Posted on January 8, 2019
Sola Salon Studios
How do we choose our Faces of Sola? It’s not as easy as you may think. After we sort through the hundreds of submissions and spend months doing research, we continue narrowing down until we have 10 beauty pros who we think best represent the 12K stylists in our Sola community.
Our 2019 Faces of Sola are like a perfectly completed jigsaw puzzle. We have fit together a range of beauty pros—a master barber, a spray tan expert, a natural hair guru, a vivids color specialist, to name a few—who have interesting backstories and hobbies—a photographer, a law enforcement graduate, an aerialist, an immigrant, a cancer survivor. They each bring something unique and authentic and we are so excited to finally introduce you to them!
As you embark on a year-long journey with us and the 2019 Faces of Sola, you’ll quickly see why this group of 10 beauty professionals found their way to the top of our list for 2019.
Daicy//Figueiredo (Prairie Village, Kansas)
Before Joey was a hairdresser, he was (and still is) a professionally trained, extraordinarily talented photographer. He was one of 250 aspiring photographers accepted into one of the biggest tech schools for photography (it’s like Harvard for photographers). And thanks to a career behind a camera lens, he fell in love with hair. He also never attended beauty school. After being introduced to the beauty industry in Maryland, he was given the chance to be an apprentice for a salon in Kansas City and was able to obtain his license through this opportunity.
Now, he is killing it in his Sola, working behind the scenes at Fashion Week, and was one of six stylists recently chosen to be in a Schwarzkopf Professional campaign. P.S. Joey can also teach you how to be a dynamic kickboxer if you’d let him!
Chissel Beauty Studio (Metairie, Louisiana)
Growing up in the hair industry, Chissel really never imagined she would have a career in it. She always knew she was made for artistry–she studied jewelry design abroad, dappled in interior design and even taught ballroom dancing. You name it, she did it, all on a quest to explore her creative passions outside of the salon. Everyone in her family expected her to be a hairdresser. Her mother, five aunts, and her two brothers are all hairdressers and master barbers...her mother’s water even broke while she was working on a client! But it was after doing makeup on a commercial set that Chissel realized the beauty industry really was for her. Following that experience, the rebellious woman enrolled in beauty school and it’s been her calling and absolute passion ever since. Thanks to having eight family members in the industry, Chissel knows how to work with every type of hair. Having grown up in a salon, she has an understanding of the importance of creating bonds and relationships with clients. It's possible that she had it in her blood all along.
The Tan Banana (Scottsdale, Little Italy, Clairemont)
After being diagnosed with melanoma in 2010, Tiffany’s tanning bed habit came to an immediate halt. She needed something that was a healthy alternative that would allow her to continue rockin’ that bronzed glow she so desired. Spray tanning provided just that, and after a while, she said, “I can do this myself,” and that’s essentially how The Tan Banana came to be. She quit her corporate world accounting job and transformed her tiny loft apartment into a spray tan studio. Fast forward a few years later, she’s now in three separate Sola locations and bounces between California and Arizona.
Now, don’t get us wrong, Miss Tiffany is quite unique, but it’s her branding that really needs to be celebrated! From the website she has created to the social media posts she puts out, it’s a winning example of how to have a cohesive look and messaging, especially when you have three separate locations like she does!
RonaBunch Inc (Jacksonville, Florida)
Geez, where do we even begin with Rona?! This hairdresser has to be one of the most driven and determined women in the beauty industry. We are absolutely certain there is no box unchecked, no goal unaccomplished, and no stone left unturned when it comes to Rona Bunch. She is also exceptionally passionate about helping her community and mentoring young girls. In fact, she gives back to the beauty industry tenfold and has created an apprenticeship program in her own Sola. During our shoot with Rona, we loved hearing her tell the story on how she put herself and her services out there to help Christopher Dove & John Simpson from CoCre8, a nonprofit that empowers brands and salons by co-creating educational content. She knew they were coming to Orlando and signed up to attend their hands-on class. She messaged John and told them if they needed any help, even if it was to sweep up hair, she would help. They replied back and said yes, that they would love to have her. By doing so, she got to expand her education, skills, and networked like a pro.
Studio K Salon (Columbus, Ohio)
This little whippersnapper of a hairdresser once pursued a career in criminology and law enforcement, but that all changed when she got pregnant with her first child. She earned her criminology degree and then immediately enrolled in beauty school because frankly, she just couldn’t imagine a life in law enforcement with a child on the horizon. Beauty school soon became a balancing act—she had a newborn at home and was bartending for income. But she prevailed, earned that license, and now calls Sola her home. Kelsey also shared with us about a deeply emotional experience that turned into a significant "wakeup call" in life. About 10 years ago, one of her younger twin sisters was killed in a car accident, reminding her just how precious life is. The tragedy impacted her view on life almost immediately, and she resolved to make changes for the better. The lessons she's learned over the last decade have undoubtedly helped shape her career as a successful salon owner and she also attributes her logo–the first thing she sees when she walks into her Sola studio every morning–to a silhouette of her sister. All her hard work has paid off—she is not only one of our 2019 Faces of Sola, but also a GlossGenius Ambassador and most recently was selected to be an educator on the Sunlights Artisan Team with Candy Shaw!
