Chilling on a Sunday.
I have followed this Ottawa hair artist since her days at Jet Black Hair & Studio. She has incredible talent, impeccable style and does the most amazing winged eyeliner.
Here is my interview with Savanna Chiodo, hair and makeup artist and co-owner of SUNDAY.
Hair + Makeup Artist + Salon Co-owner
SUNDAY | Ottawa, ON
So let’s start from the beginning – what drew you to the beauty industry?
I’ve always been into the fashion industry for as long as I can remember, but initially I was really drawn to makeup. When I was around twelve, I discovered the world of YouTube and beauty bloggers and became super intrigued by everything makeup, hair and fashion.
I’m from a small town so there weren’t any places where I could really work at a makeup counter. I always enjoyed doing hair, whether it was my own, family or friends – it was an interest that came naturally to me. So in grade eleven, I started working at a hair salon as an assistant. I also did a two year co-op program in high school there as well.
Then I decided to move to Ottawa and go to beauty school. I did the hair styling program at Algonquin College and the part-time makeup program at Versailles. I’ve been licensed and working in the industry for 8 years now.
Photography/Styling : @ageofindie
Dress : @ritualunions
Venue : @oagevents
Florals/Design : @maisonanthea
Makeup : @marianne_moore_makeup @onefinebeauty
Hair : savannafromsunday
Model : @alicevclee @mimmodels
Jewelry : @haileyjanejewellery
You have such a diverse portfolio. How do you navigate consultations with your clients, so that they understand expectation versus reality when it comes to achieving a certain look?
I learned from the start that it’s important not to promise anything you don’t think you can do.
If I don’t think something will work with a client’s hair – texture, type, density, colour – I will just straight up explain to them exactly what will happen if I do what they want and why.
I refer clients to other stylists if they are requesting a service that I don’t specialize in or am not 100% comfortable with doing. My clients respect the fact that I am honest about my strengths, specialties and techniques.
When it comes to inspiration photos, I try to tell people to look for photos with their hair type – colour and texture – the more realistic the photo the better I can manage their expectations.
Always under promise and over deliver.
As an artist, do you draw inspiration from your travels and the different cultures you experience?
Totally – I love to travel so much!
I think it’s so important for people, especially artists, to open their minds and experience other cultures; see different countries, architecture and landscape, eat their food and just see the way different people live around the world!
I love seeing/visiting other salons and barber shops in different cities/countries too. There’s so much to see and I can’t wait to start travelling again soon!
I broaden my horizons with each trip I take – I always come back feeling re-inspired.
In 2017 you were a finalist in the North American TrendVision Awards in Los Angeles. What inspired your look and how nerve wracking was it competing live in front of judges.
The year before I did TrendVision, I went to London, England to do a precision cutting class at the Vidal Sassoon Academy. I was inspired by the London punk subculture – the fashion, the visual art, and the overall architecture of London and the academy itself.
When I found my model, my vision was to create a more androgynous look. I put her in simple makeup and boxy, square shaped clothing to compliment her colour and cut. I actually really enjoyed the whole thing. I’m competitive by nature so I thought it was super fun and a really cool and unique experience that I’m grateful to have had.
Ongoing training is such an important part of being a hairstylist. How does each workshop or course you take help you grow as a hairstylist?
Education is so important. You can learn so much from every educator/mentor/stylist. I find I learn best in person but over Covid stylists have expanded their education to online platforms and have been staying up to date that way for now. There are so many outlets and resources for stylists from brands to independent stylist education. They are definitely worth the investment!
You can never learn enough and so many people have different tips/techniques to offer. People have become so creative and there are so many good tools for colouring and cutting out there.
We’ll be attending our first look and learn seminar since Covid in Montreal in November and are looking forward to taking more in the new year!
In the hair industry – people expect a hairstylist to be on top of all the trends. But I think it is really more about being stylish than trendy. Do you think developing a personal style is an important part of being in the beauty industry?
I think personal style is definitely important and a big reason why a client would be attracted to you as a stylist in the first place.
This is obviously a look good feel good industry. I think it’s important that you present yourself in a way that you would want your hairstylist to be presented! The hair, makeup and clothes all tie together for me and complete the overall look.
I love your logo and the branding for your salon. What was your inspiration behind the look and vibe of the salon?
So at SUNDAY we wanted it to feel super home-y without it being in our actual home. I’ve always wanted and needed that separation between home and work.
We wanted to create a neutral and diverse space that specializes in haircutting, barbering and colouring services.
We wanted it to be a laid-back, open and light environment that kinda feels like you’re just chilling on a Sunday.
The plants, textures and colours just feel really fresh – it’s really enjoyable to work in a calm, bright and spacious place. The studio is pretty intimate and feels super cozy.
The branding was all Rowan and our graphic designer Adam Burns (@burnsone). We collaborated and gave him a general idea of the retro-simplistic vibe we were going for and he created a custom font for our logo. He has done everything from branding, to our website, to helping us design and source our merchandise! We were really lucky to have such an amazing graphic designer that really understood our vision from the beginning.
Starting a business at any point is a major undertaking – let alone during a global pandemic. What are some of the biggest business and life lessons you have learned this past year?
So we get this question a lot!
When the pandemic hit, it felt like the universe was pushing us in a direction – one that aligned with our goal and vision of opening a shop. We had always planned to do this, but this definitely gave us the kick start we needed.
It was frightening to open a business, however we felt confident that this industry was not going away in the long term – everyone will always need their hair done.
As for lessons, it is truly a constant learning experience.
Learning how to work with a business partner can be difficult, but make it your boyfriend/life partner and it adds a whole other layer!
Having strong communication skills and talking through everything while making sure we honour each other’s perspectives is super important. We make decisions together and are typically very much on the same page, when it comes to the style of our shop and how we want our business to run.
We roll with the punches and try to see everything in a positive light as much as possible.
Patience is also a huge one and something we both work on daily. Things can definitely go wrong when you have your own space. Reminding each other to be patient and calm is a big one for us.
When we first opened, we were definitely doing way too much. We’ve since hired outward for things that were taking up too much of our time and that has been a major game changer!
You do the most amazing winged eyeliner. What are your all-time favorite go-to make-up products?
Thank you! It’s been decades worth of practice – Lol!
The only two products I have used over the years are the Stila liquid eyeliner, and L’Oréal Telescopic (in the black tube) mascara. I’ve tried to swap a few things but truly nothing compares to that combo for me.
What do you love most about going into work every day and being behind the chair, whether it is at SUNDAY or being a guest stylist at another salon?
I love making people feel good – at the end of the day that’s why I fell in love with this job. It’s extremely rewarding to be in a ‘feel good’ industry.
The feeling I get after making someone feel better or more true to themselves is unbeatable!
I also love the connection and relationship I create with clients. I meet so many inspiring, cool, beautiful, interesting, knowledgeable people – I learn so many life lessons from them.
I love guest styling at my bestie’s salon in Toronto, because it changes up the environment and I get to network with different stylists and clients.
In the end, it doesn’t matter where I am as long as I am creating and helping people to feel their absolute best.
Feature Photo Credit : @yonicreatives