hand, lifting everything straight up in the air, and letting go slowly to fan it out as you spray.
To add volume and thickness to the ponytail, lift the top section and set it to the side and backcomb just a little near the base of the pony for lift or all the way down to the ends of the hair for lots of drama. Smooth the top section over again to top it off.
The Centre-Part Top Knot
This is such an elegant style. It’s Audrey Hepburn with a modern twist. If your hair is long enough for a ponytail then you can achieve this look. The most difficult part is putting your hair in a bun while retaining the centre part.
What you’ll need: Bobby Pins or Hair Clips, Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam, A Paddle Brush, Hair Ties
Start by spreading phomollient throughout dry hair from root to tip. Next, find your centre part and use your paddle brush to smooth it down tight to the head. Tuck the hair behind the ears. Secure your centre part and hold it in place by using a bobby pin or hair clip on each side.
With your centre part securely in place, take your paddle brush and brush your hair up from the back. Starting from the nape of the neck and working your way forward, brush all of your hair into a high ponytail using the paddle brush, securing the hair along the crown as close to the scalp as possible. Keep in mind that as you brush your hair up and into the high pony your centre part will become shallow, only extending about an inch and a half to two inches from the hairline. Be mindful not to disturb the centre part for now. Secure the high ponytail with a hair tie.
Now take some liquid gel in the palm of your hand and sweet up along both sides of the head and underneath along the nape of the neck to keep everything nice and slicked back. Take what’s left on your hands and smooth it over the ponytail as well. You don’t necessarily want the top knot to be perfect, but you do what it to be smooth and the gel will help prevent any flyaways throughout the evening.
Next, twist your ponytail tightly until it started to wind around itself creating the top knot effect and secure that with another hair tie. Use bobby pins to touch up any loose pieces.
Complete with finishing spray all over for shine.
The Mohawk Braid
I’m not going to lie, this is definitely more of an advance style. The braiding makes it tricky but if you take it step by step and have a good mirror or two on hand to help guide you, you can definitely pull this off. I promise.
The Mohawk Braid gives the illusion that the hair is slicked back into a mohawk using a big messy braid for height and texture. I love this style because it looks professionally done no matter what. It’s meant to be messy, so it’s very forgiving. It gives you great volume and it’s glamourous. It works on all hair types except super short hair. In fact, it’s one of the only technical up-do’s that I would recommend to a wedding guest. After all, you don’t want to overshadow the bride.
What you’ll need: Hair Ties, Bobby Pins, Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam, Aveda Air Control Finishing Spray
Start with pulling a small amount of mousse evenly through dry hair from root to tip. Take the front 2 inches along the hairline and pull the section up into a small ponytail at the front of the head. Allow the mousse to dry here for a couple of minutes.
Next, gather hair in one inch sections on either side of your head and pull it up and into the centre to make another small ponytail directly behind the first section that you’ve tied up. Work your way backward creating small, tight ponytails at the top of the head. When you’re finished you will have about 6 or 7 small ponytails going all the way from the hairline to the nape of the neck.
Now start from the top and braid the pony tails so that they blend together like a french braid to create a single braid that runs along the back of the head and down the neck. It’s important to keep everything nice and tight while you’re braiding your ponytails together (for now!) and leave your elastics in. I always recommend using an elastic that’s similar to your hair colour so it’s easy to conceal.
Once you have a nice tight braid use your fingers to pull out small sections from the braid to start giving it a loose and romantic effect. Skip the comb and don’t use utensils for this, you want the sections that you you pull out to be nice and bid and not too perfect. Use your mirror every step of the way for this step and go by how it looks.
Use hairspray or finishing spray to add some shine and hold everything where it belongs all night long.
It’s time to welcome a new artist to the walls of Studio67. This month we are very pleased to welcome the photography of neighbourhood local Michael Schwartz!
Be sure to join us tomorrow night, Thursday, August 17th from 8pm - 11pm for Michael’s opening reception at Studio67!
Interview with the artist:
Tell me about yourself, Michael.
