Saturday night, after The Studio Beauty Bar shuts off their lights and cash register, staff won’t have far to strut to hit the dancefloor and celebrate. They’ll be rearranging their new digs on Topsail Road to make room to make room for a party, catered by Collingwood Spirits and Wines, with small plates from Seto! A live DJ will help set the tone.
“It will be a different vibe that’s cool, relaxed, and fun, which is reflective of the salon itself,” say owners Sam Picco and Kerri Martin. They’ve got plenty to celebrate: new space, new staff, and new services.
Sam says she was born into the beauty trade. “My mom owned a salon in St. John’s and later became a rep for a beauty brand. My whole life, I was surrounded by just bins and bins of product.” Got her start as a freelance makeup artist for weddings.
Kerri had an early start to the profession too. “When I was in high school, my friends would come to the ‘station’ I had set up in my bedroom. I’d colour hair using boxed dye, and do everyone’s makeup. I finally realized not only did I love it, but I was good at it.”
So she enrolled in the esthetics program at Keyin College, and like Sam, wound up specializing in weddings, and acting as a key makeup artist for several photographers in the city.
Over time, and before setting up a shop together, they amassed experience doing makeup for everything from musicals, to fashion shoots, to film.
In fact, Sam had the opportunity to travel to Barbados and Trinidad as the lead makeup and hair artist for two Canadian television shows.
Though at one time the two of them were “competitors,” they always shared a mutual respect for one another. And that mutual admiration is what led to them to combine their forces and become business partners.
“One day I reached out to Sam, asking her if she’d like to share a space together,” Kerri says. “We both needed a hub where we could bring clients and store our supplies.”
Their venture started out as a 400 square foot space on Hamilton Avenue that they rented off a construction company, and informally dubbed “The Studio.” When they moved out of there to a more official retail space on Duckworth Street, they were so accustomed to calling it “The Studio,” they kept the name.
They’re now located Topsail Road, hence the re-launch party tonight. They describe the new space as anything but a typical salon, calling it “artistic, clean, and genuine; like being on set.”
To afford their new space, they were “working five weddings a day, two to three days a week.” It helps that they’re good at what they do. Clients of theirs have taken them along to weddings in the Caribbean several times, including 3 separate trips to Jamaica.
Today, they have 13 employees and counting, with new graduates in their trade lining up to shadow at The Studio.
Their latest venture is a partnership with two doctors. After being approached by Dr. Ken Ringer and Dr. David Flusk, The Studio has added a medi-spa to their list of services, which will officially launch on October 22nd. The physicians will offer Belkyra, Botox, dermal fillers, and hyperhidrosis.
“More than anything, we believe in self-care and building client-confidence,” adds Sam. “Being able to connect and promote the self-esteem of so many people on a daily basis is the real reason we’re in this.”