Her fame within the beauty-spere is such that when Larisa Love posted a photo of the mirror in her new salon’s bathroom, it had nine million views. A social media darling, dedicated professional and CosmoProf Brand Ambassador, Love carefully cultivated her brand and then parlayed her success into the recent opening of her eponymous space, Larisa Love Salon on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, CA. While she started her career as a solo artist, Love always dreamed of opening her own salon. The road to boss lady can be bumpy, though.
“There is so, so much that goes into this,” Love says. “If you think you have a budget, double, even triple it. Think about if you are prepared for something like this. As awesome as it is, you don’t see what goes on behind the scenes--the stress, anxiety and breakdowns that can go into opening a salon.”
But on the day that MODERN visited with Love, she was cool, calm and coloring a client who had traveled all the way from Philadelphia to receive her loving touch. Love talked about designing a space that she calls her “home away from home.”
“The space I bought was a salon in its previous life, newly remodeled only a year ago, however, it didn't reflect my brand and who I am,” Love says. “If I am going to dream big, I know I need to go all in and make it my own. That is why I decided to tear the whole place down, start from scratch, and create my brand, my vision. If I am going to do it, I am going to do it right the first time! In order to fully capture my style, I know that a customized look and feel is the only way to go.”
Her salon features reclaimed wood walls, towering mirrors at the stations, and a sparking chandelier dropping from the upstairs loft where Love, working with three assistants, can accommodate up to four clients at a time.
Her color bar features Joico, Wella and Olaplex. In the wash house, she installed a wall to keep the washer and dryer from view. “Those little details change the energy. The vibe is everything and I wanted it to be relaxing, calming and to feel like you’re being pampered.”
Love travels constantly for CosmoProf, teaching and making appearances at professional beauty events. She needed her team to reflect her brand and to deliver the same standard of excellence she asks of herself.
“While I had over 300 amazing applicants, I held around 50 interviews and had to narrow down my options to just seven new hires. Talent and experience is important of course, but personality and cultural fit is just as necessary to the overall atmosphere and client experience.”
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