The story of Suki Takagi and her journey in changing the future of Canadian hairdressing is a bold and inspiring one. In 1972, Suki moved to Vancouver and purchased a small salon in the South Granville area.
From the beginning, Suki’s Salon had a focus on strong, technical cutting – and incredible colour work done by colour specialists. The salon was quite literally built one client at a time, through recommendations from clients or people stopping clients on the street to ask them where they had gone to get their hair cut. By focusing on the cut and creating exciting, easy to maintain hair styles Suki’s quickly became “the must see” salon.
Fast forward to 2013. 40 Years later, the Suki’s vision has grown from 5 chairs to four salons, an academy and a spa. In fact, they recently celebrated their 40 Year Anniversary with a huge event at the Vancouver Art Gallery to celebrate their history.
I recently went to the Suki’s flagship location on South Granville for a hair cut and colour. I started with Amber, a colourist new to Suki’s, who patiently listened and translated my description of what I envisioned my hair colour to look like. Props to her that she was able to understand what I was talking about as I used a series of descriptive (yet slightly non-sensical) phases to describe my vision: “highlights” but “a bit more noticeable please”… “NO STRAW HAIR!” In the end she challenged me to go with red highlights and I gladly accepted her suggestion with relief that someone with expertise would be able to guide me to a decision.
An hour and a half later, during which I was kept entertained by tea, magazines and conversation with Amber, I was ready to be shuffled off to the second half of my appointment with Krystal. Energetic, enthusiastic and easy to chat with, Krystal is a stylist who knows how to make anyone comfortable in her chair.
Although Krystal was very much in the know about hair trends (especially what was happening in the celebrity world), the key takeaway was to choose a style I would be comfortable with wearing every day. For example, the perpetual debate of bangs or no bangs? After much consideration and weighing in on the pro’s and con’s (style vs. convenience, something different vs. the familiar, etc.), I promised Krystal I would try bangs in the future, but not that day 🙂
What was very noticeable to me while chatting with both Amber and Krystal is their loyalty and appreciation to Suki’s. This is because Suki’s invests in their staff and focuses on building a team which works towards a common vision: to commit to quality and innovation while helping women become the most beautiful and confident people they can possibly be.
The vast majority of all Suki’s Stylists and Colour Specialists start with the company as Apprentices, complete the Suki’s Academy, and then pass a demanding final exam before being allowed to work in the salons. Simply put, Suki’s is confident that their Stylists and Technicians are better, because they are better trained.
Because of Modern Mix Vancouver’s long-standing relationship with the team at Suki’s, we will be hosting our 5-Year Anniversary and Reader Appreciation Party at the spacious and stylish Suki’s flagship location on South Granville. They will be demonstrating the talent of their team at the event and hosting beauty stations through both Suki’s Salon and the Spa at Suki’s. For more details on the event, click here or check out the event invitation below.