Well, I was born and raised in Toronto. I’ve always had a deep love for neighbourhoods like Kensington Market. After graduating from film school I started working in commercial advertising and I’m still at it. I have a beautiful wife and four amazing kids and I run a production studio here in the King west area called Frank Content.
Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art. Did you study formally anywhere? How long have you been a practicing artist?
Working in the film industry, I was exposed to some of the best cinematographers, art directors and crew in the country, which gave me the opportunity to watch and ask questions. Quite often, I’d be shooting the action on set; street style shots. I was always taking photographs but didn’t have the time to take it to the next level. But luckily now I have more flexibility and I’m able to focus on photography like a second career.
Why has photography become your main medium of expression?
Most people look but don’t see, and that’s what photography has done for me. It’s my only creative outlet other than fishing.
What would you say is the signature character of your art?
I haven’t settled on one specific style as of yet, but most of my work falls under the category street photography.
If you had to describe your art to someone in a couple of sentences, how would you do that?
Random shots of people bring who they are during unfiltered moments when they’re not being influenced to behave differently.
Can you tell me about this particular installation?
Clouds is different from my other work. In a way, it kind of stands alone. But as a collection, I felt that these photographs are compelling. They spur the imagination, they’re like a daydream. And anything that can do that is a worthy endeavour.
What piece of your work (that's at Studio67 right now) do you love the most and why?
This one. The power lines and hydro poles represent stability in an unstable and constantly changing world.
This November we are delighted to showcase the raw and emotional work of Toronto-based artist Nicolas Canon. Nicolas is a very interesting man. He’s not only an artist but also a writer and relationship coach, which definitely influences his work. His paintings are all about our deepest and most fundamental human desires.
What I love about his work is that it’s so different from traditional paintings because he extends the painting beyond the canvas. When he hangs his work he continues the painting on the wall surrounding it so that the installation space becomes a part of the work as well.
I had the chance to sit down and learn all about his artistic inspirations, here what I learned…
My Interview with Nicolas
Tell me about yourself, where are you from, how old are you, do you have any pets and what are your hobbies?
Well, I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I moved to Toronto 8 years ago to learn English, but I fell in love with the city and ended up staying. I’m 25 years old, no pets, and my favourite hobby is traveling. I’ve been to over 16 cities in 11 countries this year along. I love learning new things and discovering new cultures but above all, I’m a big fan of connecting with people. Not chit-chatting, connecting.
Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art. Did you study formally anywhere?
When I was 3 years old I came home from school with a drawing the teacher made me do. It was a poorly sketched heart, a tree and a house. It was average at best, but my parent’s reaction was extraordinary. Instead of putting the painting aside or on the fridge my parents told me what a great artist I was. They went on and on about how talented they thought I was, how great my skills were, and how much potential I had. Then proceeded to frame the little drawing in a big beautiful wooden frame and hang it in one of the main walls in our home. What can I say? I trusted them and I believed them when they told me I was talented, so I kept at it and I loved the recognition and praise art brought me.
When I moved to Toronto I intended to study animation arts but decided to go for International Business instead. There was something about being told what to draw and what to paint that did not sit well with me, so I abandoned any artistic endeavour for almost 3 years. Eventually I found myself on a student exchange in Amsterdam, where thanks to the time and energy of the place, I reconnected to painting. I started exploring for the first time with spray paint, watercolours, oils and so on. I have taught myself everything I know about painting ever since.
Why did you choose painting as your medium?
My medium is connection. My bridges of expression are art, written and outspoken words. The message I want to communicate is something to be felt and experienced, not overanalyzed. Art creates a space for self reflection and allows the spectator to feel and connect to certain sensations and emotions that they might otherwise judge in a different context.
Is art your full time gig?
