The Red Door: Salt Lake City’s sleekest bar

Story and photos by MORGAN PARENT

Glasses clink together and again as they’re set on glass table tops throughout the room. The music is at the perfect volume for listening without having to shout to hold a conversation. You feel relaxed here.

This is the Red Door that faithful patrons have come to know and love.

IMG_6927Opened in October 2002, “the Red Door became the second non-smoking club in Salt Lake at a time when bars were private clubs which allowed smoking,” said Louise Hannig, the owner. “My vision was a comfortable warehouse vibe with a unique martini menu and liquor selection.”

Hannig’s vision continues to live on after 17 years. The Salt Lake City bar, located at 57 W. 200 South, specializes in craft martinis, cocktails, and ambiance. The red painted brick with subtle artwork, exposed lighting, and odd monkey in the corner give the spot an eccentric feeling, unlike any other in the city.

IMG_6926Getting the joint going was no small task. In the beginning, Hannig spent hours at the bar for eight months straight, working out the quirks and making sure it could run smoothly. Although preparing to open was occasionally challenging, the hard work and personality that went into the creation is evident.

The lighting was custom-made, the tables were handmade by a local artist, and Hannig and her friends painted the brick walls.

Down to the bartender name tags, the Red Door is a full experience. Though some say the styling of the name tags was a bold choice, “it actually happened as a happy accident,” Hannig said. “We had just opened the bar, but I hadn’t planned any name tags yet. A friend who was helping me said she had her actual missionary name tag with her, so she wore it the night we opened. We took the idea from there and I used a favorite line from my favorite show as a kid, “MASH,” and tweaked the wording.”

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The name tags read “Sister” or “Brother” then the name of the bartender, followed by “Church of the Emotionally Tired and Morally Bankrupt.” This play on the influence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues in the design of the A-Frame sidewalk board in front of the bar.

IMG_6919Martyn Duniho, a University of Utah graduate student, is a Red Door regular. He’s been patronizing the establishment for a few years and considers the Vesper Martini his go-to mix. “This is by far my favorite place to get a drink,” Duniho said. “The staff are excellent at what they do, and the crowd is rarely too rowdy. Weekend nights can get a little crazy, but weekday nights are just perfect.”IMG_6920

Lynnae Larsen-Jones, manager of the establishment, said those who know Red Door believe in its great drinks and mature atmosphere. Alternately, those who aren’t familiar with the bar tend to think it may be too fancy for them, there is a dress code, or it’s only for old people.

About this reputation, Duniho said he “fully agrees. The atmosphere can’t be beat, but before visiting the first time I assumed it would be a snooty kind of place.” Now he can’t imagine going anywhere else.

The people who frequent the Red Door are certainly a spread of personalities. Larsen-Jones said the people have been the most interesting part of working at the bar over the last 16 years. “Especially the couples who come in for a few drinks then start fighting with each other and want the bartender to weigh in on the argument, tell them which one is right, or play therapist. But that kind of situation isn’t super common,” she said.

“Most of the guests coming in are generally pretty alright — just weird in their own ways,” said Larsen-Jones. No matter the attitude of the customer, Larsen-Jones’ philosophy of bartending is to “be nice no matter what and don’t ruin your own night. Also, don’t worry about tips. You don’t know what’s going on for other people.”

As diverse as the individuals drinking here are, the types of cocktails are equally varied. Hannig has seen bar trends change time and again over her nearly 30 years of bartending.

IMG_6930Vodka martinis and drinks such as the Cosmopolitan and sour apple martini were very popular when the Red Door opened. Bourbon and other classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned were in vogue next, around five to seven years ago.

Gin has been the preferred drink base recently, although it was rarely ordered in a martini or craft cocktail 15 years ago. Tequila and mezcal, liquors which are typically shot, seem to be next up in the ever-evolving cocktail mix craze.

Witness to these changing trends, Larsen-Jones has adapted to each new style. No single drink tops her list of favorite drinks to make. Rather, making something up on the spot provides her the opportunity to have fun and use her knowledge of how flavors mix to create something in line with the customer’s desires.

