I slide the glass door open to a dainty and hip salon space. I’m invited in and greeted by Tina, who has fiery yellow-orange hair and a friendly grin. I hang my coat on the colorfully knobbed coat rack mounted against the wall, and place my bag down below on the vintage chair she had custom upholstered. A Few unique art pieces are hung on the corner opposite this space, each bit helping to tie together the vibe of her studio. I’m ushered to the giant barber chair in the center, situated in front of a two large mirror panels and a work space decorated by a glory of vegan and cruelty-free hair care products. I sit down in the comfy and plush seat, and she begins working her magic.
Tina has been a licensed hair stylist for 13 years, however her journey began much younger as a junior high student experimenting with her own hair. The idea of Va Va Vroom came to her 4 years ago, inspired by her vegan lifestyle and the lack of awareness around cruelty-free and eco-friendly hair care products. She shares with me a few valuable insights on how she made her passion for her lifestyle change work with her profession.
What made you start Va Va Vroom?
Tina: I really wanted to start a business that reflected my ethics, so I did a lot of research to find products that are not only vegan-friendly, but are eco-friendly as well. What goes down my drain is of equal importance to me. The majority of cleaning / beauty products have harsh detergents, plastics, and petroleum in them! Now that I’ve become kind of a pro at label reading, it’s scary knowing what’s really out there.
What does it mean for a salon to be vegan and cruelty-free?
T: Most people, Vegan or otherwise have a decent understanding of what Vegan and cruelty- free means, but don’t necessarily apply that to products used outside of the food realm. I explain that many commercial beauty products, and their parent companies test their products on animals, and or have animal byproducts in their ingredients. Most people are shocked when I tell them there are shampoos that exist with ingredients such as urea, and placenta! Although not very common, its still really gross, and completely unnecessary.
What is your favorite part of owning a salon and being a hair stylist?
T: Apart from setting my own hours (which is super awesome!) I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, working with my hands, and being creative. It’s just that much more exciting now that I’m using products I can fully get behind, and I finally feel 100% genuine in my own space.
What is your must have hair product of the moment?
T: I’m head over heels right now over Reverie’s “Milk” it’s a botanical blend of essential oils such as: sandlewood, vetiver, jasmine, and bourbon vanilla. It smells absolutely delicious. It’s texture is light, and creamy. It’s like a leave-in and anti-frizz serum in one! Fabulous for all hair types, can be used a multitude of ways. All Reverie products are free of harmful sulfates, gluten, artificial fragrance, petrochemicals, and of course Vegan friendly. All their product ingredients are sustainably sourced, and biodegradable!
Tell us about your hip mobile salon. What is the story behind it?
T: I’ve always loved Airstreams! I mean, who doesn’t? The idea came when I was driving on the road and one passed, and I wondered if it was possible to turn one into a salon. It’s been over 3 years labor of love. Lots of ups and downs. I’m so excited that we’re FINALLY ready to get this baby out there, and rollin’!
What services do you provide on the Airstream?
T: The Airstream is designed to be an onsite service/ perk for business, or for special occasions and events. If you would like to have VaVaVroom salon come to your place of work, or an event visit the “trailer” portion of our website at vavavroomsalon.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have our studio in down town Redwood City! Making appointments is easy, and can be done directly from the website.
The Airstream is focused on haircuts and styling only.
The Redwood City Studio is designed for cut and color.
Animals are not ours. If we felt what the tortured and slaughtered farm animals felt, every time we went to indulge in hamburgers, wings, and even ice cream, we would rethink our daily choices. Then there is the entire side of fashion, where animals are bred solely for their skin and fur. They suffer just so we can carry around our leather hand bags and wear our fur coats. All purely for vanity. Maybe compassion and empathy are learned rather than in our nature, but even then I say a large part of what makes us human is our ability to have complex emotions. We have the capacity to decide if something is “right” based on these emotions. Being conscious of your daily choices for the animals is understanding that their lives are valuable, too. The awareness and recognition of consent is crucial, because how we feel about it towards humans is correlated with how we might treat animals, and vice versa. No one wants to live a life with limitations, confinement, and fear.
Check out ‘The Meaning and Importance of Consent – for People and Animals‘, it’s an informative and enlightening article written by Dr. Hope Ferdowsian.
Photography: Vincent Tang
This ‘Not Yours‘ sweater represents and supports our ability to see animals as individuals, and that animals are never ours to control and exploit for any purpose or reason that does not involve our respect or consent for them. To get your own, check out Nois New York for their stylish, ethical line. Use ‘acupofjoan’ at check out for 20% off your entire purchase. Valid until last day of March 11:59PM EST. So sorry that this is coming out with only a few days left of this month, but good news is, you still have your chance to snag your favorite item with a discount! You’ll love the chic items on their site.*
Photography is an art form that has been long integrated across many cultures. I am drawn in by captured images that surge a uniquely empowering feeling whether it is sparked by abstract, candid, nature, or street photography. Lately, I’ve been mesmerized by photographers who take shots from our natural world to either send a message or reveal a truth that allows the audience to interpret for ourselves. These people are commonly known as photojournalists. I like people who tell it like it is but in their individual style, and here are 5 of my favorites who do just that.