Yes it is now, but it hasn’t always been. I managed to make art my full time work by staying committed. I dedicated all of my free time to improving my craft while also working to support myself. Regardless of what I had to do to pay the bills, I’d always follow my artistic curiosity and make time to paint. I would come home after a 15 hour workday and sketch out anything I could for 15 minutes before going to bed. It is only in these past two years that I’ve started to reap the fruits of that dedication, and I intend never to let that go. I’m also so grateful to my parents, again, for supporting me along the way. It made things so much easier knowing they were behind me.
Are you in any particular phase right now? What’s inspiring you right now?
I’m not sure if it’s a phase, but right now I’m exploring sensuality and femininity. Working as a relationship coach for men in the past two years has transformed the way in which I view the dynamic between men and women. My aim is to consistently remove layer after layer of inhibition, judgement and fears. To be able to express raw, unfiltered emotions. Both in my love life and art work.
When two people get into a fight, everyone is quick to pull out their phones, cheer and record the whole violent act. However, when two people are passionately kissing each other, showing affection in a public space, people are disgusted and repelled. How sad is that? We hide to make love but proclaim war openly. I want to change that.
I want my art to allow people to be comfortable feeling lust, desire, passion, excitement. To embrace all those hot emotions of surrender and power that come in the encounter between men and women. To feel free to explore those sensations that feel good, without any shame, guilt or fear of external judgement. To indulge in sensuality, because I think it is something beautiful. Something to be proud of.
So I translate my personal life experiences and share them on the canvas. My ultimate attempt is to have people see the world in the way I see it, and notice that it is much more freeing, relaxing, exciting, beautiful and enjoyable than what we have been taught to believe.
What is your favorite piece of work on display at Studio67 right now?
I like “Vicissitudes” for two reasons. It’s the biggest piece I have painted to date and it represents something very personal to me. The word means ‘alternation between opposite or contrasting things.’ While making this piece I had some of the highest, most exciting and pleasurable experiences in my life, but also some of the saddest, most heartbreaking and painful moments I have ever known. I decided to stay open to feeling every single emotion, good or bad, that came. The image of the woman surrendered is a reminder of this period, and a reminder that no matter what happens at the end of the day we get to choose whether we disconnect and numb ourselves, or whether we decide to experience the full range and contrast life has to offer. The tears, the joy, the smiles, the laughs, the pain, the confusion, the anger, the frustration, the peace, the hope. All of it.
Join us and meet the artist himself at the opening reception of Nicolas Canon this Thursday night, November 4rd, from 8pm - 11pm at Studio67.
I hope to see you there!
This month we have something really special in our studio gallery; an artists that truly takes my breath away. Ian Bodnaryk has been creating incredibly realistic paintings of everyday objects and people in acrylics for over twenty years.
What makes Ian’s work so special? This:
This is a painting, not a photograph. Amazing, right?
A Canadian born artist now living in Orono, Ian’s work uses ‘portraiture, inspired by the natural beauty of a figure, to express a statement regarding cultural, spiritual or social issues.’ His striking still life paintings focus on ‘composition, colour and light, showcasing the beauty found in everyday objects’ (http://www.ianbodnaryk.com/).
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ian to learn a little bit more about him and his breathtaking work, here is what I learned:
An Interview with The Artist
Tell me a little bit about yourself; where are you from, what hobbies do you enjoy?
My name is Ian Bodnaryk, I am 38 years old. I grew up in Port Perry, Ontario and currently live in Orono. I have two crazy kids, an absolutely beautiful, intelligent, and most importantly, patient wife, one cat and dog. It’s a very loud and busy place.
Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art. Did you study formally anywhere?
I didn't really come to visual art, it kind of came to me. For as long as I can remember I have always been drawings and paintings. The desire to want to improve has always been with me.
I am not "formally" trained. I have nothing against the academic process, but I find that the vast majority of fine art academics is paperwork and creating work that’s just not relevant to me or my goals. Most people leave art school and need to teach themselves to paint. I decided to skip that process and have just spent the last 25 years working on my craft.
Why did you choose painting as your medium?
I began, as most artists do, by drafting my work using pencil. For me, colour was a missing element and paint seemed like the next evaluation. I found that acrylics was the best option at the time. All I needed was paint, water and a surface. I guess it just stuck. I mean, who needs all those stinky solvents anyway.