Voyage de Splendeur (Brookfield, Wisconsin)
She was born in Chile, lived in Sweden, speaks Spanish, Swedish and English, and lives in Wisconsin—Nelly is our resident world traveler! When she isn’t getting her passport stamped, she is providing incomparable skin care services in her Sola to her always-growing clientele. Much like Tiffany, Nelly said farewell to the corporate world—she worked in the mining industry in technical training—but lost the passion for it. We’re happy she did because now she loves her life as an esthetician, and she is providing memorable experiences in her Sola and truly changing her clients' lives due to her ability to transform their skin. Not only that, Nelly just expanded her business, moving into a larger studio in a brand new Sola location. Go Nelly, GO!
Elom's Hair Studio (Beaverton, Oregon)
Not going to lie, we start tearing up when we talk about Elom. Her journey and story are truly inspiring, uplifting, and amazing. Four years ago she had no salon, no clients, and no experience in the beauty industry. Elom grew up in Togo, West Africa, and moved to the United States with her husband, whom she met while he was working in the Peace Corps, at the end of 2009. She spoke almost no English and had to take classes at her local community college, and once she got some English under her belt, she enrolled in beauty school because she has always had a love for doing hair. She graduated beauty school five months pregnant, took her state license, and when her son was only six weeks old, she started driving around looking for a salon to call home. She signed a Sola lease with no clientele, with no business background or experience, and here she is, four years later as one of our 2019 Faces of Sola!
This feisty and fabulous Canadian was the first to take the leap of faith to join the Sola family north of the border. That's right. Canada's first Sola owner. And we aren't suprised by her willingness to take a leap of faith, as Roxanne started her apprenticeship at the ripe age of 15. As Roxanne puts it: "I had a way cooler first real job than most other teenagers." There were a LOT of “LOL” moments with Roxanne at the Faces of Sola shoot and we are still in a bit of awe that she is absolutely and completely obsessed with As Seen On TV products. Fun fact, one of Roxanne’s future goals for her business is to invent a piece of equipment that is innovative enough to land her on As Seen On TV! One thing that we did find really inspiring was how hard working she is and how well she has been able to embrace her work/life balance. She actually plans her work schedule and availability around her life and what she likes to do. Her passion for cooking, working out (she does pole/aerial arts), and going to the beach with her portable BBQ and boyfriend and son comes FIRST. After that, she’s in her Sola, staying strategic on social media (check out her Instagram!), and is always perfecting her business plan.
Studio V (Attleboro, Massachusetts)
Stop whatever it is you’re doing and go check out Kayla's Instagram. Okay, now that you’re back, isn’t her vivid/rainbow hair amazing?! Not only is she talented, but she’s quite strategic. You see, this is how she’s been able to build such an impressive clientele while living in a small town. Kayla has also built her clientele the old-fashioned way…with business cards. It sounds crazy, but this tried and true practice still works! Our first interaction with Kayla was actually by way of a video of a singing elf that we stumbled upon on Instagram. The singing elf was visiting Sola around the holidays and sang that "he loves the girl in Studio V"...the singing elf was Kayla's father! We honestly couldn't get enough and must have watched the video 25 times in a row.
We have a special place in heart for Kayla because she shared with us how she overcame a high level of self-doubt as a child and teenager and and never felt like she was good enough. There were also people on the sidelines telling her she wasn’t going to succeed. Well, here she is now, a 2019 Faces of Sola, embracing her #girlboss attitude and mantra she swears and lives by. Within a three month span in the fall of 2018, Kayla found out that she was selected as one of the Faces of Sola, got married, adventured on a honeymoon, and then returned just in time for the Faces of Sola shoot where she celebrated a birthday!
Legacy Barber Studio (Walnut Creek, California)
Giving, dedicated, humble, full-of-style. All words we'd use to describe master barber JayR. When JayR was only in the eighth grade, he opened his garage to cut friends hair to save up for a pair of sneakers. Now, with a sneaker collection of over 100 pairs, he's cutting the hair of NBA players who inspired his passion in the first place. We want to share with you a video that Hypebeast created that went viral. It’s a beautiful insight into this multi-faceted and talented barber who has an impressive celebrity and professional athlete clientele. When JayR isn’t in his Sola, he is an avid music-loving, wife-doting, faith-embracing athletic shoe collector. With a heart of gold, JayR is eager to launch education efforts in the Philippines as a way to pay it forward.
We are excited, thrilled, energized, and utterly enamored with our 2019 Faces of Sola and we invite you to join us on a year chockfull of advice, laughs, lessons, and growth with each and every single one of them.