“I don’t know how she does it, but every drink Lynnae makes is amazing,” Duniho said. “I can ask her to include a couple specific ingredients then she does her thing and hands me something delicious.”

At the end of the day, owning the bar throughout the years has been worth the effort to Hannig: “Pouring what you love to do in every drink makes a bar successful.”

 

Electric scooters and skateboards on campus

Story and photos by CHRISTOPHER STENGER

Electric scooters and skateboards are everywhere on the University of Utah’s campus. These personal transporters have such a large impact on campus and anyone who walks the campus will see the hazards they have created.   

Electrical powered personal transporters are still required to follow the same rule of non-motorized personal transporters, like bikes, which include a 10 mph zone all throughout campus. When class is getting out or about to start and the sidewalks are filled with students, it makes it more difficult for those on electric scooters and skateboards to keep a consistent speed and direction without either crashing into people or forcing pedestrians off the sidewalk.

Students have bought their own personal electric scooters or skateboards to avoid having ton pay the rental cost. The electrical scooter companies require a small fee before you use every time. Companies like Lime and Bird provide electric scooters to rent for $1 with a per minute cost ranging from 25-50 cents.

According to the U’s policy code 3-232, skateboards are defined as ‘a non-motorized device consisting of two or more wheels affixed to a platform or board upon which a rider stands and which does not have steering capability similar to that of a bicycle or brakes which operate on or upon the wheels of the skateboard.” Having these electric skateboards around campus is technically violating school policy.

According to Ginger Cannon, the University of Utah’s active transportation manager, ‘The current contract prohibits Lime and Bird from deploying scooters on school property, but does not ban the operation of the vehicles.” This stops these large companies from having the ability to mass drop scooters all around campus, she said in an email interview.   

Students around campus who do not ride these electric scooters or skateboards explained that they actually do not have serious issues with these personal transporters. Alex Dasla, a senior here at the U, said, “I believe that the scooters might be more safe to use on campus than the skateboards, but still would prefer that they both stay in the biking paths instead of the walking paths.” 

People are caught off guard when an electric scooter or skateboard flies past them while walking to their classes. Since they’re electric, it’s very difficult to hear the scooter or skateboard approaching.

William Slicer, a junior at the U, explained how he was actually involved in an electric skateboard crash, as a pedestrian. Slicer believes that “they should be required to ride in the bicycle paths and only those areas when on campus because of their stealthiness and quickness.” He added, “I am just lucky I was hit onto the grass and not into another person or the concrete.” 

Lt. Terry Fritz of the U’s campus police explained that he believes that “the issue isn’t the electrical part, but it is the mode of transportation in general. I think that the human powered and electric powered scooters as equally as dangerous on our campus.” Fritz also said “he sees more bicyclist abusing the speed limit of 10 mph than of the skateboarders and scooter riders.” This happens because they do not have a set max speed and can go well above 15 mph.

Fritz explained how he thinks that with all the electrical scooters being stranded outside campus buildings, that “they’re creating not the best image for campus.” He said that “hub locations would be very helpful with correcting the bad image of the scooters stranded all over campus.” 

Cannon has been working at the U for nearly two and half years and is constantly working to improve the ways of transportation around campus. Cannon uses social media, like Twitter, to spread news of her work to improve campus mobility. Her Twitter handle is @GingerCannonU.   

Walking around campus you will see scooters scattered all around building entrances, in bike racks or even just in front of doors. Cannon says she wants to create “Mobility Hubs” for the scooters and skateboards in the near future.

These scooters and skateboards are still new to the U but are on the uprise for campus. The U will have to adapt to these electric personal transporters and work to better their operation, as people are not going to stop riding them on campus. 

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Instagram taking the advertising world by storm

Story and gallery by RILEY SPEAR

Instagram is the largest social media and advertising platform in the world and it continues to grow its users daily by the thousands. Organizations and businesses have taken advantage of the Instagram platform to advertise their products, target their audiences and create awareness for their cause, all for free.

