Our very own, Ashley Martinez, entered an Instagram photo contest and won! We are so excited to celebrate her accomplishment! She won an all expenses paid trip to Denver for an exclusive Kerastase education event with celebrity stylist, Matt Fugate. Congratulations Ashley!!!
Our salon manager, Justine was inspired to help the local homeless community. She organized an event to make wellness kits to be handed out to homeless women. Our community came together at Steel + Lacquer the Sunday before Thanksgiving and packed up over 300 kits to be distributed throughout the city.
The kits contained:
- wet wipes
- Starbucks gift cards with a note saying "I love you"
- Printed note with a quote from Rupi Kaur's poetry book Milk and Honey:
"we all move forward
when we recognize
how resilient and striking
the women around us are."
The manager for the NEMA building went above and beyond to create a comfortable space for everyone involved. This event was not funded by corporate sponsors but fueled by women who went out and purchased these life necessities to make an impact on the lives of less fortunate women and help lesson the struggle. It doesn't take a lot of effort to make a big difference.
We'd love to plan more events like this, if you'd like to be involved, please reach out: email@example.com.
We’ve spent the last six months hustling to get the salon stocked, staffed, and looking gorgeous so we could start focusing on making our clients look gorgeous. It has been exhilarating, exhausting and FUN. In many ways it has been a long road to get here but it also went by incredibly fast. We are loving the Mid-Market neighborhood and can safely say we’ve made our stamp on it!
The flip side of all the hard work has been all the love. We’ve been showered with so many good wishes and support from our families, friends and clients. The amount of flowers Steel + Lacquer has seen has been unreal. We could not be happier with the momentum the salon has gained since we opened our doors on May 23rd.
As for us, we're thrilled to say our family has now grown to a total of ten. We have seven incredibly talented hairdressers, two front desk customer service gurus and one barber in-training. We have been happily busy washing, cutting, coloring and blowing out the hair of a ton of existing clients, a slew of brand new clients and many referrals. THANK YOU for all the awesome referrals (we love your friends!) and for the dazzling Yelp reviews. Have we told you lately how much we love you?
The past six months we’ve had some inspirational, cutting-edge training sessions with Label.m, Oribe and L'oreal with more exciting training to come in 2016. This will benefit our Steel + Lacquer family and YOU, of course! We have plans to bring together our SF hairdresser friends for educational events as well. Stay tuned for more on that!
On November 7th, we had our Grand Opening party! It was a massive success and we were so grateful to finally be able to celebrate with everyone that was involved in making this dream a reality. We had well over 200+ gorgeously dressed (and coiffed!) people in our salon. We christened the floor with champagne and dance moves thanks to DJ IVY. She played all our favorite jams and set the tone for a super sexy, super fun night. Our dear friends Mark, Crystal and Tiffany killed it with every last detail to make our night so special. The highlight of the night was the Step + Repeat photo area! Our glam guests were LIVING to have their photographs taken. Please enjoy the pics that captured the all beauty that was overflowing from the salon that night.
We’re entering the busiest time of the year with the holidays and we’re so thrilled to share our first holiday season in our new home with all of you. We are proud to be salon owners and to have a salon in one of the most special cities in the world. And with the best clients in the world!
We’re humbled by all the cards, flowers, champagne, love, support and all the exposure you’ve given us! Here’s to many more great months to come! We love you and couldn't have done it without you!
It is time to break the radio silence. There have been many highs and lows to get to this point today. On May 20th we passed our final inspection, whoa was that a nail bitter. We have been rapidly moving in and getting the salon functional to invite all our existing clients and welcoming all our new clients. We have spent the last weeks getting everything ready for this announcement, we are OFFICIALLY opening on Saturday May 23rd!
We are launching our brand new salon in Mid-Market called Steel + Lacquer! Our website is up and ready for some traffic! You can now call us at the salon to make an appointment or book online. We could not be more proud of what we built and the platform for everyone to shine on.
We are proud to announce our OG Steel + Lacquer team: Jacob, Lena, Jarrod, Michelle, Johnny, and Raquel! We will be waiting for you to make all your hair dreams come true!
Thank you again for all your excitement and support.
Today, we’re excited to share with you that Jacob Inocencio will be joining our Steel + Lacquer family this May. Jacob brings over a decade of experience, with extensive training from some of the most well respected haircare brands and educators in the industry.
