"Beauty is whatever gives joy." ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
Wow, how time flies when you're having fun! Besides my life as a photographer, I've been in the business of beautifying women for 15 years. Occasionally a client sitting on my chair would look up at me and ask, "Effie, you're not planning on leaving me, are you?" I always smile and say, "Not in a million years." Photography, hair and make-up is all of me. So, my dear hair clients, fear not. I'm yours 'til hair dye dies. ;)
Today's blog is so special because it's about celebrating Teri (Tia) Foley and Elaine Foley. Not only do they share the same last name, but they also share ownership of 1604 Salon & Spa where I've worked for over ten years! Another reason why I'm so not going anywhere is because our salon is like second home to me! The beauty of being in the 'business of beauty' is that we all find JOY in what we do. There is so much truth in the saying, "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life". Well, at work, we get to play. Every single time! We forget that we have been up on our feet for hours. We ignore the aches and pains on our necks and shoulders because we are too engaged in sharing life stories with our clients while we ensure they leave the salon feeling beautiful. That's how much we love what we do.
Elaine and Tia began their early days in the beauty industry in Boston's Newbury Street where they learned the old school craftmanship approach of doing hair. In the cosmetology industry, a strong and solid foundation is necessary for one's creativity and artistic side to emerge. Tia and Elaine have both mastered their craft.
These two ladies met 27 years ago while working at a salon in Quincy and instantly became friends. They got pregnant at the same time, raised kids together, and always knew that they would someday open a business of their own when the time was right. The day came in 2003 as they jumped in and learned everything by trial and error. They learned early in the game that no matter how much research was done or how prepared you are, things will not always work out as planned. One of the major roadblocks they faced involved having to change the original name of the salon because a major corporation started a chain with that same name and trademarked it. Re-building a brand proved to be a challenge. Another obstacle in running their business has been living through a major construction where they literally knocked down the whole block up to the outside wall of the salon.
Despite some trying times, these two ladies focused on what brought them joy: helping women see their beauty. According to Elaine, one of the most rewarding moments for her is witnessing one of our clients react to her new hair color and cut. Now mind you this client's been a nurse at Brigham and Women's Hospital for many years dealing with life and death situations every day. As she looked at herself in the mirror with a big smile on her face she said we are so lucky to have a profession where we have the power to make people feel this good everyday!
Tia and Elaine are both believers in continuously furthering our education in order to keep up with beauty trends. They travel to numerous cities and attend workshops to learn the latest techniques from the top educators in the industry including Bumble and Bumble, Beth Minardi, and Nick Arrojo to name a few. As a salon we learn new cutting and coloring techniques during in-house workshops and some of us including myself have been lucky enough to attend some pretty amazing educational courses outside of the salon. One of my favorites is attending Bumble and Bumble University in New York city where I learned the fine art of razor cutting. We recently attended a two-day creative workshop at the Nick Arrojo Expo and had a blast! It's very rewarding for both Tia and Elaine to see young aspiring trainees go from assistants out of cosmetology school to successful stylists with a growing career.
In closing I would like to invite you to watch our video at the end of this post. We are very proud to be in an industry where we can use our creativity to make people feel good about themselves. Elaine and Tia have created a space where they've witnessed countless women walk in to 1604 Salon not realizing the beauty they possess because for many women, looking in the mirror is a scary thing. But what we don't realize is, sometimes it takes people like Tia and Elaine to say, "sit, leave it up to me and I'll show you what I see." More often than not, we don't realize that what we're really afraid of is seeing, realizing and owning the greatness and beauty that is in all of us.
Here's to a year focused on seeing the beauty in others including ourselves!
Be Unapologetically Beautiful,