Thursday, February 5, 2015

Woman of Style: Allison Tulio, Owner of bloom. Salon & Makeup Bar

To say that our newest Woman of Style is an inspiration is an understatement.  Alison Tulio makes being environmentally friendly and using safe, natural products both incredibly chic and fun.  She opened bloom. Salon & Makeup Bar just over one year ago in Voorheesville, NY, and she said her salon was the first in the U.S. to be a Green Circle Salon.   Through that program, extra hair, foils, color tubes and hair color are all recycled.  She also strives to use hair and makeup products in her salon that are as chemical-free as possible.   The makeup line she uses, 100% Pure, is fruit dyed and 100 percent free of harmful toxins.  Allison also repurposed mirrors and chairs from Craigslist and also has several pieces her father-in-law hand-crafted for bloom.  She redesigned her absolutely gorgeous floral chairs in the makeup bar (see the photos below).  Allison's mission is to inspire others to make more environmentally-friendly decisions and it's obvious she does that every day in the most stylish way possible.   Congratulations, Allison!  Thank you for all of the inspiration.  (You can read much more below on Allison's environmentally-friendly style!) 

Photo of Allison & ribbon cutting by Katie Petit

A few of the many women Allison and bloom. have made naturally beautiful!

Photos:  Courtesy of bloom. from Facebook

How would you describe your style?
This is hard because I love so many things about different styles! I would describe my style as vintage, somewhat rustic with a twist of bohemian.  I like clean lines, old rustic looking pieces but also love mismatched accents with pops of color.

Who/what inspires you in terms of style?
I love statement and timeless pieces that you know will work for years to come - pieces that all you have to do is change the accessories or accents around them to make them fit your style for whatever it is you're feeling lately.  It wasn't until I opened bloom. that my love of antiques, thrifting and DIY really presented itself as part of my style. I always loved the way antiques looked, but never really thought or realized how fun and inspiring it could be to find something unique and make it your own. It became a mission to find the perfect projects and pieces to add to the salon. I searched trough pages of Craigslist and aisles of antique stores to really find what spoke to me and my passion for bloom.

The wonderfully chic makeup bar at bloom. Salon & Makeup Bar
(Check out the gorgeous chairs Allison repurposed!)

One of the legs of the table Allison found on Craigslist 
& the ultra chic blush pink rug in the makeup bar!

The top photo is Allison's grandmother.  Allison said 
it's as if she is still with her every day at bloom.

Your business, bloom. Salon & Makeup Bar, has incredible style! How were you able to so effectively use your style to style your salon?

Lots of sanding, cleaning and spray paint! I found all the mirrors for the salon on Craigslist and cleaned them up, spray painted them and now they are custom mirrors for a third of the price! The stations and the crates I actually bought unfinished and finished them with a distressed dark espresso which I think brings a sense of warmth and coziness to the salon. I am also extremely fortunate that a lot of the beautiful pieces in the salon were hand made for me by my father-in-law. We created a vision together.  He told me when my ideas were too crazy to work, and I took his professional opinion on it.  Together we came up with great pieces. I owe a lot of the style to his handy hard work!

What is your favorite part of your salon and makeup bar?
I love it all! It is hard to pinpoint a favorite part because it all flows so well together. I would have to say the color bar and the makeup bar are probably my favorite pieces if I had to choose. I love how clients can actually see us mixing the color, using our brains and creativness to stir up something unique for them.  And the makeup bar is just such a fun, flirty girly area - what is there not to love! Every woman loves to feel extra glammed and girly once in a while, and that's what I envisioned when I designed that room.

The gorgeous salon.  In the center is the color bar!
Photo by:  Katie Petit

                               The fun makeup bar at bloom. with 100% Pure products.

How can we be more environmentally-conscious and natural in the hair care products/practices and makeup we use/do at home?
I know it's a daunting task, but read the labels! Look for sulfate-free, paraben-free shampoos and conditioners.  And also think about the bottle and whether or not it is made with BPA. BPA leaches out into products when it is in warm, humid areas. And that is exactly where our shampoo and conditioners live, in the hot steamy shower. A lot of hidden chemicals can hide in our beauty products, and it can be overwhelming. My biggest suggestion would be just to start where you're comfortable.  Do your own research on it, and I'm sure it will make you think twice about what products you are using.

Hair and makeup are obviously very important parts of a woman's overall style. What advice would you give to women in trying to find their own style?
Find your comfort zone! It also helps finding a great stylist who really listens to your thoughts and one that will help you create what you're looking for in that moment. Being comfortable with your hair and really loving it is the best confidence booster. Look in magazines, mark things that attract your eye.  I am sure when you look back at those pictures that you marked they will all have something in common, but most of all have fun and play! That's the beauty of hair and makeup; it can always be changed and it is ever evolving.

Photo:  Courtesy of bloom.    By:  Katie Petit

Photo:  Courtesy of bloom.

Photo:  Courtesy of bloom.

I love that you are focused on bringing out women's natural beauty while keeping the environment in mind. What are some of the things you do to be environmentally-friendly in your salon? How did you decide to make it such a great part of your salon?
When I first thought about opening a salon, I knew my passion for recycling and the environment in general would play a good part in it. From the very beginning one of the things I wanted to do is find a place to donate the hair that gets swept up from each haircut. Many people are surprised that their hair can be used to make hair mats to help aid in the cleanup of oil spills. After some research on the subject, I came across a program called Green Circle Salon. I noticed they were based out of Canada, but I figured I could just send the extra hair there for good use. Come to find out they were about to launch their North American program and not only did it include recycling hair, but it recycles foils, color tubes and hair color. It was a no brainer! We actually became the first salon in America to be apart of this program, which was a really exciting moment! We also recycle all of our paper and plastics through County Waste.

I also did lots of research on the type of products we brought into the salon. I wanted companies that had the same values as I do as a business owner. We carry 'Use Me!,' which is sulfate-free, paraben-free and also is a member of 1% for the planet.  Our makeup line called 100% Pure and Is all fruit and vegetable dyed and never tested on animals.  All of their formulas are biodegradable, come in recycled packaging and best of all - their warehouse is run on solar power.  I am constantly looking for new and inspiring products that showcase the power of plants and essential oils versus chemicals.

If you haven't already said this in the above answer :), I read that you are so meticulous about keeping the environment in mind, that many of the pieces of furniture in the salon are re-finished items. That is wonderful! What are some of the items and how did you find them?

As I mentioned before, all of the mirrors in the salon were found on Craigslist - cleaned up and spray painted to my liking, but I also found the amazing chairs and table in the makeup area on Craigslist! The chairs I completely redid. I spray painted them and covered the cushions with a really funky floral print.. They were so old the fabric was nailed in instead of staple gunned it! I kept the original fabric underneath. The table was just perfect I actually didn’t have to do anything to it! It was definitely fun and exhilarating when I found a piece that I knew exactly what to do with. 

Congratulations again, Allison!  

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