Aura is auditioning for The Next Food Network Star!

The process goes like this:

Submit application, photos and video by mid-September.

Call backs will be October & November.

Filming of show is scheduled for January/February.

Since we have no way of knowing how many hundreds (or thousands!) of applicants attempt this,  the goal is to sparkle in the first round so that the application catches the judges eyes.

The first step to that is new photos (the last publicity photos were done for the book in 2005 and that is way too long ago to keep using!)

Yesterday was a photo session with an inspired local photographer, Jason Ganwich. He did a marvelous job of getting the real Aura Mae on camera.

Next step is the video. Some footage will be filmed at our Grand Opening Open House on August 22 ( “Aura as the Sparkling Hostess”) and then at home for a quick kitchen demo.  Still pondering what to demo…something easy and quick because it is only a 3 minute video!

If chosen to be on the show, Aura would be out of the salon for about 5 weeks. As luck would have it, January is traditionally a slower time in the salon and a great time to get away.  New York in January, however, sounds a little chilly!

We will keep you posted!  If you want the most timely info, add Aura Mae as a friend on Facebook.  (Lots of food photos there, too!)

Here are a couple of the pictures from yesterday.  We can’t speak highly enough about the photographer. Next time you need some professional shots for work or home, call the Fabulous Jason!

Oh, and if anyting comes of this and Aura gets an infusion of cash,  a fancy new stove is in her future!

And don’t worry. Even if she wins the whole thing and gets her own show, she will still be in the salon seeing clients!  Hosting a TV cooking show is not a full time, year round job requiring a relocation to New York! :)

Aura Food 2009

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Sure, Aveda president Dominique Nils Conseil runs the first beauty company to offset 100 percent of its electricity with wind power, but for the 53-year-old executive, green living begins at home. Each day, Conseil and his wife, Misato, carpool to work—a practice they adopted instead of purchasing a second car (hybrid or otherwise). And for short trips around downtown Minneapolis, where the couple lives, Conseil opts to ride his bicycle. “I’d travel by bike to work if my commute didn’t include 25 miles on the highway,” he says. At home, the Conseils’ environmental efforts range from using energy-efficient lightbulbs to stocking the kitchen with products from the Wedge, a natural-food co-op.

Read the rest of the article here.

Azarra in the press

May 4, 2009

All this talk about selling wine in the salon has gotten us some press.  Last week we were visited by South Sound Eats and The Weekly Volcano.   We are appreciative of the attention!

Read the articles online here:

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South Sound Eats (Kris Blondin)

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The Weekly Volcano (Jessica Corey-Butler)

We are in our new space

April 28, 2009

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Image by Andrew Albertson via Flickr

I can’t tell you how excited we are to be in this new, luxurious space.  We are all very much enjoying having our own space, and no, we don’t miss each other.  There are still lots of opportunities for us to be together, but with the private rooms, when the blowdryers are all going, you don’t have four hairdressers and four clients screaming to be heard!

We have extra space, so we are actively recruiting new team members.  As you can imagine, we don’t want just any old hairdresser.  It takes a special person to be on the Azarra Team!  We hope to have news to share with you by summertime.  And speaking of summer, we will be having a Grand Opening in June.  I will get a date to you as soon as I get it hammered out.  We will be getting a banquet license for that day, so we will be able to serve wine.  (Yay!)

As to the wine: just to clarify, we are selling bottles of wine for off-premises consumption.  That means you may not consume on the premises.  Got it? And don’t try to talk us into any hanky panky, because doing so could cost us our license.

Here’s the kick: if wine sales make up 50% of our total retail (not services) sales, then we can do tastings.  A tasting is defined as a 2 ounce pour of no more than 4 different wines.  This is really what our customers want, because it gives them an opportunity to sample items before purchase.  Until we get there, you will have to rely on our judgment and suggestions.  Rest assured the staff will sample all the wine on your behalf!  As luck would have it, we have a Tasting Room with a bar all set for when this happens.  So you are all on notice: if you want to do tastings, buy lots of wine from us!

