Today we’d like to introduce you to Andi Scarbrough.
Andi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Framed Salon was born 2 years ago from a group of stylists that really wanted to create their ideal work environment. We joked that we were building more of a tree house for us and our friends to meet and play in than we were looking to build an empire. We had all worked in salons of all sizes, styles, and degrees of hype. What we saw possible was to take the best of what worked in those spaces, and best supported us as stylists, and see if we could offer it all in one space. We invited the most top-shelf stylists we knew to join us, true education junkies addicted to pushing the forward edge of our craft, who’s work we loved and who’s chair-side manner we respected. Many of these stylists had been on their own, and we knew would really benefit, enjoy, and appreciate the highly independent and decidedly cooperative model we created. The vision was for quality over quantity, intimacy over hype, and professionalism over poshness. Santa Monica already offered such a hybrid of luxury standards and relaxed Beachy charm, that when we found our space (complete with a parking lot!) we knew we were home.
Has it been a smooth road?
Sure, we faced some challenges in the setup, none of us had done this before! But what was unique about what we were building was our founding team. With three partners, we had a sort of trifecta of talents and strengths that supported one another, and that trickled down to the whole team. Our existing clients were our biggest cheerleaders the whole way! I remember literally unpacking the color I needed for my first client on our first day. Up until the night before, we weren’t sure if we would have the green light to open our doors. We had industry friends housing some of our stylists as they found themselves between workspaces as we navigated build-out delays, and even a guest artist on standby that waited to book her LA visit until we were open! Many of our salon guests had been with us for years, and they shared in our dream like loving family members. They comforted and advised us in every challenge, celebrated every tiny victory and noticed every detail that was new from one appointment to the next, and held the belief in our ability to make this dream real every step of the way. Since opening, the referrals, accolades, and continued support from those people have been the biggest and most heartwarming affirmations we could have imagined.
What are your plans for the future?
We are always evolving! As a salon, we started off sort of backwards. Given that we had a community of seasoned stylists with well-established clientele to join us from day one, we began our business at a capacity that most salons aspire to over their few years. Now we are facing a luxurious problem of wanting to work with stylists just starting out and developing a training program and growth path for them– but we don’t have the space! It’s important for us to stay really connected to the reasons we started this business– community and connection, and not be swept up in the excitement of possible growth. We aim to stay grounded, move steadily and slowly, refine who we are and what we offer. One day, in the not-so-distant future, we would love to open another location structured to help support stylists begin their careers with many varied education offerings, marketing assistance, with the independent collective style business model we currently experience being a goal to grow into. It may sound sort of funny to think about in terms of business, but much like relationships (which is what we REALLY deal in, by the way) the best thing one of our team mates can bring to the table is a well fleshed out identity not dependent on the salon for definition. Once they establish who they are as artists, we know better how to celebrate their unique place on the team.
Let’s dig a little deeper into your story. What was the hardest time you’ve had?
I left Texas when I was 17. I thumbed my nose at a full ride to the University of Texas, wrote “Woodstock or Bust” on the back of my pick up and came out west. I knew I wanted to do hair and make-up, and figured it was either New York or LA, and seeing as how I had never seen a real winter, LA seemed the better choice. Nothing could have prepared me for the small-town-to-big-city spins that set in. I remember driving thinking– how do people tell where one town stops and another starts?! There is no space between!”
I moved 8 times in that first year. I slept on a lot of sofas, and survived solely on the kindness of people I will probably never see again. A friend recently asked me about those first few pretty scary and overwhelming years and asked me how I made it. Like, literally, how did I survive? I shrugged, Spirit, I guess. I was far to stubborn to go home and prove defeat, and made many choices my loved ones didn’t agree with at the time. I put myself in some situations I flinch at recalling, but I was so determined to make it, I somehow just did it. I paid rent, I ate a lot of ramen. Looking back, I realize what a blessing it was to be so naive! If I’d had any idea how hard it would be, I never would have had the courage to do it. I didn’t have the 20-something social life that most do, I was too busy in my hustle to close down the club.
But I got work, and that work led to more work. For years I worked 7 days a week– but I made a vow to myself that I would only work inside my industry even if that meant selling shampoo at a beauty supply store. I worked a lot for free to get exposure and experience, but I was focused and it paid off. The work led to better opportunities, mentors, and the launch of my education career. The next thing I knew I found myself at 23 walking into Conde Nast to do a desk side with an editor about a consumer product the company I was working with had just launched. I was in a jacket I’d got on clearance at Urban Outfitters and accessories from Crossroads Trading Company. That Editor and I both knew I was in over my head, but I was there, dammit.
Do you ever just stop and think WOW – I’ve made it?
I had made it there. Shortly after Framed opened, we were mentioned in an article on LAist, with a famous stylist who’d I’d met years ago and who took a coffee meeting with a hungry, driven girl and, through some kind introductions that were of no benefit to him, inadvertently launched my who career. I took great pleasure in reaching out to tell him so, and was overwhelmed that he remembered me. In some ways, thanking him made me feel like I was able to thank all those people who gave me a bed, or a meal, or a little gig in those early years. It really is all about the relationships we build, and we never know what a small kindness can set in motion.
In many ways, my career path gave me the chance to be the mentor and boss I so often wished I had, and to repay the gifts I’ve been granted along the way. To make use of all I had observed and cobble together something new, evolved, and more adapted to what this independent, empowered, collaborative generation of stylists needs. But I wouldn’t have known what that looked like or entailed, or met the two incredible women who would become my business partners and make it possible every day if I hadn’t taken the exact route I did.
So that’s what we do here, with Framed, we build relationships. With our clients and within our team, and we do so with bold, blind hope about where they may reach.
- Womens haircut: from $75
- Mens haircut: from $40
- Base color: from $90
- Gloss: from $85
- Base & a few foils: from $140
- Base & pull through: from $110
- Partial highlight: from $130
- Full highlight: from $160
- Blowout: from $50
- Upstyle: from $85
- Make-up: from $85
- Keratin relaxer: from $250
- Custom conditioning treatments: from $50-$75
- Extensions, corrective color and bridal services quoted by consultation all services include a blowdry style
- Instagram @framedsalon
- Twitter @framedsalon
- 2821 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405
Check out their work below: