Bianca Margolis (@b.rosestudio) is a stylist and owner of B. Rose Studio in Chicago, a warm, inviting space she has created inside a Sola Salon Studios location. Margolis's salon design reflects her brand, and every element feels purposeful and thoughtfully selected.
We asked Margolis to take us through her process--for designing both her studio and her brand--and to advise on how she put those pieces together to create B.Rose Studio.
Bianca, your space is lovely. How would you describe B.Rose Studio?
The best way to describe B.Rose Studio is laidback luxury. We wanted to create a space that felt like every time a new guest was coming in, it was as if they were walking into their own personal styling studio and we wanted to be able to recreate that same feeling for them every single appointment. We pride ourselves on endlessly educating and using the best products in a simpler environment. Sola Salon Studios allows us a space to do what we love and create the best environment, both personally and professionally.
I wanted to keep the vision very feminine and relaxing; not having too much clutter crowding the room, displaying beautifully curated products and having a really steady mood board of colors to tie it all together. Everything from the paint on the walls to the tea we serve is taken into consideration to be the best reflection of our brand.
What design elements were VERY important for you to get right?
The most important design elements were definitely keeping the space very calm and inviting while still tying in luxury. We are in a front studio and the natural sunlight and the life outside really makes it feel like a regular salon but inside you get to experience personalized one-on-one service. Being in the front with big windows and choosing a color scheme that is consistent throughout, enhances all the hair I color on a daily basis without fighting for the center of attention: THE HAIR!
What are some things you do to set yourself apart and make a visit to your studio memorable?
From the minute a guest walks in, I try to make sure this is their time and I am there to serve them. I really pride myself on carving out the time to do in-depth consultations, whether it is their first time with me or their fiftieth time. Every appointment is treated as the first. With COVID, we’ve also had to get creative as things like drink service and luxury magazines aren’t as easy to provide at this time. We take the time now to add on complementary hair masks and extra scalp massages to really let them unwind and focus on themselves when they are in the studio.
What product line(s) do you retail and why?
I currently carry Virtue Labs, Moroccanoil and Keune. This goes back into our brand of being laidback luxury and having retail at every price point. This ensures everyone can leave with something they love and makes them feel fabulous. I really take the time to decide what products I want in the studio. I try to focus on things that are not only good for my guests, but for myself and the environment as well. The best part is when you find incredible hair products that are packaged beautifully and they just meld into your salon. I feel that way about everything we carry.
Can you tell us some elements that add to the atmosphere of your studio ?
I really took the time to sit down and think, “What is the vision of B.Rose Studio?” prior to opening. A longstanding joke among my family and friends is that I literally and figuratively live my life through rose colored glasses, and from that, sparked inspiration. I use the same shade of pink from my logo all the way to the color on my walls. A black and crystal chandelier is the eye catcher in the room and really elevates the space. I make sure my products are displayed on gorgeous shelves like they would be in the most expensive salons. Comfortable seating options (besides my styling chair) are readily available to lounge while your color is sitting on. The list could go on! It’s truly all about the details and making sure you're putting little pieces of yourself into the entire space.
What are you most proud of in the design of your studio?
When I started, I had my chair, one piece of wall art and some product. I am so proud that I started with so little and have steadily created something so beautiful. It’s the best compliment in the world when clients tell me they love coming to my space because it has such great energy and they feel like they can truly unwind. All the hard work of trying to curate the perfect items takes time, but when it is done it is so rewarding and everyone will notice the time taken.
When someone is moving from working inside a commission/employee-based salon to their own studio, what do you think they should spend money on and consider first?
Moving from a traditional salon to your own studio can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. No salon was EVER built in one day. I tell everyone to focus on really sitting down and figuring out your brand's vision first. At Sola, your choice of paint is included in your move in, which can save a ton and cost no money. Secondly, I think spending the biggest part of your budget on your tools (color, foil, capes, product, etc.) is important because these things are all truly extensions of our hands and what makes us who we are. Make sure you have everything you need to start and actually service people. Lastly, I think branding yourself is huge. This is an easy inexpensive way to really amp up your salon and you can easily make and find things to show people who you are. I highly suggest apps like Canva to help start you off somewhere! From there you can make business cards, decals for your door and even verbiage to be placed around the salon which is instant decor along with amazing branding. Remember to have fun and let your true self shine through!
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