Now, here are some pictures of the new space, but to really get the full effect, you are just going to have to come see it for yourself!  And don’t bother pointing out to us that there are a lot of bare walls.  Art will take a while to collect.  We don’t want to throw things up just to fill space.

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Big News from Azarra!

March 26, 2009

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We have overgrown our current space and are moving into a larger space.  Same building, Same floor.  Heck, we’re still going to be Suite 210!

There are a few great things about this move about which clients and staff can both get excited.

We have a window!  No more peeking through the slits or walking out into the hall to see the weather!

Private rooms!  Each hairdresser can work in as tranquil a place as they like.  But don’t worry, the shampoo bowls and processing machines are in the common areas so there will be plenty of time to interact with other clients and staff.

Wine!  We have applied for a license to be a wine store.  I know you all are buying wine somewhere.  It may as well be from us.  Grab a bottle of shampoo and a bottle Chablis.  Efficient, no?  Hey, we are here to help.  Just for clarification: it is not legal for a salon to serve wine to their clients.  A wine store can do tastings if 50% of their retail sales come from the alcohol.  So, if you want to taste wine in the salon, buy lots of it and we can get to that 50% quickly.

The move will happen sometime in April.  We will start painting and moving things a bit at a time.  There may be a week or two when we are doing the hair in the new place, but walking back to the old space for the shampooing.  Moving the plumbing is the biggest task and we are at the mercy of the plumbers on the timeline.  There will be additional lighting installed, but that should be less of a chore.

We will keep you posted as each step happens.  Set yourself a bookmark for the blog (or subscribe) so you can be in the loop.  Of course, we will have a party when we get it all put together.

In the meantime, enjoy these Before photos.  We’ll post some During photos as we go along.  See you soon!

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As the mother of a teenage daughter, I have watched the recent troubles with Chris Brown and Rihanna with a heavy heart.

Since I am terminally un-hip, I only know of Rihanna because she has cute hair and clients bring in pictures of her for inspiration.

I am old enough to know Tina Turner‘s story, and I have known enuogh women in my time to have heard stories of domestic violence.

Years ago I colored the hair of a family of blondes to make them a family of brunettes to decrease the chance that their abusive father would find them as they fled for their lives.

When you are young, you are handicapped by the lack of life experience that allows you so see patterns in life and human behavior. I know you don’t want to listen to us old hags because you think the world is different now than when we were young.  People, however, are the same.

Know this:

  1. If he hits you once, he’ll hit you again.
  2. If he says he’s going to kill you, he means it.
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Image via Wikipedia

I spend a lot of time explaining to people the concept of “community” and how it relates to salons.  People who hop from salon to salon will never know the feeling of belonging that comes from having the same hairdresser for decades.  Carrie and I met in beauty school more than 20 years ago.  We still have clients from our first years as working stylists.  Children who’s hair we cut on booster seats now have children of their own they bring in to the salon.  Through proms, weddings, babies and sometimes divorces, we are a part of their lives and they are a part of ours.  I came across a sweet story this morning that paints the picture nicely.  Check it out.

Louise Galbraith said what’s discussed in the chair isn’t
necessarily shared with husbands or siblings. “But they can talk to us
about anything. And it’s supposed to stay here.”

“You become like friends,” said Fiona Lyon, whose hair she has
cut since 1974. “You tend to share with the hairdresser because they’re
usually impartial. They’re not family, they’re someone you can talk
to.”

“I’ve shared the joys and life’s challenges with her,” said Mary Mainland,
who’s been a regular in McLeod’s chair since 1975.

“And it goes both ways, you know. Not only our family life story
but hers. When you’re with a person that long, she’s exceptional, she’s
like a psychologist.”

“You bitch about your husband,” Mary Prout added brightly,
within earshot of him. The retired school teacher started getting her
hair styled by Pat Osborne, even before she opened the Golden Shears 25
years ago.

“We do a lot of joking and have fun in here,” said Meredith
Ball, who has been cutting hair since she was 16. She’s grown close
enough over the last 40 years with some customers to confide in them.

Read the rest of the story here.

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