Have you made a career out of your art?
Other than watching my kids, art is my full time job. I do however teach art classes and until recently worked a few shifts a month at an art supply store.
Are you going through a particular artistic phase right now? What's inspiring your latest work?
At any given time I have a dozen ideas or concepts floating around my brain. It is just a matter of time before each one is made tangible. My major work takes an immense amount of time to create, anywhere between 75 - 300+ hrs, so when I finally finish a painting I am in no mood to do another similar subject. Consequently, my subject matter is quite eclectic yet there is certainly unified in style to it all. Inspiration normally comes from everyday items around the house. I love turning common subjects into icons.
What piece of your work in this collection do you love the most and why?
Choosing a favourite is always hard, but if I had to, it would be a toss up between ‘Contemplation of Daniel’ and ‘Fleeting Dream.’ The main reason those two are important is because I found them to be very complex technically. I had to overcome many obstacles to develop them to the point of satisfaction. The concepts for both pieces were also very personal.
Join us for Ian’s opening reception at Studio67 this coming Thursday, August 25th from 8pm - 11pm.
Oh, and it’s also our One Year Anniversary too, so please come out and help us celebrate an amazing year in the King West community with great art, great wine, and tuly great people.
I hope to see you there!
It's true, Studio67 is looking for artists!
This call is open to emerging and established artists alike interested in exhibiting their work at our studio at King and Portland. This is a great opportunity for local artists to gain exposure in Toronto’s vibrant King West Village.
The best part? We do not take a commission on any and all work sold, we only ask that you have an opening reception. We'll help you market the event and feature you here, on our blog.
We accept artwork in any and all mediums (painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, etc.)
We accept work of all sizes, space permitting.
Artists can submit as many pieces as they like.
Artists can submit work they have previously exhibited elsewhere.
The collection must be ready-to-hang.
Interested? Please send your online portfolio or sample to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's do this!
Being a stylist means a whole lot more to me then just cuts, colors, treatments and blow outs.
It’s about making a personal connection with you while you're in my chair. Hearing your story, listening to what you want, watching you grow and evolve over time.
It’s about helping clients express themselves through beauty and personal style in whatever form that expression takes for them. That’s the ultimate payoff for me.
At Studio67 we would do hair for free if it didn’t cost money to eat.
When we opened the doors to this studio last August we knew we wanted more out of this space than just a salon. We wanted to create a place where people felt welcome and at home. A space that empowers people to express themselves, no matter they you are. We believe everyone is entitled to that.
We always knew we wanted to give back somehow. Do something good, offer some kind of support, or act as some kind of community resource. So we started researching community programs in Toronto and that’s when we learned about Sistering.
Sistering is a women’s organization that offers practical and emotional support programs designed to empower women in extraordinary circumstances. They are dedicated to changing the social conditions that endanger the welfare of women who may be dealing with mental health, homelessness, transience, domestic violence, poverty or unemployment.
Their drop-ins give women a safe place of belonging and community during the day and their emergency shelter give women a roof over their heads and food to eat if they need it. They offer housing support services, counselling, healthcare, and employment assistance.
I honestly can’t say enough about what a wonderful and crucial organization they are.
Well, we’ve been working with Sistering for the last few months by dedicating one day a month to giving complimentary services to the wonderful ladies of Sistering.
We can’t tell you how amazing it has been to meet all of these beautiful women and spend a day just doing hair for the sake of doing hair.
Thank you to each and every one of you ladies, it really has been our pleasure and we look forward to hosting you at Studio67 each and every month.
Do good. Give Back.
This month, Studio67 is very pleased to welcome Alex Nirta and his stunning photography. Alex is 34 years old and the proud owner of three annoying cats. He loves old movie posters, gardening and Star Wars.
He’s also entirely self-taught.
I took a minute to sit down and ask him a few questions about how he came to creative expression through photographs. Here’s what I learned...
