New businesses tend to generate fresh buzz, but as a local retail consumer, longevity and reliability of existing businesses count for a lot in my book.
With several social events to attend and a time crunch on my hands, I decided to go to Red Studio for a beauty blitz. At the Montecito salon, at 1270-1272 Coast Village Road, I’d be able to get multiple services (hair, manicure and pedicure, eyebrow shaping and tinting) without having to move my car.
An additional bonus was having lunch brought in, and a skinny margarita at Tony Arroyo’s neighboring Los Arroyos restaurant and take out — all within two hours.
Leora Gaspar and two former partners, all first-time entrepreneurs, opened Red Studio in 1990, specifically appealing to hip young moms and daughters and the men in their lives.
Today, Red Studio is for everyone. Those hip daughters — like mine — are now the young moms and young men are fathers and businessmen. Former partners and stylists Patricia Noel and Natasha Scott moved on after a few years, and Gaspar took over as sole owner.
With easy access to the boulevard, locals and tourists of all ages can make an appointment or drop by Tuesdays through Saturdays for service.
The menu includes haircuts, color services, blow dries, manicures, pedicures, makeup, facials, eyelash extensions, hair extensions and waxing. While receiving your service, the latest fashion and gossip mags are plentiful and the latest hair and beauty products — such as Kérastase, Moroccanoil, Bumble and Bumble and Terax — are for sale.
Bridal parties and bachelorette events are year-round. With Santa Barbara being one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world — just ask Jessica Simpson — Red Studio is filled with brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the brides and grooms.
In 2001, Gaspar took over the available space next to Red 1, which is located in the architecturally quaint, Mediterranean red-tile roof building. Only a breezeway separates the two spaces and the French doors are open all day for easy access to both areas, by clients and stylists.
The outdoor space is set up as an outdoor living room to relax in while waiting for your appointment, making a phone call or eating a snack or salon meetings.
The second space adjacent to Leggiadro, a national women’s clothing boutique, was conceptualized to provide a more serene, spa vibe for manicures, pedicures, eyebrow tinting, body waxing, facials and makeup application. A private room is used for hair extensions — one of Gaspar’s signature services.
The current team at Red Studio is a well-oiled machine with Gaspar and her hairdresser husband, Laslo Gaspar, at its helm. The feeling is neighborhood friendly but the quality of services is “uber urban.”
Serving a clientele that extends to Beverly Hills, Hollywood and many part-time residents from Chicago, Manhattan, Florida and Texas, the stylists are well trained and current in all the trendiest looks in hair cutting, coloring techniques, straightening and styling.
With the blow dryers buzzing and the nonstop conversation, it’s always a good time to just drop by for a visit. Even if you’re not coming for an appointment, you can steal a piece of chocolate strategically placed by the entrance.
Leanne Garity, who organizes everyone’s schedule, is an indispensable part of the team, and the first friendly face you see when you come in the door. She makes appointments, changes appointments and confirms appointments without ever loosing her cool.
While not the newest salon on the block, Red Studio is still hot and happening, and a favorite beauty destination in the 93108 and beyond.
Red Studio, 1270-1272 Coast Village Road, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Click here for more information, or call 805.969.6963.