BEAUTY / LIVING

Onwards and Upwards

05.22.18

Things have been a little rough for Highbrow Hippie over the past 6 months. What we thought would be an amazing start to 2018 ended up being an unexpected backhand delivered on a Sunday afternoon. The project we’d been working on came to an abrupt end. You see, back in 2014 we found ourselves blessed with a little building at 1346 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, CA so that we could start to build out our brand. We set up our office in the space and got to work. What we thought would take 1 year ended up taking 3 due to all the crazy changes, rezoning requirements and redesigns it took to finally get our building permit in September of last year.

We worked all of last spring and summer laying out the perfect space with our amazing architects – we completely redid the building – picked every tile, every door handle and piece of furniture. We knew that if we didn’t hit our approved budget it might not happen and so were happy to spend weeks (yes, weeks!) finding brass cabinet hardware that fit into our $8/piece budget. But we did it, and cabinet hardware not withstanding we came in under budget and celebrated accordingly.

Sadly, in November, after 3 years of work there was a massive change and we were left with no building, no investor and 3 years of lost time. While it saddens us to lose what we thought was our long term home, we’ve come to the realization that that building wasn’t meant to be nor was that investor.

If you follow us on Instagram you’ve seen all the emotions that brought us to that realization both good and bad. Now we’re left with hope, a sense of freedom and the sincere belief that this is all for the better. Part of being a Highbrow Hippie is learning how to trust the timing of your life. Even when you can’t see around the next bend. As a yogi a big part of my practice is developing trust – with myself, with the universe – and having faith that as long as we stay true to our vision and our intention the Universe will give us what you desire. Most of the time it’s bigger and better than you could have even imagined.

As of this month we’ve learned our lovely little building will be sold along with the plans we created. Take a peek below at some of the renderings. If you want to see what the space looked like before we ripped it apart check it out here. Let’s hope the new buyer will want to create their own vision and not hijack ours, but if they do, we’ll be the first ones through the door because at least that won’t have been in vain…

Second floor after we did preliminary demolition in anticipation of starting construction
Our midcentury meets Morocco entryway
A water feature is a must and further communicated our midcentury meets Morocco vibe.
Front desk of salon area
Salon area
Salon area
Nail treatment area
Second floor retail area
Our Highbrow Hippie product showroom
VIP Color area
Outdoor color patio
Outdoor color patio

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LIVING / WELLNESS

The Reluctant Yogi

04.05.18

I recently received an email from Love Yoga in Venice, celebrating my one year anniversary as a student. It made me smile because I don’t quite remember life before Love Yoga. For years Myka told me to give yoga a try, but I always thought my body needs strenuous physical activity to be challenged – i.e. tennis, running, etc. What I didn’t realize, and know now, is that yoga is the most challenging, and the most healing. In what has been a year of major ups and downs, Love Yoga is my dependable safe place to get my mind and body back on track.

The icing on the cake is that I now call both owners, Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon, both dear friends and clients, and they both have really fun hair to paint. I paint their hair in my living room in Venice, or sometimes outside on my patio, weather permitting. It was a friendship gifted to me by another client that I hold very dear, who gave me a nudge in the right direction to start taking better care of my body and mind.

These women- we protect each other, we LOVE each other. That’s as good as it gets, and that’s what it’s all about.

All hair color by Kadi, using non-toxic products and techniques.

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BEAUTY

Natural Deodorants

02.26.18

As you guys know I am fierce in my commitment to all things natural. From food, to skincare to interiors, I work to keep everything that surrounds my body or goes in or on it as natural and as simple as possible.

Over the years I’ve tried all different types of natural deodorants from crystals to homemade concoctions. Some of them worked; some didn’t. I’ve found that keeping a small collection of different ones works for me. I find that if I use any one for an extended period of time my body becomes used to it and so I switch it up.

 

1. Weleda Citrus Spray

This one is of my favorites. So much so that I ditched my old standby the deodorant stone for this one for a few months this summer. Made by Weleda, a Swedish company started in 1921, it’s certified by Natura, the European agency for natural products, and we ALL know that when it comes to banning toxic chemicals in beauty products Europe is light years ahead of us. I love the spray, the light citrusy smell and the fact that even on a hot, humid Atlanta day I still smelled fresh at the end. Buy it here.