Salt Lake City is a hub for startup companies that don’t have the funds in their marketing departments to pay for advertisements.

Individuals from three local companies, The Hut Group, Beauty Industry, and STEM, have worked closely with Instagram, and have accepted the large role it plays in their marketing techniques.

Beauty Industry specializes in hair, lashes and fashion. Paige Johnson is a member of the social media team who works with Instagram to promote a product.

She uses Instagram analytics to track following, and gauge when good times are to post in order receive the most engagement.

“Marketing is always changing, and shifting. With present digital age, social media is most of what marketing entails,” Johnson said.

Beauty Industry mainly targets young women because they are the majority of the company’s customers, which is ideal for Instagram because according to OMNICORE 59 percent of its users are individuals in the age groups of 19-29.

Johnson said Beauty Industry’s main objective through the Instagram account is to make customers feel as if they are a part of their community. Beauty Industry sticks to its content and theme to best emphasize its products in the market.

“Working in this industry I have become aware of others’ marketing techniques, whether it be competitors or my own time on Instagram. I often find myself taking bits of other techniques, and forming it to ours,” Johnson said.

Beauty Industry has tried to focus on what the big marketing brands are doing, and then tailor it to the company’s own theme. The social media world is extremely competitive, and it’s crucial to notice the likes, comments and following ratio in order to receive the most positive feedback and response.

Beauty Industry is a company that is familiar with the positive impacts Instagram can make. There are very few restrictions, no wrong outlook and is more about finding a strategy that works well with your company.

“Customer service is a big thing specifically on Instagram, because a lot of people currently if they have a complaint or question, it is a lot easier to do this through messages. We try to really be interactive with our following, and our customers who reach out to us on these platforms,” Johnson said.

Instagram is Beauty Industry’s main tool to advertise because it has the highest success rate in selling their products.

Instagram has the ability to capture so many eyes, and create global awareness. STEM, a program that targets schools in the Salt Lake City district, does just this.

Molly Vroom helps run, and plan their social media campaigns in order to educate, and promote STEM research.

“There isn’t much competition in this field of work. It’s more about receiving attention that could possibly lead to funding,” Vroom said.

In order to achieve this STEM uses demonstration videos giving a more hands on approach to the followers. “Instagram gives the ability to educate, and give knowledge, and that is another one of our main goals,” Vroom said.

STEM uses several social media platforms, but targets millennials through Instagram because they are the individuals who use it the most.

The world is constantly changing and growing, adapting to new trends of life. In order to be impactful on Instagram it’s crucial to put out content that ignites your target audience.

The Hut Group, a global company centered around health, beauty and fitness, sometimes can spend up to a month planning a post. This organization opened a small office in Salt Lake City and will grow in the years come.

Jasmyne Reynolds, a manager for their acquisition companies’ social accounts, works daily with Instagram.

Her days are spent brainstorming concepts, working with photographers and videographers in their creative studio, and collaborating with the content director and Search Engine Optimization managers.

Every one of The Hut Group’s Instagram posts is extremely evaluated, and calculated before posting. “Working with Instagram helps us achieve our goal of reaching consumers and getting them to click over to our online platform and ultimately drive purchases,” Reynolds said.

As the social media account manager, Reynolds also spends hours working with other brands doing Q and A’s, giveaways and questionnaires in order to bring in more followers, and gain positive feedback.

Reynolds believes Instagram is a platform that has allowed businesses to create a personal connection with consumers.

“It’s important now more than ever to showcase products as a part of a consumer’s life,” Reynolds said.

Instagram marketing is used in an assortment of aspects, whether it is to bring awareness of a cause, or to advertise and sell products. It has drastically changed the game from billboards and TV commercials to a free platform being used by billions. Instagram is the new outlet for inspiration.

