We had the good fortune of connecting with Gregga Prothero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gregga, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was to open a space where I can create my own vision of what a salon I would want to work at. With so many different personalities and types of salon settings I was able work with particular types of hairstylists who we worked so well together. It was professional, but supportive, we craved more education, wanting to keep evolving in our careers, and constantly learned from one another. Also the main thing was we all wanted to avoid salon catty drama and not be involved. We naturally all gravitated to each other who didn’t want to be part of that, but unfortunately that was the certain salon environment we were in. I was seeing a lot of the good stylists starting to feel bogged down in those type of negative and toxic environments. Then the pandemic happened and I really saw a shift on how people really wanted to be treated. Most of us got to really take a look at the type of work environment we wanted to put ourselves in. So the thought of creating a space for those hairstylists who want to have a safe inclusive, diverse space to create and do hair.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart is the aesthetic and design of my salon. It has a warm and welcoming feel to it which matches how I am as a person. Also my work is a hybrid of edgy and modern. In my Salon our diverse clientele can feel safe and know they can be as creative as they want in our space.
How I got to where I am professionally, started with me growing up in a traditional Filipino household, there is always pressure to go into the medical field, and when I decided to attend cosmetology school, the drama ensued. I was determined, though, and attended cosmetology school at night while working five days a week as an office secretary on top of being a receptionist at Toni & Guy Salon on the weekends. Once cosmetology school was done, though, I felt relieved, determined, excited and ready to cut and color. This definitely was not easy but flash forward 15 years later, I’m still at it!
Now a new challenge is being a small business during a pandemic! With the salon being opened now for over a year, the road has been definitely not been a straight line. Challenges of making sure to keep us, stylists as well our clients safe in the salon space. With taking all the right precautions like requiring masks and following LA county’s proof of vaccinations laws we were able to prevent any sort of outbreak. Fortunately all our clients were on the same page and everyone still continues doing their part in being considerate of each other. Although no one would ever want to deal with a pandemic, I’ve been able to see the good in those around me who want to support small businesses like mine.
Some lessons I learned along the way is always be up for evolving as a person and in business. We’ve seen how things can change suddenly and we always should be open and try to be flexible in any given situation. Never stop striving to be innovative, but make sure you also do it with integrity. Being complacent and mundane never lead to growing success.
What I want the world to know about my brand and story is even when the odds seem high, you have to keep reminding yourself what your ‘why’ is. Also don’t let outside voices keep you small, go for it and try, but always do it with integrity. I’m just trying to make a little difference in the world by bringing happiness to people in some way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh LA is foodie heaven as well as fun things to do! Some of my fav spots are: -Alamo Draft House: not yo basic movie theater. This place has an indie vibe yet comfy seats along with a pretty good food & drinks menu which they bring to your seat. Also they occasionally have themed movie events there, where the audience dresses up and sometimes you can even get a Q&A with the director or actors in the movie.
-Cinespia: A beautiful celebrity graveyard, where you can see live music or movies and have a picnic on the lawn.
-The Huntington Library: beautiful outdoor gardens. Great place to get some fresh air and walk around.
– BESTIA: Most restaurants get busy during the first few months being opened because of hype but this place is always busy and the food never disappoints after going here for over 8 years.
-Kazu Nori : Handrolls that melt in your mouth. Its very casual here but the quality from the rice and fish is phenomenal!
-Lasita : Being filipino I really love how this restaurant really pulled off combining traditional dishes but with a modern twist on it. This is where I take my friends who are first timers trying filipino food. They also have a fabulous natural wine selection and the decor is top notch. (Shout out to Steff, who is part owner and a client of mine).
-DUNE, this Mediterranean spot that has one of this best pita and hummus. All their ingredients are so fresh and pretty affordable for the quality that you get.
-Guisados in Echo Park. LA has so many amazing Mexican food(Besides Mexico, of course) and I love their hand made tortillas there. Plus their horchata is my favorite( they also make the horchata blue if there’s a Dodgers game, def very true LA)
-El Flaming Taco (Taco truck) open late night, so perfect after a night out. They have mulitas, which you need to try!
– Oo-Kook Korean BBQ: A trip to Ktown is also a must when visiting LA. The banchan(small side dishes) are tasty as well as the meat selection.
– 71Above, it’s definitely a place for a delicious fancy dinner but just go to the bar and get a drink, it’s really all about the VIEW! They have an entire 360 view of downtown. It’s located on the 71st floor inside the US Bank Tower. I recommend going during sunset.
-Jays Bar in Silverlake : It’s very unassuming when you drive by it, since it’s located inside a strip mall, but it’s one of those “iykyk” spots. The vibe is cool laidback, not stuffy but definitely way nicer than a dive bar. The drinks are so good and since the owners are Japanese they have some Japanese flavored inspired cocktails like one called “You Yuzu” made by an awesome Bartender, Constantine.
-Red Lion Tavern: old German beer pub in Silverlake. They have a decent selection of German beers on tap and their beer garden with their servers wearing Lederhosens is pretty entertaining.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When they say “it takes a village” that saying is so true to me! To start a big leap into a business or something major in life, having a truly loving, caring and supportive network is so important. Ultimately it’s up to us to move forward with those big decisions but we still need someone to lean on or have our backs. I’m really fortunate to have a good amount of loved ones who have been there for me every step of the way.
Some of those people are:
Jasmin, my best friend for 26 years! Yes, she was the one who encouraged me to go to cosmetology school when most of my family was upset I didn’t choose a path in the medical field, she was my early hair model to practice different techniques on and when opening my salon, was there to listen to me dealing with being a business owner during a pandemic.
Then there’s another major person in my life, my husband, Colin. He contributed in bringing my business vision come to life. With his design and architecture background, he helped me get through the hurdles of all the permits, construction buildout and rules that comes with opening a new business. As well as the interior design of the salon space, especially our custom made mirrors which he designed and built. I honestly don’t know if I would’ve made it this far without him always believing in me and being there every step of the way.
Lastly, my close friends and family, they have been my hype people by not only being the salon’s walking advertisement with their nice haircuts and color, they’re constantly recommending clients and help with promoting the salon.
Other: Google Business: https://g.page/r/