From barbering to balayage, he’s grown to become a real master of all trades. Characterized by its versatility, Jacob’s technique and style speaks to a variety of audiences and believes that for men and women alike, “hair should be effortless.”
It’s more than just hair, though. Jacob's clients are not only drawn to him for his craft and attention to detail, but his personality too. When he's not in the salon, Jacob enjoys cooking and exploring the world and he shares this passion for life with his clients to create genuine and lasting relationships. He believes that your experience in the chair should not only be satisfying, but fun as well!
We feel very honored to have Jacob with us at Steel + Lacquer. He will also play a major role in helping us to train and grow our family. He thrives on educating and sharing his expertise with new talent which will serve us well as we continue to grow.
Mid-Market is lucky to count Jacob among its newest additions. Congrats and welcome!
We are wrapping up our seventh week of construction. We wanted to share some pictures of the progress with all of you. We are still looking at the first half of May for an open date. That date depends on so many factors right now. It is starting to look more like a salon, which puts butterflies in our tummies.
We just entered our 6th week of construction! All our coring for plumping and electrical has been completed. Drilling through a concrete slab 12 inches is no easy feat. Who knew, what rebar and conduits were... our vocabulary and knowledge is growing at a rapid rate! Here are a few photos we thought you might like, enjoy!
We are so very proud to announce that Steel + Lacquer has partnered with L’oreal Professionnel Color. We could not be more happy to continue our journey with a world renowned company. It was very important to align ourselves with a hair color brand that has the same culture and philosophies that we hope to instill in our own business. We feel very confident in our decision. This will allow us to bring the latest color trends not only to our S+L family, but also our lovely clients.
We started our hair career with L’oreal over 7 years ago. It has been an exhilarating journey attending courses held at the SOHO and LA academies and as well as in-salon classes. We will continue to grow and always be hungry for more education through our partnership with L’oreal.
We recently had a beautiful lunch with three important women in our network. The two of us have known these incredible supporters for many years. Lihla Janke (Prestige Sales Consultant) is our rock and has been the best sales consultant we could have ever asked for. Adriana Serrano (Education Development Coordinator) is our education guru! We have had many light bulb moments with her in color classes throughout the years. Robyn Gauer (Division Brand Manager) is our business contact and WOW, she has been one of the biggest supporters. They have all watched us blossom from our assistant days at Grasshopper to our own entrepreneur venture with Steel + Lacquer.
The two of us are so thankful for all 3 of you and L’oreal Professionnel for believing in us and our vision. We really believe S+L has a large cheerleading squad and we are so ecstatic to add another element to our team. Cheers to many years of beautiful hair, education, guidance, and FUN!
All of the following pictures are so fun to look at. We have been visiting our baby daily to see all the different changes a 8 hour work day can hold. Sometimes we walk in and say to ourselves what's different... there is something! Its like the game photo hunt!
Today marks the end of our 3rd week of construction. So much has changed already! This has been such a magical period for us to see our long hours of design discussion actually come to life.
We recently had some awesome S+L decals put in the windows and painted a latex over them to create some mystery behind the glass. We can not wait to reveal the finish to the Mid-Market neighborhood. The NEMA community has been so lovely creating a very warm excited buzz around their future beauty sanctuary!
This is day two, we thought we would lend some of our aggression! This was actually so much fun!!!
I have been on the edge of my seat excited to blog about this day! I can officially say there is demolition happening in our space today!
Lena and I have been working hard not only behind the chair but also doing everything we possibly could to make this day happen. We’ve had a few hiccups in the past weeks but we powered through it and feel very excited. We pulled our permits February 10th and have been getting everything aligned for our general contractor to have the green light to start.
The opening day of Steel + lacquer will be here before we know it. We are shooting for the end of April and have our fingers and toes crossed that everything goes smoothly in the next few months. Stay tuned because we'll be updating you all. Thanks again for all your continued love!
Almost a year ago to-date, January 18, marked our last day at Grasshopper Salon in South Park. We spent 7 lovely years there and were ready to begin the next chapter in our careers and our lives. We have so much love and respect for Jeneill Smith and Kelly Madigan (Grasshopper owners) who taught and mentored us throughout our time there. Leaving Grasshopper was bittersweet, with a mix of emotions for everyone, however we were thoroughly excited to be taking on our very own entrepreneurial adventure. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Grasshopper as an ally salon.