Motor Sports Athletes Conquering the Business World

Andy Bell competing In freestyle motocross

Story by Sicily Romano

SALT LAKE CITY — In motorsports, winnings, and sponsorships don’t generate enough income for athletes to sustain their lives. Subsequently, these athletes compete and accomplish things in sports that some can’t even fathom, all while conquering the business world.

Andy Bell, formerly a freestyle motocross rider, knew from a young age that he wanted to own his own company. “I started racing FMX (freestyle motocross) in 1999 till about 2004,” he says. While riding FMX, Bell saw his first business opportunity. “A lot of athletes, when they are at the top, act too cool for school,” he says. “I saw the opportunity to not only befriend all the athletes but the promoters as well.”

When promoters wanted athletes at their event, Bell realized that he could broker the deal. He leveraged the friendships and connections made as an athlete to start his own production company. “Even while competing, I was never interested in just being an athlete, I knew I wanted to do more,” says Bell.

After several years on Nitro Circus, Bell tried to work as a stuntman, but stunts weren’t bringing enough income. He decided he needed to make something else work.  “I knew nothing about production, other than being in front of the camera,” says Bell. Still, he started his own company with a plan to create 3-D content around action sports “because, at the time when you went into stores and looked at 3-D TVs, all they had for content was, like flowers opening.” Though Bell’s original idea for 3-D videos got sidetracked, his production dream came true when Travis Pastrana asked him to star in a webisode for Red Bull called “On Pace with Pastrana.”

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Travis and Andy Bell on set for On Pace with Pastrana

Bell asked Pastrana if they had a production company yet. One thing led to another and Bell was a producer. After two seasons producing “On Pace with Pastrana,” with Red Bull, Bell expanded his business, using his connections from “Nitro Circus” and as an FMX rider. He contacted Toyota, told them about Sweat Pants Media (his production company) and immediately started producing content for them.

Recently Bell traveled to Canada to produce Toyotas TRD pro commercial, which will showcase Toyotas’ new vehicles expected to hit the market later this year. The commercial will be shown in February at the Chicago auto show.

Bell is one of the many athletes who has taken their love of motorsports and created businesses. Travis Pastrana has done amazing things through the connections and knowledge gained from competing in motorsports. Pastrana started in motocross which because of his success MX, opened additional opportunities.

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Travis Pastrana Jumping Over a plane

Pastrana has always been a daredevil. “(Producer) Gregg Godfrey sent me a Sony 2000 camera and Final Cut Pro 3 to edit on,” he says, “Everyone was coming over to learn backflips that summer. I documented everything and helped build jumps to make their dreams and nightmares come true.”

That was how “Nitro Circus” began. Pastrana has been able to help other athletes make their dreams, or in his word’s “nightmares,” come true. Not only did he created “Nitro Circus,” but he has started a two-event series around it — “Nitro Circus World Games” and “Nitro Circus Live.” Pastrana hosts 70 plus live shows a year, and although his primary business is producing spectator events, he still gets to ride motocross and race cars.

Todd Romano has also created a business by leveraging his knowledge and connections. Romano started out racing mountain bikes in college and soon realized that the guys beating him on bikes were also racing motocross. His sponsors, Specialized and Fox, supported his switch to MX (motocross) where he found his competition racing something even bigger and faster: off-road cars.

Romano discovered a market for aftermarket products for off-road vehicles, specifically side by sides. His first company was Dragon Fire Racing, which sold aftermarket products for (RHINOS). Later,  he sold Dragon Fire and opened Finish Line Marketing, a business to help other motorsports companies with everything from basic business strategy to marketing.

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Todd Romano Jumping Wild Cat XX. Glamis Califronia

Romano has many lucrative connections with sponsors and companies he’s met. He’s been successful pitching himself and his company, leading to partnerships with industry leaders like Hawk Performance. Romano was contracted by Hawk to help grow their company through improved marketing and smoother business operations. Currently, Romano is working with Textron where he has partnered with Robby Gordon to design and produce the Wild Cat XX. He also owns a company that sells aftermarket products for new Textron vehicles called Speed Side by Side.

