2.26.2018

Authenticity


The above photo is me, today in Hairgicians Salon in Picton Ontario. Thanks for taking the time to read this and any other posts you find interesting. If you are a client and have been guided here I hope you find some thought provoking information. Yes, there is hair on the floor in this picture! ... And now, a bit about my journey ...

 I embarked on a new life with a new partner in October of 1999. We were and still are creative, entrepreneurial people. You also have to be a little bit crazy I think! We lived in the east end of Belleville then, and the kids were 8 and 11 years old. Gord was running his store and beauty supply company, I was busy with my salon. We created a small product that we called a Pac Hugger. It was basically a jazzy little piece of colorful vinyl that slipped on over a cigarette pack to both hide the images and personalize it. We cut the vinyl and employed people to sew these. We sourced packaging and sold these to convenience stores at that time. Fast forward to us creating a neoprene koozie, or beer hugger. We were soon manufacturing and imprinting on neoprene beverage insulators.
We didn't have enough volume to source out sewing so we bought a serger and zippers and made them ourselves. At this point the koozie business was a full time effort for both of us. When Kalan started high school, we moved to Stirling in an effort to find affordable living and a workshop.

Some time later, our friend, Ali decided to get out of the Himalayan salt rock business. He made it possible for us to procure his stock. Ali was ready for a change. So we expanded into the space beside our workshop and opened a Rock Shop.



There were 5 tons of Himalayan salt rock in various sizes and shapes, chiseled into beautiful  lamps and candle holders. To put a display area together, we erected a tent frame inside of the room. This room was 14 by 12 feet with a 12 foot high ceiling. I used my serger to create a tent of black fabric. We applied a dark stain to beautify hearty plywood shelving. The only lighting in the room was from the softly glowing salt lamps. We placed a variety of candle holders on an antique library table in the centre of the room. People enjoyed the unique Himalayan salt pieces and would sit for hours in the darkened room enjoying the vibe, taking the time to choose which lamp they wanted.

Enter in,... Kalans' increasing interest in computer science and his subsequent development of an online shopping system for our koozie business. Prior to this, anxiously trying to pay bills while waiting for business to grow, we leased a kiosk in a busy mall in Peterborough. We stocked it with colorful quirky beverage insulators to entice the summertime tourists there. We had wholesale business with many 'It Stores' across Canada from promoting ourselves earlier that year at a Toronto trade show. It was a crazy summer, working mall hours, driving everyday between Stirling and Peterborough. At the same time, Gord was in the Stirling workshop. He printed and packed koozies to stock the kiosk and also filled the increasing number of orders from the website. By the end of that summer, we were able to build on the business generated by the website. Four years later,...

Kalan was off to university in BC and Gord and I decided to move to Prince Edward County. We had always been 'beach enthusiasts'. We camped with the kids and enjoyed RV life at Loon Lake in Madoc and added a small boat to the fun when we set up camp in Marmora on Crowe Lake. The thought was that by moving to Prince Edward County, we would enjoy more time at the beautiful  Sandbanks beach...

 Beach time eluded us as we had our online custom imprinting work and a studio to run in Cherry Valley. To stock the studio, I was busy making one of a kind accessories and garments. We had purchased a knitting machine and I explored the intricate details, design, and dedication required to create with this knitter.


I employed a mix of crochet and felting for each design. I also built many quirky purses from upcycled leather, suede and denim. We presented my designs through Purseuade (website designed by Kalan) and several art shows. After 4 years, the travel and set up for shows and the time commitment of a studio in our backyard began to become tiring. In response to our incessant interest in commerce, we then started a souvenir business.

This was to promote the County and Sandbanks Beach with imprinted T shirts, a jewelry line, post cards, shot glasses, coffee mugs.
Fast Forward to the spring of 2014. The landscape had changed in our online business. Large companies had entered the beverage insulator game. Bigger players with better google placement and optimized ordering systems. In the meantime, our Himalayan salt rock supply was diminishing, and the souvenir line was ready to be presented to local merchants for wholesale purchasing. The koozie business became a part time source of income, and as they say, necessity is the cause of invention, or in this case reinvention!

Enter in,... A salon called 'The Added Touch' on the main street in Picton was looking for a hairdresser...
After 15 years absence from my salon life, with Gords support I picked up as if I had never left off. I rented my chair there for 4 months, until the business closed. I moved down the street to a clothing store location that had two salon stations and started 'Lori Macrow Hairstyling'...until he closed. Rents are high in this tourist driven area and it's sometimes hard for merchants to make ends meet in the off season.

Last year, I was able to rent a great space on the main street in Picton. The renovations required were minimal, the space warm and inviting.

I call my salon Hairgicians. There is a Facebook  page by the same name and also, a website, Hairgicians. Take a look at my gallery on instagram,  @hairgicians_salon. Enough about me though...


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