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

Hi Yukari, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I knew that to be successful, I would need to follow a path that allowed me to work with my hands and be creative. I work best when I am challenged and am moving to stay engaged. I was drawn to hair from a very young age. When I was 10 years old I would use hot rollers, and wouldn’t leave the house until my hair was perfect to my standards. In high school when my friends and I would get ready for school dances, I was always “volunteered” to do everyone’s hair- sometimes without leaving time for myself. Beyond that, being drawn to art runs in my veins! My mom is a very talented artist, and she encouraged me to try new things. I was a very active child, but when she would bring me craft items like beads, I would sit for hours and focus on whatever creation I was making. School was never my forte, but I was able to master various instruments such as saxophone and drums; eventually I taught myself to play guitar. Hair felt like a good fit, because it is a very creative outlet, while allowing me to connect with people and make them feel good about themselves.

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.
Because my mom’s love of art and talents were instilled in me at a young age and my parents were so willing to foster my creativity, I had many opportunities to take the path that led me to where I am today. Being a hairstylist, not only provides me with great satisfaction, but it also allows me to fuel my other passions. When I am not in the salon, I am sourcing crystals for my hand crafted own jewelry. Every piece I create are my unique designs, and I have been able to customize pieces for loyal clients, including a few celebrities. While working in other salons, I was able to figure out what was going to work for me and what would not. Observation and experience allowed me to hone the balances I needed to ensure the quality of life I wanted, both professionally and personally. I’ve learned to remain true to myself and recognize my needs while still ensuring I am providing top quality service. Hair is still a service industry, which typically means the client comes first, and while that is true, I’ve learned it is key to maintain boundaries to avoid burnout or letting my work slide. It’s important to me to make sure my clients know that they are valuable, and I wouldn’t have the success I do today without them, but also that I am human too. For my clients to look and feel good, I need to feel good.

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?
We are fortunate that LA has no shortage of sites and places to visit. I don’t want to give you all of my secret spots, but assuming this is a post-pandemic visit I would make sure we check out the Arts District downtown, and get a chance to look at some local, independent artists. Most mornings you can find me making a pre-work stop at Silverlake Coffee, so that would be a must. The owner is so kind, we pretty much always chat when I stop by and the coffee is so good. Burgers Never Say Die is right next door too, and the food is definitely worth the wait. For a more upscale dinner experience, I love Bavel in Downtown. AOC is also one of my favorite spots, so that would be a must for dinner too. Antigua Bread does a great breakfast and coffee- the prices and portions are reasonable. You may have guessed by now that I am a foodie, so the trip will definitely center around where we are eating! Luckily there just happens to be something to see everywhere you go in the city!

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?
First, I have to recognize the genius and talent of Vidal Sassoon. His work absolutely inspired me and I was fortunate enough to attend the Vidal Sassoon Academy for my training. His method of working with the client’s natural texture was a good fit for me, as I aim for my clients to leave the salon with a style they can maintain between appointments. I want everyone who leaves my chair to feel just as beautiful every day as they do when they walk out my door. While still in school, I met my best friend, and now business partner Shadia Rezk. We clicked right away, and were lucky enough to work at the same salons throughout our career. After 15 years in the industry, continuing to learn and working for other talented stylists, Shadia and I chose to make the leap together to open our own salon. I truly could not have done this without her- she is the yin to my yang, and we complement each other in terms of style. For example, she handled the oversight of implementing our designs for the salon and I managed all the business aspects required for opening. Whether or not she knows it, she continues to push me to be the best I can be.

Instagram: @yukarirocks for hair and @yukaridesignstudio for jewelry

Image Credits
Luke Dickey Anne Oschatz

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.