These are not the only athletes to create business out of the knowledge they have gained from competition, and their success goes to show, you don’t have to give up on your dream to make an income.

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Chi Omega Sorority Promotes Make-a-Wish

Story and gallery by VIRGINIA HILL 

As a college student, it can be hard to get involved with service or even think about anything other than yourself and school. But an unlikely group is encouraging students to get involved in philanthropy and making it fun. Chi Omega, or Chio, is hosting a service-oriented week to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Chi Omega is a national sorority with the local chapter being part of the University of Utah campus. Chio attracts hundred of women every year and encourages friendship and sisterhood. According to the Chio’s mission statement, it strives to promote friendship, personal integrity, service to others, academic excellence, community, campus involvement, and personal development. While sororities throughout the country may get a reputation contrary to this mission statement, the annual efforts of the local Chio chapter to host a Wish Week in service to the Make-A-Wish Foundation demonstrate its devotion to the sorority’s mission.

Savanna Dubell, president of the local chapter of Chi Omega, made it clear how important service is to her and the members. She explained Chio’s history with Make-A-Wish and the dedication to service. “For almost 30 years Chio has had a national philanthropy, it is a cause that the sorority believes in and that all chapters would work to raise money for. A while ago they made a partnership with Make-A-Wish and that is who we continue to work with today,” she said.

From Sept. 24-27, Chio hosts Wish Week, a week completely devoted to planned, paid admission events that attract peers to come and participate in philanthropic efforts. This annual event changes from year to year depending on plans made by the director of philanthropy.

Eliza Parkin, the 2018 director, gave a brief summary of the week she planned: “Monday was dessert night, where girls bake or buy treats and other students come and buy them, Tuesday we partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings to bring wings to our house where boys or girls can compete in a wing eating contest, Wednesday we partnered with Chipotle so they will give us a portion of all profits made at one of their locations, and Thursday we hosted a big soccer tournament for anyone who wants to watch or participate.”

With all these events there is some sort of purchase or buy-in, and Parkin explained that 100 percent of the money went toward Make-A-Wish to help one particular child.

This child is an important one and the focus of all of Chio’s efforts. With the philanthropic efforts each year, Chio is able to donate the money to a particular child through Make-A-Wish. Both Parkin and Dubell feel that this personal approach to donation and philanthropy “incentivizes the girls to work towards something meaningful and feel that their efforts and money are going toward something real.”

This year’s 2018 Wish Girl is Mackenzie, a 13-year-old who has been battling cancer. According to Chios interviewed for this story, Mackenzie has a bubbly personality that has not been diminished by her personal health struggles. Mackenzie has a wish to go to Disney World and with the efforts of Chio, they hope to reach this goal by the end of the year. The women have all been able to meet Mackenzie and are touched by her story.

Meggie Nelson, a sister of Chi Omega, said, “Mackenzie and Make-A-Wish are very close to my heart and our chapter wants to do everything it can to raise money for her.”

Chios are pushing to completely fulfill her wish and are on track to do so. The Chio women’s efforts to do just that are tremendous, they worked tirelessly to plan and orchestrate great events, they posted announcements and calls to action on social media to encourage friends to come and participate. These events turned out to be packed with students and peers enjoying themselves and contributing what they could to this cause.

The women’s devotion to this has been encouraging and sets an example to others about service. This devotion seems to be a national effort as well. According to the national Chi Omega website, chapters have raised “more than 20 million dollars and have volunteered over a million hours for Make-A-Wish.” But Wish Week is just the beginning of Chio’s philanthropic efforts this 2018 school year. According to Parkin, the chapter will continue to host events and find ways to raise money for Mackenzie through the end of the school year. There is even talk of hosting a masquerade ball to further their efforts. The work of Chio and its leaders has made for a successful Wish Week.

 

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Sorority members flashing the Chi Omega sign at Dessert Night.

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Sorority members and their peers showing support for the week’s events.

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Gearing up for the wing contest.

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Sorority girls posing with Wish Girl Mackenzie.

