This past Thursday I got my hair done by Junior Stylist Hanna Fiola and Junior Colorist Gina Marie of April Barton’s famous Suite 303 salon at their new location on 7 Bond Street in Noho. Suite 303 is more than just a salon, it’s a family and the salon itself is an experience.
SCBD: How long have you been cutting hair? How did you get into it?
HF: I’ve been cutting hair for 7 years and I got into it when I was dating a guy whose mom was a hairstylist. I found it to be my art and a cool way to release my creativity.
SCBD: How long have you been with Suite 303?
HF: I’ve been with Suite 303 for 7 months since January.
SCBD: How did you land your job at Suite 303?
HF: I’m from Pennsylvania and I was working at a salon there but I wasn’t happy so I decided to move to Highlands, NJ with a family I knew who took me in. I worked in Hoboken as a hostess for a bit to get by but eventually was laid off. During that time I got laid off I was looking for jobs all over and looked up the number one salon in NYC which lead me to Suite 303. I contacted April and had an interview and the rest is history. I feel so lucky to work at such a reputable salon.
SCBD: What do you like best about the new space?
HF: Everything! It’s so open compared to our old space that was on the 3rd floor of the Chelsea Hotel. I love the blue floors and the brick wall on one side. It has a real speakeasy feel to it because its tucked behind Selima Optique and you only know it’s there if you know about the salon. It has a homey feel to it with a downtown NYC vibe.
SCBD: What’s a quote you live by?
HF: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” – Thoreau
Next, I interviewed Gina Marie who is Suite 303‘s Junior Colorist. She is truly a color expert and is extremely passionate about her job which shows in her work.
SCBD: How long have you been a colorist and when did you know you wanted to work in the hair industry?
SCBD: How did you know you wanted to work with color specifically and why?
GM: It was when I worked at my first salon in NYC at Louis Licari, that I was asked to specialize in Styling or Color. I’ve always been a big art enthusiast with painting and loved doing makeup inspired by the Runway, so naturally I chose Color. I worked there for a little over 3 years and got the Best education with Color that most people couldn’t get in a lifetime. Louis, known as the “King of Color” was and is truly a walking inspiration to me.
SCBD: Tell me a bit about your journey to Suite 303.
GM:I worked in a few salons in Midtown, NYC and got the Best education working with Top Colorists: Louis Licari, Kathy Galotti, and Joseph Caron. But, I still felt like I needed to explore. It was when I met April at Suite 303 in the Chelsea Hotel, that I naturally felt a sense of relief, because it was everything I have been looking for. Without question, I already felt at home.
SCBD: What do you like about working at Suite 303?
GM: I love that I can freely express my creativity and am accepted as an artist here not just another number. I feel very close to the 303 team and we all look out for one another like Sisters. I was drawn to April because she has such an appreciation for art, music, individuality and has such a good energy about her. When she works, Edward Scissorhands comes alive.
I attend photo shoots with April quite often, so it’s nice to change up the atmosphere, and collaborate with other artists like photographers and wardrobe stylists that also have creative visions. April and I have established a great partnership with sharing her clients together. We communicate our ideas together to achieve the perfect look all around for her clients. She does the Cut/Style and passes them onto me for the Color. The final result is the perfect expression of our envisions combined. The Chelsea Hotel (the salon’s original location) was a starting place for April and her work. Bond Street (the salon’s current location that officially opened last week) is the beginning for me to work independently as a Colorist.
SCBD: What do you love about the new location?
GM: The new location in Noho screams High Fashion to me and has a fresh updated feel to it. However, Suite 303 still has its charm with great energy that our old location at The Chelsea Hotel had. Our move has opened more opportunities to expand, and since we are on ground level, our artistic works will be more exposed to the public. I also love the collaboration of sharing the space with Selima Optique. She is a French woman that specializes in vintage custom eyewear. Together we all fit together as one great team.
SCBD: What’s a quote you live by?
GM: It’s hard to pick one so I’d have to say, “Be Yourself”. That’s one thing I would have to say I’ve learned the most working with April. And I haven’t been happier since.
I will add that after given this opportunity to freely express my artistic side through hair, all I do is “Eat, sleep, and drink hair”, an expression my friend used to always say.
Getting my hair cut, styled and colored at was one of the best experiences I’ve had getting my hair done in a long time. I also find both Hanna and Gina’s passion for their work at such a young age (they are both in their mid-twenties like me) so inspiring and you can definitely tell they love what they do. To make an appointment and read more about the salon itself go to Suite 303‘s website, here.
Cheers! Here’s to a new look for a new season!