We are in our new space

April 28, 2009

Wine Tasting
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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Why we post photos

February 13, 2009

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Yesterday I got a comment on the most recent Last week’s interesting hair expressing disappointment that only one of the photos was of a “good” color & cut.  At first I was defensive and irritated.  But after pondering it overnight, I decided that person was just looking for something different than what she found here.

The pictures we post are not intended for glossy style magazines.  Nor are they competition photos to impress the beauty industry.

We put up pictures of the day-to-day, real-world hair we do in the salon for two reasons:

  1. The clients get a kick out of being included.
  2. Potential clients get a chance to see what we really do.

Like many of the things we do in our salon, it works for us.  Other salons do beautiful photo shoots with models to post on their websites and print media.  But that isn’t us.  We are regular folk who do hair for regular folk.  While we occasionally get someone famous-ish in the salon, (remember Sanjaya’s sister?) most of the time the people in the salon are our friends and neighbors.

The work we do varies from classic to avante-garde as do the clients.  Again, that works for us.  This week we had a new client in the salon who chose us specifically because she saw such a broad range of work appear on this blog and she felt that we would be a safe, accepting place for her to visit.  (Believe it or not, some clients are intimidated by the very glossy PR of some larger, fancier salons.)

So, if we fail to excite or inspire you with the photos we post, we completely understand, but we aren’t going to change it.

We think of Azarra as an Improv troupe;  what happens at any given moment depends on who is in the salon.  It might be a drag queen, a novelist, a librarian or a great-grandmother.  And that’s the way we like it.  We hope you do, too.

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Pink hair from Azarra

Pink hair from Azarra

So, this may come as a surprise, but we are not the only salon with a blog!

Vain, a funky salon in Seattle does.  Like us, they like working with fun colors.  Today I read a guest post written by one of their clients about how she balances a professional career and pink hair.

Check it out!

Here are a few shots of some of the work we have been doing in the salon lately.

Fauxhawk by Jonathan

Fauxhawk by Jonathan

I've never really chnaged the color of my hair

Before: I've never really changed the color of my hair

Do you think anyone will notice?

After: Do you think anyone will notice?

I really thought I wanted to be blonde, but...

Before: I really thought I wanted to be blonde, but...

...but this is so much more fun!

After: ...but this is so much more fun!

One day last week our cute FedEx driver brought us an envelope containing a copy of Short Cuts ( a consumer magazine.)  It seemed an odd thing to be FedExed, so I gave the mag to my client and asked her to flip through and see if she could figure out why this was sent to us.

It took some time, because this is almost at the end of the magazine, but she found the reason.

In their Salon Directory, there were two salons reviewed.  Gary Manuel in Seattle, and little old us.

I only have one question.

Who the hell told them we were “warm?”

Zemanta Pixie

You may have noticed that we have been doing a bit of freshening up at the salon this spring.  New shampoo chairs, a new color processing zone and a streamlining of the retail space have all been completed.

If you thought we were done, you were wrong!

The large back wall that is currently covered in multi-colored squares is getting a mural.

Thanks to Rea, a School of The Arts student (who is also our client) we will be getting some lovely original art.  It will probably take the whole summer to finish and I will keep you posted of the progress.  If she’s in the salon working on it when you are there, feel free to say hello!

So far we are in the development stage.  We talked about what kind of items spoke to us and what would work for our customers.  She came back with a few rough ideas.  Here is the one that we selected as our launchpad.

mural art step 1

hotter by the minute

You may recognize this client (although I do try to get just people’s hair and not their faces for blog publication!) from a previous post.

When we first met her, she was recovering from an abruptly ended relationship and was ready to be re-invented.  We cut some hair and introduced her to Elumen and she hasn’t looked back since.

I have been pondering her transformation as a chicken and egg quandary.  Has she become confident and self assured because of her great hair, or was she always that way and that’s why she wants great hair?

If people continually comment on how great your hair is, I would think it would have to help with the self-esteem.

Either way, she’s fabulous and life is good.

Get Some Hairapy – the blog has evolved to become a beast with three heads.

Because of who I am and my interests and areas of expertise, there have been three areas of focus for this blog.

  1. The book: Advice on happiness
  2. The salon: Your own personal chair at Azarra Salon
  3. The business: Advice for small salon owners

I have pondered the idea of splitting the segments into their own blogs, but I just don’t think I have it in me to manage three blogs!

I think that most readers would agree that the one thing that is different is the business segment. The rest of the content is really appropriate for a general audience.

To that end, I have made a new blog called, surprisingly enough, Small Salons. This way I can still get the information to the people who need it without cluttering up the main blog content for those people who have no interest in salon management.

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to share.  And feel free to join in the discussions on either blog.

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