“Let’s open our own salon!” It was an idea Lena and I tossed around at dinner one night over drinks. Here we are a year later, months away from opening the doors of our first “baby,” Steel + Lacquer. Once we decided on the plan it was very important for us to leave Grasshopper gracefully. We decided to leave before planning any of our new venture; we didn’t even have a name yet. However, once we left, our one goal was to make this dream become a reality.
Lena and I both have a wonderful clientele that we have built and nurtured for years. We love our clients as they love and support us and it was very important not to have our clients displaced during this transition. I began to put out my feelers in order to find a place to serve our clients while we began to plan the business. Jennie Altman Siewert is a good friend of my cousin, Jacob Inocencio, who had just opened her very first salon in North Beach, Ladies & Gents. After chatting with Jennie, we were thrilled for her to take Lena and I on as renters during the interim. Things were falling into place.
Ladies & Gents has been our home for over a year now and it is the cutest most happening salon in North Beach. It is positioned right across from Washington Square Park with the best view of the park and Saint Peter and Paul’s Church. Jennie has been open since November 2013 and has been a true inspiration as we developed our own vision for our salon. She has a very sweet heart and driven passion for the industry. Lena and I admire many qualities about her and her business. Once we leave North Beach we will always have a special place in our hearts for Ladies & Gents. We are so very thankful for Jennie and her staff for making us feel welcome and supporting us through this journey. We will miss all of you!
If you ever find yourself unable to make it down to Mid-Market from North Beach, we highly recommend the talent at Ladies & Gents!
Jennie we love you! <3
Lena and I spent yesterday at the space working with our interior designer on some final touches. Feeling like it was a very successful meeting, I headed up 10th Street toward Market with a pep in my step. As I turned the corner, I gasped at this view; Bliss:
I snapped a picture and I am still in awe. It’s moments like this that seem to stop time and are exhilarant reminders of what exactly is about to take place. With the New Year, new beginnings are all around us! Not only do we have this wonderful new beginning in our own lives, but are also so excited to be a part of what is quickly becoming a very desirable neighborhood. With all the new businesses going into Mid-Market, it almost feels as if we are a new Kindergarten class and I can’t wait to see how we help to make this neighborhood flourish! As we continue to put the finishing touches on our space I am ecstatic that our first day of Kindergarten will soon be approaching. I can’t wait to have many golden hours with you all at the home of Steel + Lacquer!
Wow! It’s already 2015! This past December was a doozy. For those of you that do not know, the holiday season is the busiest time of year in the salon industry. However, because this was the case behind the chair -salon planning with our vendors slowed down a whole lot during that month. But, now we are back in action!
Jarrod and I can proudly say our architectural drawings for the space have been approved by NEMA and are ready to submit to the city. We are hoping that this will all be over the counter-meaning it’s the most ideal process for submitting our type of plans. The less time it takes for the city to approve our plans, the quicker we will get to break ground!
We have been staring at this empty space for months now and we are so very eager to kickstart the physical changes. Since the beginning, we were told by various business owners that the initial process always takes longer than expected. They were right! Although it has been months, Jarrod and I try to remind each other to enjoy this part of the journey. We have learned so much thus far and know that the curve isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Thank you to Michael Zucker & Associates for being patient with us. The two of you were vital elements in transferring our vision into permit-ready plans. Who would have thought we would spend so many hours talking about the same wall or the same shampoo room or the same changing room over and over! Jarrod and I will be in hopes that our next blog will be congratulatory, celebrating the quickness of the permitting process. Fingers crossed!
Throughout this journey we have utilized our network to make this dream into a reality. Our venture has been based upon the passion and vision we share. We are so grateful for the incredible amount of support surrounding us.
Lets go back to mid February. I was highlighting my client, Marilee Rhodes (a fabulous woman), and we were talking about the beginning progress of Steel + Lacquer. She was curious if we had a real estate agent yet, which we did not. We had a few leads, but no agent set in stone. Marilee had a contact in the industry and offered to reach out for referrals. Then boom, in my chair, an email was sent which became a pivotal moment for Steel + Lacquer. The following day while driving to teach a class in Sacramento for label.m, I received a phone call from Judi Basolo. I soon learned that Judi was a well respected real estate broker for Paragon Commercial Brokerage. We exchanged information about the dream salon and booked an appointment to meet in person.
