Marc MacIsaac, left, Monalisa Aguilar and Adam Peot of Posh Art & Hair Studio in Santa Barbara.
Marc MacIsaac, left, Monalisa Aguilar and Adam Peot have opened Posh Art & Hair Studio in Santa Barbara that features Peot’s nature-inspired art for sale and a hair salon with two chairs for an intimate setting. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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About eight months ago, hair colorist Monalisa Aguilar and artist Adam Peot met in a CorePower Yoga class.

On Thursday, they opened a business — Posh Art & Hair Studio in Santa Barbara.

The duo, along with Aguilar’s partner, Mark MacIsaac, have created a unique space that displays Peot’s nature-inspired art for sale as well as a hair salon with two chairs. 

Aguilar was trained in Beverly Hills as a colorist and owned two hair salons in Santa Barbara in the 1980s and 1990s. She also owned salons in Vail, Colorado. 

“When people come here, I want them to have a feeling of absolute comfort and know that they are in really good hands,” Aguilar told Noozhawk. “The concept here is to be more of a simple, quiet salon. There are only two chairs, and there will only be two chairs. It’s a very intimate setting.”

She specializes in color as well as men’s haircuts and massage scalp treatments.

She and MacIsaac discovered the spot inside the historic El Centro Building, 19 E. Canon Perdido St. They parked in the city lot one day, saw the “For Lease” sign and jumped on it. He’s an electrician, so he wired the building and made it showroom ready. 

Peot’s art is on display throughout the space. It’s acryllic-based, mixed media, on textured canvas. He also sometimes uses spray paints or house paints, and he’ll find “strange things that stick and layer them.”

“What’s great about art and painting, especially the style that I do, is that you have to be somewhat present and you kind of have to let loose because I don’t know exactly what’s going to come out,” Peot said. “It’s a very spontaneous, imaginative process.

“The only way I can describe it is kind of trying to be a kid again.”

He is also artful with his words.

“I always say everyone has an artist in them, and it just takes a little experimentation and courage,” he said. 

Several dozen people attended the grand opening on Thursday evening to talk and to view the art and jewelry. Aguilar plans to showcase local jewelers at the spot as well. 

MacIsaac said after helping to create it that he “loves it.”

“It’s very fulfilling, I tell you,” MacIsaac said. “It’s gratifying.”

Aguilar comes from a family of artists. Her parents were adobe makers. She’s sixth-generation Chumash.

The studio’s hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Santa Barbara Hotel Bed Taxes Up

Transient occupancy taxes jumped dramatically in March compared with the same month a year prior in Santa Barbara. 

The city took in $1.26 million in hotel bed taxes, up 119% from last March. A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic closed hotels in Santa Barbara; hotels were up this year.

Going back to 2019, however, this year’s totals were 12% lower. 

“The local travel industry is beginning to see increases in demand for rooms relative to recent months that is likely to continue throughout the spring into the summer months as the state has lifted travel advisories and as access to vaccinations has become more available,” Jennifer Tomaszewski, finance and treasury manager, said in a news release. “However, TOT revenues have still not recovered to typical pre-pandemic levels, as there is still public concern with potential new strains of the virus, efficacy of the vaccines and the impacts to the economy.”

In addition, the city has collected $9.6 million through the first nine months of the city’s fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30.

The city’s adopted TOT budget is $17.2 million. TOT is projected to end the fiscal year at about $14.5 million, which is 16% below budget, according to a news release.

Nora’s Natural Coffee Arrives

Nora Tobin has launched Nora’s Natural Coffee.

The single origin coffee is grown in the Finca Isabella mountain range in Nicaragua and roasted locally in Montecito, according to a news release.

The coffee beans are grown in volcanic soil rich in silica, an essential mineral for collagen production.

The process is RainForest Alliance Certified and Smithsonian Bird Certified, with 3% of the profits donated to the Environmental Defense Fund, Tobin said. The coffee comes in both dark and light roast and is available in ground or whole bean. It is offered at various Santa Barbara stores, through a monthly subscription, incorporated into the Coffee & Conversation series, and scaled globally for client gifting, according to a news release.

The company also has partnered with Ernst & Young, Fidelity Investments and Amazon.

Tobin recently attended the DPA Pre-Oscars gifting event, where nominees were served the Nora’s Naturals Beauty Booster and Fat Burner coffee elixirs, as well as gifted the coffee to take home. Additionally, the coffee will be scaled across the Nora Tobin luxury retreats at properties such as The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Nora Tobin wellness voyages. 

Closing the Book

The once-popular Read N’ Post on Coast Village Road has closed its doors after more than 35 years in business.

Read N’ Post, at 1026 Coast Village Road, was one of the last destinations for magazines, newspapers and other readings.

It shared a space with the U.S. Postal Service, which will remain. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.