KATTIA SOLANO - Owner, Butterfly Studio
WHY I CHOSE BEAUTY:
âIn Costa Rica, where I was born, my grandfather was a very well-known
barber. And here in the US, where my family moved when I was still a
child, my aunt used to take me to beauty school with her at nightâand I
loved it! I still remember the smell of the Queen Helene setting lotion,
and those crazy roller sets. It turned out she wasnât very good at
cosmetology and ended up dropping out, but I was lucky enough to use her
equipment, and at the age of 12 started my own âsalonâ at home, doing
hair and make-up for my family."
âI decided to pursue my passion and attended a vocational high school
where I spent all my time in the beauty department, doing every type of
hair I could get my hands on. My favorite pastime was giving the
football team crazy hair cutsâit was the â80s, so everyone wanted to
look like MC Hammer. It was fun and great practice.
âEventually, I enrolled in the New Jersey beauty school, Artistic Academy, and in no time was hired to work at Depasquale, one of the best salons in the state. It was there that I got an education in the business end of the field, and at the same time learned how to be a platform artist for Sebastian. Six years later I had become a top stylist, and decided to move to New York City to pursue the next stage of my career, as an editorial stylist."
âIn 1993 I began working for FrÃ©dÃ©ric Fekkai at his salon on 57th Street. I was able to develop my own style, and felt an even greater urge for success. After an amazing time working for FrÃ©dÃ©ric, I moved to the John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman to help develop Johnâs education team."
âIt took me two years to make the jump, but in 2001, Butterfly Studio opened its doors, operating out of my live-in loft space in a lower-midtown building surrounded by carpet stores. This was not a desirable neighborhood for our clients, and everyone thought I was crazy moving downtown from such an upscale salon. But I knew we had amazing clients who would support us no matter what."
âTwo years later, we moved from our 1,500-square-foot loft space with six employees to a 5,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue space with 36 employees. Butterfly Studio became the flagship salon for KÃ©rastase LâOrÃ©al; and in 2007 2008, I worked with LâOrÃ©al to launch the Shu Uemura luxury product line. This gave me the chance to educate some of the best stylists in the US."
âOur business continues to grow, with new opportunities each day.â