To me, photography is a way of showcasing the beauty in the world around us. Something that, in the age of screens, we tend not to notice anymore. We’re distracted. We don’t take a minute to even notice where we are and what surrounds us. I think that’s why I’m drawn to landscapes.
The beauty of nature is disarming.
I was first exposed to photography when my cousin showed me some of his own work. I was just blown away but what you could do with a camera. This was before digital, of course, I was a teenager. My first camera was an Olympus OM-1 that my Dad gave me.
I really got into landscape photography because of him and really admired other Canadian photographers, like Daryl Benson, Richard Martin and Freeman Patterson. I took all their techniques and applied them to my own techniques. Through trial and error, I discovered my own style.
I was always drawn most to water and waterscapes. I’ve also been exploring more black and white lately. Photographers like Michael Levin really opened my eyes with black and white images. I was always a colour kind of guy (which I still am) but he made me appreciate black and white more. I feel it has a bit of more of an impact and more of a dreamy sequence.
Is photography your full time job?
I’m currently working towards making it my full time but right now I work at Henry's Photo. I've worked there for almost 10 years but I have been selling cameras for about 14 years. My cameras always come on vacation with me and when I travel make sure to shoot all the time. In the last two years, I've really pushed myself to shoot more and more, and the more I do, the more I realize how much I absolutely love it. I can't get enough of it. The problem when you work 40 hours a week and live in Toronto, there’s only so much you can shoot. I try to capture the areas I have access to and showcase different waterscapes around the city like the Bluffs or Beaches.
What's inspiring your latest work?
Well I’m very drawn to nature, primarily waterscapes, and my work is pretty focused on that. I’ve never really enjoyed portraits or photographing people, but I’ve grown to enjoy it more once I began photographing loved ones.
I’ve recently started playing around with my childhood obsession with insects and bugs. When I was a kid I always wondered how they work and what their purpose in life is. I’ve begun doing macro portraiture with them in a new series called Backyard Dwellers. I’m not just shooting them outside the way most insects are shot. I’m actually bringing them into the studio and shooting them like I would people; using different lighting and gels. It’s really challenging! I plan on releasing a book for this series and I’m toying with the idea of shooting a small documentary on native Ontario insects. We’ll see.
Which photography do you love the most and why?
That's a tough question. Like most artists, I'm the hardest critic when it comes to my own work. If I had to pick and choose, it would be the Icy Rocks of the Toronto Beaches. I love the color palette I managed to capture there and I love the fact that it was taken in Toronto. When I tell people where I shot it they’re usually surprised, which is the entire point of my work. Show people what already surrounds them that they don’t see.
Beauty is right in front of you and you don't even know it. That’s what my photographs show.
Join us tomorrow, Thursday, May 12th form 8pm - 11pm at Studio67 as we give a warm welcome to Alex and his exhibition Waterscapes.
There will be wine.
We are very pleased to announce that this Saturday April 2nd from 8pm-11pm, Studio67 is hosting the official launch party for Gxxrls.
Gxxrls is a collective digital agency that promotes women working in creative industries. Their mission? To dominate Toronto’s creative scene through collaboration and empowerment amongst women.
Gxxrls will operate as a digital agency and also as a community resource, offering a series of meet ups and talks where creative women can network and share their stories of struggle and success. They also plan to offer a youth outreach program for adolescent girls interested in design, digital content production, photography, learning how to DJ, hair and makeup.
How. Awesome. Is. That.
So awesome, right?
So please, come by 67 Portland Ave this Saturday night between 8pm - 11pm and check it out.
The launch party will feature two artists creating work live and on-site, DJ Killa Kels, a lipstick booth, cupcakes and free drinks.
It’s going to be so fun, so please come and help us launch Gxxrls right.
So, if you follow us on Instagram then you might have noticed the flood of pictures late Friday night from Studio67 at Fashion Magazine’s Toronto Fashion Week Awards.
Studio67 was delighted to serve as the event stylists for the #FashionMagAwards.