2. AgentNatur

This coconut oil based formula is easy to apply and worked well for me for a while. However I found that after a prolonged period of use my underarms became dry and irritated.

I attribute that to the fact that the formula contains baking soda which, when used consistently over time, can disrupt the acid mantle of the skin making it irritated and dry. For this reason I will only use this for a few days at time. I must be the only one who has that reaction because everyone in the fashion world seems to be obsessed with this product and I thought there was something I was missing.  Then I remember that most magazines try something once or twice, while I prefer to use products for at least 2 months or more before I give my opinion. We used to sell it at WAX years ago and I got a similar report from some clients, but everyone’s skin is different and just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t be great for you. I definitely appreciate the ease of application and the nice packaging.

Buy it here.

3. Natural Salt Crystal

This is an old school favorite and was my first introduction into natural deodorants back in the early nineties. An actual stone, it’s a mineral salt containing potassium allum which is a natural source of aluminum and kills the bacteria which results in odor.

Overall my favorite is still the natural crystal. I mean you can’t get more basic than rubbing a rock under your arms and at a cost of $8 and lasting for a year it’s basically free. Add the fact that it looks pretty and fits in with my decor is a win.

I bought mine at an independent natural foods store while traveling, but you can find a similar one here.

Do you guys have any favorite natural deodorants? If so let me know!

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LIVING

Hurry Up and Wait

08.11.17

 

It’s been 3 1/2 years since Kadi and I began working on a physical space for Highbrow Hippie (HBH). I literally got pregnant and had a baby (now a toddler) in less time than it’s taken for us to start construction. And we still haven’t started. Most of the time we spend hurrying up and waiting.

When we started this endeavor we thought it would take half the time and cost half the money. Being that it’s not the first time I’ve built out a physical space to house a brand, I was well prepared for the inevitable delays, but working in Los Angeles and specifically Venice has proven to be a unique experience. We were blessed to find an amazing space in an area that feels most like home for us and subsequently Highbrow Hippie. Seeing as how HBH is such a reflection of our mindsets, our ideas and thoughts and really speaks to the way we see the world, it only made sense for us to launch in what we consider to the be Highbrow Hippie epicenter of the world – Venice, CA on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This is our building. Right next to what is now Tom’s shoes.

Long a neighborhood of hippies and surfers, the new Venice is staking it’s Highbrow flag proudly. Sometimes a little too so. Small boutique businesses have closed, making way for their shinier competitors with better merchandising. Some we miss, some we don’t, but the ever changing landscape signifies growth and when you are opening a business that’s what you bet on.

With all this change and disruption, one would think that the addition of a local, independent, minority female owned business would be welcomed. Keep it local! Shop small! Support independent business! We’ve all heard those cries when it comes to development and rising real estate pushing independent business out the door. Those cries evidently don’t reach the ears of the various governmental agencies responsible for issuing permits and approving plans. They can’t hear our grumbles when faced with another requirement, or neighbor appeal (this alone deserves it’s own post), or removing 25% of the square footage of our building to provide parking even though it will likely rarely get used.

In the meantime, we hurry up and wait. Submit drawings, make changes to things that have never been mentioned before, submit again. Wait.

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LIVING

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes….

02.28.17

Even though it’s only February it’s 77 degrees and it feels like Spring in Atlanta. The trees are blooming, the pollen is abundant and in true Atlanta fashion, it will drop to 33 degrees tomorrow…

But isn’t that what change does? It takes something that you have become accustomed to and flips it so that you don’t know what’s coming next.  If you are lucky, while sometimes being difficult to manage, change opens up new pathways and opportunities that you didn’t always see.

I recently sold my business. After almost 8 years, two locations, a ton of amazing clients and some really great friendships, I decided it was time for something new. So I’m taking a few months “off” to prep for the next chapter.

In the meantime, I’ll be blogging more (and by more I mean at all because I haven’t touched this blog in a while), working on a few other things and basically indulging my creative side.

Isn’t change great?

In love and light.

Myka

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