Stylist Spotlight: Kim Allison, Apricot Lounge Salon

Stylist Spotlight: Kim Allison, Apricot Lounge Salon

Our Affiliates play a crucial role in the VirtueⓇ community. As shepherds of the brand, they are our feet on the ground and our voices behind the chair. Each Affiliate Spotlight, we love sharing with you these stewards of style who share our vision that everyone deserves to have truly healthy hair. They remind us that teamwork makes the dreamwork, and we’re so grateful they chose our team.

“I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to be creative,” says stylist Kim Allison of Apricot Lounge Salon in Scottsdale. Early on she worked in administration at ASU while also attending classes, but knew that she wanted to own her own business. Working with hair came naturally, so she decided cosmetology school was the way to go to ensure entrepreneurship. After nearly four years with TONI&GUY, she partnered with a fellow stylist and went on to open a 10-chair salon, and then a 14-chair salon as a sole owner. Now after 22 years in the business, she finds comfort working in a salon suite. Here she shares her secret to a healthy work-life balance, the only haircut that ever made her cry, and how she’s expanding her career.

Q: What insights do you have for the pro community regarding re-openings/navigating the new normal?
Have a positive mindset. No matter your personal feelings, keeping people safe is the top priority. Don’t talk politics in the salon; your clients are there to get their hair done.

Q: What’s your favorite memory from your journey? When did it feel like you caught your “big break?”
I feel like I caught my big break when I was running my own salon successfully. It took less than a month to fill every chair based on reputation alone. When I looked at my client list and it consisted of corporate women and local celebrities, I thought to myself, “I think I’m pretty good at this.”

Q: Is there anyone in the industry or beyond that you really admire, or someone who inspired you in your career?
My very first boss at TONI&GUY, Gerry Watkins. I feel fortunate that I got to start my hairdressing career under his guidance.

Q: How do you define a “success” after a client leaves your salon?
When you get to the end style and they stop talking and start admiring themselves in the mirror, puckering their lips. That’s when I’m like, “OK, she’s happy.”

Q: What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?
A little shot of tequila (though not every day) and journaling.

Q: If you could spend the day with someone who you consider a “style icon” who would it be? What would you do?
Tracee Ellis Ross. She’s a fashionista. Her personal style is just everything; she nails it. Class, style, all of it. I would pick her brain––about her hair, fashion sense, how she elevated her career.

Q: How do you like to stay up to date on the latest trends, techniques, and styles?
I still read Vogue magazine. It remains at the forefront for sharing the latest trends. Also, Modern Salon magazine and Salon Today. As for techniques...continuing education is my go to!

Q: What’s a trend that you hope comes back? Never goes out of style?
What I hope comes back: bootcut jeans. What I hope never goes out of style: bob haircuts.

Q: What do you value most about being a Virtue affiliate?
It’s a great product line and the company is easy to work with.

Q: What was the worst haircut you ever had?
A pixie. I saw someone else’s, and she referred me to her stylist. I had just started my career and I wanted this edgy cut. At the end of the cut, she turned me away from the mirror and turned on the clippers. They just kept getting higher and higher until she went past the curve on my head. It was like a bowl in the back. That was the first time I ever cried over a haircut.

Q: Worst haircut you ever gave someone else?
It was back in beauty school, and I was learning to cut layers. The woman had very wavy hair. She told me that the shorter her hair, the bigger her waves. I cut it just short enough that it laid over her ears, which she referred to as “earmuffs.” That’s when I learned to listen to my client. After that experience, I was intentional about learning to cut layers correctly. Lesson learned.

Q: What was the first hairstyle or technique that you mastered? The hardest?
The first thing I mastered was a natural inversion—a long, layered haircut (because of the question above!). The hardest to master was the precision graduated bob. You can’t hide anything.

Q: What’s your personal hair routine? Your favorite part of your hair routine?
I’m growing it out right now, so I wear lots of different looks in ponytails. My favorite part is being creative with placement. You can really change the look based on where you position the ponytail. Some looks are successful, some not.

Q: What other things are you passionate about that aren’t hair related?
Outside of my family, I’m passionate about a healthy, plant-based lifestyle, fitness, and my garden.

Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure to indulge?
Reality TV (Selling Sunset on Netflix) is my absolute favorite.

Q: How do you manage work-life balance?
I always put my spiritual self first. I start every day with meditation. From the beginning of my career, I set my schedule and haven’t changed it since. I work three-and-a-half days a week and I’ve built my life and lifestyle around that income and schedule. It gives me time for family, outside interests, and education.

Q: What’s next for your career?
For the past 22 years I’ve specialized in haircutting. My longtime work partner and best friend was also the salon colorist. She retired just before the lockdown, and for the first time I am doing both color and cut. I’m learning all kinds of new things about color. It feels like an old career made new. This is next for now; we’ll see where it leads to.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
For my personal self: Don’t second guess yourself. For my work self: Start out doing both color and cut!

Q: What’s your favorite VirtueⓇ product?
By far, hands down the Shaping Spray and the Texturizing Spray.

Stylist SpotlightsStylist Spotlights
2020-07-28 17:28:00 0 viewed