Ruth and I were on-site giving the over 400 guests touch ups before they hit the live photo shoot to have their portraits taken. We were rockin’ everything from fishtales to runway ready textured waves. Even though I have to admit it’s a blur of bobby pins and hairspray, we had an absolute blast.
And a big thank you to our special guests, who came to help us celebrate the end of Toronto Fashion Week, 2016.
Until Next Time,
Springtime always signifies change.
The sun is out, the days are longer, and people are looking forward to new beginnings and fresh starts.
Well, today is a fresh start for us. When we opened our doors this morning, we did it with a brand new name and a new mission.
As of today...
We pride ourselves on reflecting the community that surrounds us and we do everything we can to give back and play an active role in our neighbourhood.
When we opened our doors eight months ago. here in the heart of Toronto’s King West Village, our mission was simple: offer our neighbours and our clients a welcoming, community-oriented space where they feel at home and inspired toward creative expression in all of it’s many forms. Sometimes that means creative expression through beauty or personal style, other times it means visual arts or bringing people together to learn, to celebrate, and to try new things.
So today, as Studio67, we make a new commitment to our community.
It’s not so much that our mission has changed, but rather, just expanded. We’ll still be offering our full range of services as an official Aveda Salon, and we’ll still be dedicated to high-impact style that leaves a small footprint on our planet with our eco-conscious salon practices and coveted Green Circles certification. We just felt that calling ourselves a salon didn’t fully encompass all that we are and hope to be for our King West community, and that’s why we’re now called Studio67.
Without giving too much away, I can say that over the next few weeks we’ll be hosting events here in our studio, getting out into our community, and giving back. So keep an eye on us this Spring, and be sure to let us know how we’re doing.
Our neighbourhood is full of powerful, ambitious women. I see you. I mean, how could I not. You’re out there hustling every day. Your perseverance and drive is written all over your face.
Well, I think it’s important that all of us fierce women of King West Toronto talk to one another and share our stories. Talk about how we got to where we are and what we learned along the way. In fact, I’d love to feature something like that regularly here, on our blog.
So I’m taking a moment today, on International Women's Day, to try and start this conversation by sharing my story. Maybe it will resonate with you, or reassure you in someway, or save you a struggle or headache down the road. Maybe it will make a difference.
You never know until you try.
How I Became a SheEO
I’ve always known that I would own my own business someday, that I was destine to be my own boss.
You see in the small town where I’m from every business on the main strip is owned and operated by a woman except one. When you’re surrounded by women in positions of leadership and ownership, you’re instilled with this sense that women in business is just… normal. So I always kind of knew that I would start my own thing someday.
I’m the kind of person that’s always striving for more. I bet you are too. When I say I always strive for more, it’s not necessarily because I want to be on top but more because I want to experience as much as I can while I’m on this earth. I feel like life is like a constant slope that goes onward, not always upward, but always in movement. I’m always moving, in fact, I think that’s my comfort zone. Just moving.
When I moved to Toronto I think it was always with the intention that someday I would open my own studio. It was always in the back of my mind, something that was just lingering there even though I knew I had a lot of learning to do before I was ready. But the funny thing about being ready is sometimes you don't consciously realize you that you are.
One day someone brought up the idea of me opening up my own salon and I just jumped on it. Before I could stop the words they spilled out. “Really? Because I want to open a Salon.” It wasn’t a decision I had already made or something that I was actively thinking about until I said it out loud. And when I finally vocalized it, it was like I couldn’t go back. In a moment, my entire direction changed and that was it. I was doing it.
Less than three months later we opened our doors.
What I Learned Along The Way
Mentorship is Key
I’ve been really blessed to have an amazing mentor. My first boss Marion was the one who put the idea of being a stylist in my mind. She said to me, “Quit your job and come work for me.” So I did.
Over the years, she’s become a second mother to me and I can seriously say she taught me everything I know. Not just about doing hair, but about how to manage a team, run a business, take care of clients and give back to the community around you. She was an incredible role model for me and I can’t tell you how much I learned watching her run her business every single day.
