Get to know featured artist:
Can you tell us a little more about you and your styling background?
I have always loved doing hair. I was braiding the dog’s hair and giving my family haircuts in the garage since I was little. I’ve been doing hair professionally since 1998. I went to school at Marinello’s School of Beauty in Ontario, CA. And oh how I fantasize about writing a book series about those days! I mainly have had my career in the Northern California Wine Country where I’ve lived since 2000. I balance a full salon clientele with my bridal business which being in a destination wedding Mecca, means typically 40 – 50 weddings a year. For the past few years I’ve been adding in the occasional group and one on one classes focusing on braiding and up styling. I am currently working toward creating an online subscription tutorial service. I have been in the same salon for 18 years with co-workers that are basically family. I am married to the guy I had a crush on when I was 11 and I am a mom to the funnest 5 year old ever.
What bridal trends are you loving right now?
I’m really excited about the explosion of creativity that this year of being stuck at home has fostered in both the hair and wedding communities. I cannot wait to see how it translates to the 2021 wedding season. The trend I’m really loving right now is how diverse the trends are becoming. It’s everything from big chunky pearls to Viking braids. Typically I’m used to being brought the same 5-10 inspo pics that come up when a bride searches “bridal hair” on Pinterest. And it’s my job to try to introduce new ideas. This next year I think will be completely different and I am sooo ready for it! I’m sooo hoping someone brings one of those pointy celestial crowns. That would make my life!
What new trends can we look forward to?
I am really loving mashing up styles to create something new right now. For example – doing a classic bun shape but with boho texture and details. Or a half up with romantic curls, volume and texture but with festival braids. Or maybe a more editorial shape but with a classic smooth texture.
How do you stay inspired?
I am always learning and being inspired from my community. My IG is full of wedding industry accounts, hair industry accounts, intricate braiding accounts, bridal hair/makeup/style/accessory accounts, boho style accounts, editorial hair and make up accounts, creative color accounts, festival style accounts…all of these accounts create the intersection of my style. And the craft store. Don’t get me started on the craft store.
What advice would you give to a bridal hairstylist just getting started?
There are a lot of facets to being a successful bridal stylist.
- Practice, practice, practice. Not just the look but how to do it in 45 minutes on any length or hair type and have it last all day.
- Invest in your kit. You’ll need to be prepared on any given wedding day to work with every hair color and type and style choice.
- Network with your local bridal community. Connect with photographers to create styled shoots, connect with experienced bridal stylists to assist or be a second stylist for their bookings, connect with make up artists to cross refer, connect with planners to let them know about your services. Networking is essential.
- Hone your consultation skills. The consultation is what builds the rapport and confidence of your bride and their bridal parties and sets the tone for the day and the relationship you build leading up to it. This is how you get great reviews and referrals from your brides. It’s as important as your hair skills.
- Keep your vibe calming, light and in the background. Hairstylists can have big energy but it’s important to remember that doing wedding work means it’s about the bride and her day with her family and friends. Keep the big personality and chatter about your life to the salon.
- Be reliable. You cannot flake on a bride and keep your reputation intact. You have to show up on time and prepared. There are no reschedules with weddings.
- Get seen by brides. Build a website. Build your Instagram. Advertise on a bridal planning site like WeddingWire while you are still building. Eventually your referrals and IG will keep you plenty busy.
Best advice to a bride regarding her hairstyle?
Get the trial! Having your bridal preview prevents so much unnecessary wedding day stress. You find out if the stylist you’ve chosen has the skill set, professionalism and vibe you want around on what can be a significant part of your wedding day. You find out if the look you’ve been drooling over on Pinterest actually works both with your hair and with your overall style. You find out if you will need a cut or subtle highlights or extensions to get the look you are after. You find out if maybe there is something that would be better than what you had in mind that you wouldn’t know about otherwise. You have the opportunity to see your full look and how it wears throughout the day so you can make adjustments. And you have the opportunity to talk about timing and other logistics to help you have a clear expectation of what your morning will be. It’s really essential for both nailing down your look, and feeling confident about the first half of your day.
What is the one product/tool you can not live without?
It’s so hard to choose one! I bring 2 suitcases with me to every wedding I style. 1 has the entire line of Luxy Hair clip-in extensions which I offer as a 3 day rental to my bridal parties. The other has every color and size of Bobby pin and hair pin, elastics, every heat tool, every comb, brush and clip and every styling product for every hair and style type. So choosing one is very hard!
I suppose it has to be Volumizing Dry Shampoo from Big Sexy Hair. Every person I do on every shoot and every wedding gets this first thing. It’s my base for everyone. In my line of work, hairstyles need to be photo ready all day while sitting in the sun, dancing, hugging, being under hot lights, and generally celebrating. Having a layer of dry shampoo is essential for preventing your hair from getting sweaty, droopy and frizzy. It’s like deodorant for your hair. I like this particular dry shampoo because it is light enough to style through even the finest hair, it adds volume, it has a light scent that everyone likes which is important when there are 10 bridesmaids packed into a getting ready room, and it is nearly impossible to get white streaks when using it. It truly works for everyone.
Best advice you have ever been given in the hair industry?
I had this great teacher in beauty school named Ms. Diane. One day she was teaching finger waves and someone groaned that no one gets finger waves anymore and this was a waste of time and why did we have to learn it. Ms. Diane said and I’ll never forget, “ The day you decide you don’t need to learn any more is the day you should hang up your apron.” And she was exactly right. Also, knowing how to finger wave has been an essential skill my entire career.
What do you love to do outside of work?
Most of my non-work time goes to my family. My husband and I have a very busy 5 year old who needs a lot of outside running around time everyday. I didn’t get to be a mom until late in life so I am constantly awe struck by him and spend a lot of time looking on adoringly. We joke that we’re grandparent-parents because he has us so thoroughly wrapped around his finger and it’s not at all unusual for him to get a Popsicle at breakfast.
I love reading and it’s been the constant background of my life. I have switched to audiobooks since becoming a mom because sitting is no longer a thing. I have a pretty diverse taste but lately I’ve been blazing through everything Jodi Taylor has written starting with The Chronicles of St Mary’s series. And audiobooks are a gateway to podcasts so I have half a dozen of those I listen to, also.
I love waking up early and having my coffee and catching up on my podcasts or my current book. Or working on a new hairstyle while listening. Solid me time.
This seems like a lame “guilty pleasure”. I definitely used to lead a more exciting life! 😂