We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Andrews and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heather, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I never really saw myself owning a business. My parents own Jewish Deli’s in Las Vegas, and witnessing their sacrifice and hard work was cause for hesitation. However, when I was 25, I had been living in LA for 6 years and had gotten into 3 car accidents in one year. None of them were my fault, I just kept getting hit by cars! It felt like the city was kicking me out.

I had been visiting Ojai since I was 10 and always really loved it. It actually reminds me of the island my dad is from, Cyprus. I can still remember the very first time we drove on the 33 to get to Ojai. It’s a special place, and only special people really understand and appreciate it.

Being afraid of getting hit by yet another vehicle, I started investigating local salons to work at, and while there were many sweet options, there was nothing that was offering the type of service and experience I had gotten used to providing. I saw an opportunity to bring an accessible, yet luxury salon to town. I started telling people that I was thinking of opening a business and I was overwhelmed with the support I was receiving. I knew I had to do it. There hasn’t been one easy day since I made that decision, but I’ve learned so much- and to my surprise, I’ve become pretty tenacious!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I color a clients hair, it’s a very caring experience. Every foil and highlight is purposefully placed with intention for a seamless grow out. I rinse sections as they’re ready for consistent lifting, and so nothing ever gets over processed. I love using natural products and creating organic, beautiful looks. My favorite part is always blowdrying my client at the end of the appointment, and seeing their face light up when they look in the mirror. It’s truly the best, most fulfilling feeling.

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?
If my best friend was coming to visit Ojai we would start with a trip to Barts Books, then probably take a hike through the river bottom and read our new books by the water. For lunch we would probably stop at Topa Topa or Hip Vegan and then a walk through Libby Park and over to Tipple and Ramble for some wine and hammock time. For dinner we would go to Izakaya Full Moon and then get a cup of gelato in the Arcade!

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?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my mother and my cousin- who is also like a mother to me. Two strong women, two great story tellers, two survivors of some crazy s**t who, in different ways-push and inspire me.

Website: www.salonriseojai.com

Instagram: @rise.ojai @heatherja

Image Credits
Amy Bartlam Olivia Klein

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