If you don’t have a mentor in your life right now, get one. It might be someone that you work with, it might be someone in your professional network, or just someone that you look up to. If anyone comes to mind, take my advice and just ask them. Chances are she will say yes, but even if she doesn’t she’ll very honored that you asked.
It Takes a Village
Opening our doors at King and Portland was the most humbling thing I have ever done and the biggest, most eye-opening part of the whole process was realizing that it actually does take a village. I’m always skeptical when people say they did something all on their own, because it’s impossible. You may not realize how you’re leaning on family, friends and anyone around you while you’re working towards something big, but you are. You absolutely are.
The most rewarding part of opening my own salon was the realization that the people I thought I was providing for were actually providing for me. If you embrace that, it’s really beautiful.
Riding The Lion
Big accomplishments are like riding a lion. Completely terrifying. Everyone’s looking at you and congratulating you and telling you how great you’re doing... and all you can think is, “Holy shit I’m riding a lion. How did I get on this thing and how do I stop it from eating me.”
You’re never going to feel totally calm, cool and collected. You’re always going to be on the edge and like you’re just barely keeping it all together and that’s kind of the best part. It’s exciting and scary and unpredictable and risky. And I’m pretty sure that’s how you know you’re doing something great.
Words to Live By
For whatever value it might have for you, wherever you’re at in your journey and whatever you’re working towards in your personal or professional life right now, here are my words of advice:
Learn to see the forest through the trees. Don’t worry or feel guilty about how much time you spent in school or travelling or whatever it may be. When you decide to open your own business you’re going to pull your strength from lots of different places and you will be amazed at how much your past experiences, even if they seem unrelated, will contribute to your ability to accomplish big things.
People say you can’t bleed a stone. People are wrong. It’s actually incredible what you can do when you have to. When there is a will, there really is a way. It sounds cliche but I have found that even when I feel absolutely tapped out, there’s always more. That’s where leaning on others and pulling your strength from wherever you can becomes really important.
Success breeds success. It really is important that you surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you to be better, and push you to strive for more. If you want to be successful surround yourself with that success and everything else will fall into place.
Know that you can do it. Just know it. There will be no shortage of people who are going to tell you you can’t do something but you can’t entertain that for even an instant. When we said we wanted to renovate and open our doors in just under two months everyone said we couldn’t do it, but we did. I learned that you can’t take no for an answer. In fact, you have to completely eliminate that word from your vocabulary and just stay adamant that you can and you will.
I hope this speaks to you in some way and you find some value in what I’ve shared. I really would love to hear about and celebrate and promote the awesome women of King West, so reach out or stop by and let’s talk about what you’re working on and how you got to where you are now.
Going into spring, our studio is taking on a completely new focus and at it's core will be promoting and supporting the women in our community.
Happy International Women’s Day
We’re very pleased to bring you a brand new art installation. Come join us for the gallery opening of Ryan Wood’s Merchants of Izmir on Wednesday February 17th from 8pm - 11pm. Ryan’s work will be featured on the walls of Fringe Portland now through March.
An Interview with Ryan Wood
Tell us a little about yourself, Ryan.
Well, I’m 34 years old and I’m originally from Toronto. When I’m not out shooting or making art
I enjoy writing, playing guitar, traveling, being outdoors, and pretty much doing anything active like hiking, running, or swimming.
Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art?
I’ve been making visual art for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents were photographers and I definitely learned from them. I was shooting on my first 35mm film camera at the age of 10, and by 11 I was shooting VHS video with our camcorder.
In high school I studied theatre, photography and the arts, after which I went on to study new media in Ryerson’s Image Arts Program where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After university I was fortunate enough to receive two artist residencies in Iceland, and I’m very excited to say that I’m returning for a third next month.
Photography is my way of processing and understanding the world around me, one frame at a time. It acts as a filter or passage that allows me to better isolate my observations. It forces me to focus more on my surroundings and capture details that I might otherwise miss with my own eyes.
