Once the crisp white doors of the salon open, the welcoming crowd boasts an upbeat hello as eccentric indie pop vibrates off the uplifting walls. This creative collective is the engine behind the salon’s success and the sole reason that Ricky Hodge welcomes creative minds into his salon to work, to play, and, most of all, to create. He is far from Austin’s best kept secret with coverage to be found in the Austin Chronicle & G Style. From opening the Ricky Hodge Salon to establishing the coveted “perfect blonde” technique, it is no wonder that he is recognized for his leading expertise.
Being a leader in the industry, Hodge doesn’t see his success as being “lonely at the top.” Upon opening the Ricky Hodge Salon, Hodge has welcomed peers into the space to share their creative craft and skill. Stylist Christina Svec is one of those peers who works along side Hodge.
“By creating this “perfect” blonde, we are doing more than the typical highlight,” Svec says. “We are using more colors (usually three to four) in order to really create a multi-dimensional hair color. Customers love this because it gives blondes, redheads, brunettes, or whoever, a natural blonde look. This process allows for a more natural grow out with options that extend the coloring at a fraction of the cost. It is truly a win-win situation.”
Chonie Bradley of ElectricFrenchie.com is one of those blondes on the Austin scene. In true Austin fashion, business was done over the salon chair, as Bradley and Hodge shared their passion for their businesses and desire to collaborate. With its fresh, blank walls, the Ricky Hodge Salon became the ideal canvas for a collaborative photo shoot with Austin’s own online start-up boutique, Electric Frenchie.
The boutique carries itself along the lines of the bold, the brave and the stylish. Pieces carried by this online boutique stretch from pops of fuchsia, hints of boho chic, to punches of leather. From polished everyday looks to sophisticated nights onFourth Street, Electric Frenchie specializes in the unique independence of Austin, no matter the occasion.
When asked about her style Bradley says, “ [I] think Los Angeles with a needed twist of Austin. I get a lot of inventory ideas by watching stylish girls around town. The musical influence has created a festival-ready look that we rock year round here. I love to express myself through fashion; being a co-founder of Austin Fusion Magazine and owner of an online store allows me to do that. It’s like having a really big closet. Each piece is something that I can see myself or a close girlfriend wearing.”
Hodge and Bradley were in their element during the Electric Frenchie-Ricky Hodge Salon shoot. Their passion for fashion and editorial photography was evident as they traded ideas on concept and product placement. Even though Bradley and Hodge own their own businesses, neither missed an opportunity to include the opinions of their audience, a team of photographer, make-up artist, models, intern and assistant. Once the pieces were all in place, spontaneity and intuition took over.
With ElectricFrenchie.com’s own upbeat, unapologetic sense of fashion and Hodge’s infamous stylistic approach, it is no secret why this shoot was a success. By the end of the day, the sounds of a busy salon simmered down to a quiet murmur as “You Don’t Have to be Rich” by Prince blasted through the final shot. Even after the 250th frame, the team still burst into song and impulsively whipped out a dance move. With a swish of Bradley’s tutu skirt and a twist of Hodge’s tattooed arm, the last frame was a wrap.
Written by Amaris Chang
Images by Lindsey Lee