I had to dig up this quote because to be honest, I really needed to make myself feel better about my conversational preferences. Lately, I’ve been in the dark because I want to talk about all of these ideas in my head, but the closest I’ve attained is a quick conversation about how our days went or small talk at Trader Joe’s with my cashier. Ever since I was a small human being, I was always the one to talk about these dreams or ideals or concepts formed from my very own head. When I was about seven years old I remember two distinct times bringing up very irrelevant topics to two different friends at the Korean American church I attended during my childhood: “Do you ever wonder about the other galaxies out there in the universe and if there is a planet that is just like ours?” (I must have been learning about space in school and I wasn’t even properly introduced to ‘Star Wars’ yet) and a question like, “Do you ever wonder if you are living in a dream or something else, and you are not even real and your life doesn’t really exist?” However, I quickly learned that questions like this were not socially acceptable to be expressed out loud. I was teased a lot and bullied up until middle school at church and at the Korean language school I attended weekly, more so than regular school. But I’m not going to get into this now. I mention this because I realize now that my unique mindset wasn’t making me any friends. I begged my parents not to take me there anymore; I knew what was right for me. Or did I? Oh dang, that’s getting me emotional and this isn’t even the point I’m trying to make. Here I am going off on a tangent. This is very typical of me actually, and a perfect example of when you talk about ideas, going off on tangents are a common trend and they are bound to happen.
I was always the weirdo who wanted to talk about things that only existed in my mind over concrete facts that existed based on what people claimed. But the irony of this matter is that everything out there in the world that is now accepted as a universal thing is because some weirdo was brave enough to express his or her individual ideas. Whether it is through conversation, photography, or in literature, as a great writer once said…
I am starting a series called ‘Film Fashion Style Alternative’ (soon to be abbreviated) where I will come up with cruelty-free/ ethical outfits inspired by costumes pulled from outfits worn by a specific character in movies. The character’s ensemble is one major point in making or breaking the character so deciding on the right pieces is essential. A lot of Hollywood costume designers/ stylists like to create outfits for characters from clothes made by high-end fashion designers; and sadly, the majority of couture designers would not think twice about giving up animal fibers for their vision and art form.
For the first one of this series, I am taking on the film, ‘The Revenant’. If this is still on your to-watch list, it’s a definite must-see for you thrill seekers and avid movie-goers. Every part of the movie was so beautifully sewn together and it was quite the experience. Reveling in this gorgeous film as a whole is a warranted affection, but I’m here to talk specifically Hugh’s signature look. Majority of the film, Leonardo DiCaprio who plays Hugh Grant, has bear fur draped around himself as his coat to protect him through the harsh and resilient winter. As my blog is absolutely not a space that condones wearing fur of any kind, I wanted to recreate Hugh’s outfit 100% cruelty-free. Although this is not a look many of us pull inspiration from, I’ve found some pretty stylish furry bear fur-free jackets that I want to share. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty stoked on the idea of looking like a bear and the fantasy of being Leo’s fierce imaginary counterpart in the Revenant.
Visit PreetiRang Sanctuary if you are ever wandering Northern California.
Located in Dixon, CA.
I am very particular about the patterns I wear because I get bored easily but this one caught my eye. I purchased this shirt during Reformation’s recent sale and my closet welcomes it with open arms. It’s not too flashy, it’s office appropriate, and you can tone it down by pairing it with neutral colors. However, if that’s not your thing, you can definitely dress it up to be a little more bold like I have here. I was inspired to pair it with the only pastel colored piece in my closet – this beautiful wool-free pastel blue coat. When picking out patterns I suggest you look for ones that can be versatile so you have it as a piece to be accessible for multiple occasions.
A warm coat is a necessity in your winter wardrobe, especially for those of you living in freezing climates. I wore this coat in one of my previous outfit posts and here it is again as it is one of my closet favorites. Wool-free coats are not as difficult to come by as you may think, however that is not to say it won’t be a challenge. Wool is one of the most popularly used animal fibers for making winter wear. Those sweet loving sheep have their own wool coat ripped carelessly from their skin, simply in order to feed the high demand of wool in fashion. With all the wool that has become accessible, you can only imagine HOW MANY animals are sacrificed for the sole purpose of keeping us warm. We automatically associate animal fibers with warm outerwear as this has always been a common theme. This is based on an archaic and unrelenting mindset because there are definitely options of animal-free winter wear. Tag-checking is just one small step, it doesn’t exert mounds of energy, and you are not limiting yourself in any way by excluding animal fibers. There is no such thing as limitations for creativity when you’re saving an animal’s life. Taking something from someone or forcing someone to do something without their nodding approval for our own personal profit or pleasure is called exploitation. While we sympathize the pain felt by other humans and our dogs, there is no difference in these other animal’s lives.
I blabbered on a bit and I haven’t even had the chance to mention the item that ties my whole outfit together. You can’t blame me, there is definitely a lot going on in this outfit. The cutest little purse around my hips is by Hipsters For Sisters. They have created the coolest and chicest products along with their amazing message to empower women. Their bags are made in Los Angeles and all the material they source to create their pieces are earth-friendly. You can get to know them a little bit better by clicking here.
*All vegan. All cruelty-free.