I choose to work with photography because it tells a story in a way that can’t be told any other way. It’s a challenge, like a puzzle, to unlock a narrative within a single frame. That’s the complexity in its simplicity. It can be minimal and abstract or rich and informative. It can take on many forms, which makes it an exciting medium to experiment and grow with.
I also really enjoy the performance aspect of photography; the act of physically getting to a place to capture a shot, deciding how close to get to a subject or at which angle to stand, and the spontaneity of assessing how to capture a moment in the moment.
What themes and/or motifs can we expect to see this month at Fringe in your installation Merchants of Izmir?
I’m always moving through different modes as an artist. If something inspires me I quickly jump on the opportunity to let that energy carry over through my art so that I can bring my ideas that stem from that inspiration to fruition.
One theme that has been a constant in my work over the years is that of people and place; the idea that our surroundings directly influence our way of life and how we interact with the world around us. Much of this exploration has come from the influence of my own surroundings while traveling.
People are inspiring my latest work. The inspiration for Merchants of Izmir came from my own need for human connection. How do we connect with new people in a new place? How can we interact and communicate with each other through barriers like language? In the case with this work it was art. My camera was the medium for making a brief but lasting connection.
What piece of your work do you love the most and why?
One of my favourite pieces in this series is the flower lady. She was a little shy but at the same time so happy to have her photo taken. It was a touching moment.
Be sure to drop by and see this striking installation at the opening reception for Merchants of Izmir this Wednesday, February 17th from 8pm - 11pm at Studio67.
There will be wine.
It’s that time again! Time to give you the down low on the products, trends and techniques that everybody’s talking about right now.
Up this week: The L'Oreal Steampod
The straightening iron is an amazing thing. It really has been one of the most innovative tools in contemporary hair styling and advances in straightening tools, even in just the last five years, have been pretty incredible. Well, the L’Oreal Steam Pod is to hair care today what the iron was ten years ago.
The thing is, a straightener, no matter what the design, is inherently damaging because it applies a heat source directly to your hair and heat causes damage. Of course now, thanks to Olaplex, damage can actually be repaired, but how damaging a straightener is depends on the type of hair you have, and at the end of the day an iron might not be the right tool for you.
Enter the L’Oreal Steam Pod. It’s not necessarily a straightening tool, think of it more as a smoothing tool. Design-wise, it’s a lot like a straightener but it has a cylinder that holds water to create a continuous source of pressurized steam that adds moisture directly to the shaft of the hair as you run it over sections and style. And, you can use it to straighten, wave and curl, just like you do your iron.
The Steam Pod Claim to Fame
The chemistry of your hair is a lot like silk, so think of the difference between a straightener and a Steam Pod as the difference between ironing your silk blouse and steaming it. It’s huge.
As a matter of fact, Rowenta, who are famous for their professional and consumer grade garment steamers, first invented the Steam Pod. So the science behind it is pretty darn legit.
The Steam Pod is one of the only things (other than the Aveda Clay Condition) that I can actually say puts moisture into the shaft of the hair, which is not only better for the health of your hair but also give you a much longer lasting smooth finish.
Pros & Cons
The Steam Pod is an excellent tool for you if you have thick, course, or curly hair. Not only because your hair needs more moisture than other hair types, but also because it lasts for so long. I’m talking days, even on super curly hair.
It’s not the best tool for you if you have hair that’s fine and you want lots of lift when you style. The problem is that the Steam Pod actually works, and works really well. If you have fine hair and your goal is volume, texture and lift, then the Steam Pod is going to make your hair too silky to give you the look you want.
The biggest benefit of the Steam Pod is frizz. Because it’s adding moisture directly into the shaft, it leaves your hair at it’s saturation point which means it’s completely immune to humidity and you get frizz-free hair, even on vacation.
The Bottom Line
Steam pods are amazing. I used a Steam Pod for the first time two years ago when they first hit the scene and I haven’t touched an iron to my hair since. Actually, with a lot of my clients it’s like as soon as they try it they have to have one and they never look back.
I highly recommend!