Lena and I met with Judi that following week and discussed our desires for the location of Steel + Lacquer. Towards the end of the meeting, with a big smile on her face, she handed over a folder to each of us. We opened it and there laid a brochure with NEMA written across the front. Funny enough, we had already played with the idea of our salon being in the NEMA building. Lena and I spent a few afternoons walking up and down the streets of Mid-Market visualizing our salon in the neighborhood. Judi reached out to her friend Erika Elliot (with Cornish and Carey Commercial) who was the listing agent associated with NEMA. The retail space at NEMA wasn’t even publicly listed, but due to Judi’s relationship with Erika we were given the opportunity to take a look at the 2000 square foot space located on the ground floor. From that point on, we were very interested in making that the home of Steel + Lacquer. We began our mission in making sure that was the right decision for our business. There were 3 things heavily persuading us for the success of the business and that was location, location, and location!
Mid-market is a huge destination for people to live, work, and soon, get their hair done! Twitter moved to 10th and Market in 2012 and was a massive game changer for the neighborhood. Since Twitter has moved, Uber, Square, One Kings Lane, and Dolby have also taken space in the same block. Not to mention the soon to be open Market on Market, which will also be a huge asset to creating more foot traffic in the area. Most of all NEMA has 754 units (potential clients) sitting right above of what we were hoping to be the location for Steel + Lacquer. In a four block radius, there will eventually be 4,500 residential units that will house even more potential clients in need of a fabulous salon for any of their hair desires. We spent 6 months making sure (lots of paper work) that NEMA was the right decision for Steel + Lacquer. On August 26th, 2014, Lena and I signed our lease for 14 10th street. We couldn’t have been more ecstatic to find a home for Steel + Lacquer.
We have so much to be thankful for, especially the team of people that helped us get this far. Judi Basolo is a shining star and truly showed us what it was like to have such an amazing, diligent, and genuine agent. She found our dream salon a home. Not just any home, but a home in the most luxurious building in Mid-Market! The experience was only challenging because of the current market, but Judi was that quenching glass of water after running a marathon. She did everything in her power to make it happen. Keeping us informed and feeling secure were not foreign acts for Judi Basolo. Thank you Paragon! Alongside Judi, our team of advisors have been so inspiring. Witnessing their work ethic and feeling their passion has helped guide Lena and I into an incredible direction.
The location was a huge part of our brand for Steel + Lacquer and we are so excited to begin our sexy relationship with Mid-Market and the NEMA community. After flirting with NEMA for many months, we can now say we are in a full blown committed relationship.
I want to give a special thanks to our contact at NEMA, Roman Speron! He is the Regional Manager at Crescent Heights. Thank you for believing in Lena and I, and for allowing this dream of owning a salon in Mid-Market come true!
Mid-Market (or Central Market) is a neighborhood and development area in San Francisco, California. The Mid-Market redevelopment area is centered around Market Street starting at Fifth Street, ending at Ninth Street, and including a number of buildings down to Mission Street. It effectively creates a sub-‐‑neighborhood of the Tenderloin, SOMA, and Civic Center neighborhoods for the purpose of redeveloping the area. The largest and most noteworthy of businesses to date has been Twitter, which moved into the old SF Furniture Mart building at Ninth and Market streets in 2012.
In spite of the massive growth in residential and corporate complexes and substantial employment within Mid-Market, a gap currently exists in the service area. NEMA is strategically located on 10th and Market, in a very up and coming neighborhood. Steel + Lacquer will add to the growth in this neighborhood. NEMA'ʹs philosophy is; live beautifully, why not add beautiful hair to that equation.
Steel + Lacquer is located in NEMA, located at 10th and Market - a 754-unit residential apartment complex in the Mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco, California. The retail space is 2000 sq. ft. This site is a very high profile area with easy access and valet parking. The complex consists of a 19-story, 220-foot tower at Jessie and 10th Streets and a 35- story, 352-foot tower at Market and Tenth Streets, connected by a nine story podium along Tenth Street.
We're very excited to reveal the identity for Steel + Lacquer with this new blog. Please follow along as we post the progress of opening our salon. We can't wait to share this dream with you. Thank you for your attention and support.
Lena + Jarrod