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Rows of college students prepare for the wing competition.

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Mackenzie is introduced to the group of students.

 

 

Redefine beauty with positive body image

Story and gallery by MORGAN STEWART

“In the last decade, there was a 446 percent increase in the number of cosmetic procedures in the U.S., with 92 percent performed on women. The majority being liposuction,” according to Beauty Redefined.

Today more than ever women and young girls are facing unrealistic ideals about beauty and body image. Coming from every media outlet, these beauty standards are becoming extremely harmful to the thoughts and minds of young girls and women all over the world.

Identical twins Lexie and Lindsay Kite recognized this issue and established the nonprofit organization Beauty Redefined in 2013 after obtaining their doctoral degrees from the University of Utah. After great research and study the twins have made it their mission to shine light on the effects of the beauty standards that are portrayed in the media and to start a different conversation about body image.

Their Story

As young girls, the twins were avid competitive swimmers starting at just 6 years old. The girls loved to swim until their attention moved from their actual performance to the way they looked in their swimsuits, Lindsay writes on the organization’s website. This started the girls’ “preoccupation with weight loss” that consumed so much of their thoughts and actions during their developmental years.

But the girls were not alone. Many of their friends were experiencing the same thoughts and emotions toward their bodies and appearances. The common factor that the girls believe attributed to some of these thoughts was the “easy access to media our entire lives,” Lindsay wrote.

Movies, television, social media and magazines all portray a certain standard for beauty. What is cool, what is not cool, what is thin, what is fat, and even what it means to be successful. And the list goes on.

Today

Today, Beauty Redefined has become a successful tool for spreading awareness of the damaging cultural standards that are portrayed in the media. Lexie and Lindsay travel the world teaching about positive body image and their strategies for developing what they call “body image resilience.”

In an online interview with the women they described body image resilience as “the ability to become stronger because of the difficulties and objectification women experience living in their bodies, not just in spite of those hard things.”

Through their speeches, website, blog, social media accounts and eight-week body image resilience program the twins are helping women and girls all around the world to shut down these ideals and to build positive body image from within.

The Beauty Redefined “Body Image Resilience Program” is an eight-unit online program. The program is designed to teach women how to recognize harmful messages in the media and how to reflect on the ways in which those messages impact their daily lives. Furthermore, the program guides women through the process of redefining beauty and how we think about beauty, health and self-worth.

Though there are many “well-intentioned” people who promote positive body image by telling women to embrace their beauty and bodies, Beauty Redefined takes a different approach. “Beauty Redefined is changing the conversation about body image by telling girls and women they are MORE than beautiful,” Lexie told me. “We assert positive body image is about feeling positively toward your body overall, not just what it looks like.”

The Beauty Redefined mantra is: “Women are more than just bodies. See more. Be more.”

Because media in all forms are becoming increasingly easy to access, the popularity of various social media platforms has skyrocketed in the past few years as well as the negative effects that accompany them.

I asked the women how they felt the rise of social media has been affecting women today. “As image-based social media content like Instagram and Pinterest have soared in popularity, so has the endless self-comparison so many girls and women engage in. That self-comparison is a trap, a ‘thief of joy,’ and leads to unhappiness,” they said.

To avoid the harm of self-comparison and the other dangerous messages portrayed in the media the sisters recommend going on a “media fast.” Avoid the use of any and all forms of media for a few days to “give your mind the opportunity to become more sensitive to the messages that don’t look like or feel like the truths you experience in real life, face to face with real fit people and your own health choices,” Lexie suggested. By eliminating media for a period of time you allow yourself to become more aware of these messages and the way they truly make you feel.

Another tip the women shared with me is to “stay away from mirrors while exercising.” Research has shown that women who work out in front of mirrors are less likely to perform to the best of their ability because their focus is on how they look rather than what their bodies are able to do.

Finally, “use your body as an instrument, not an ornament: When women learn to value their bodies for what they can do rather than what they look like, they improve their body image and gain a more powerful sense of control,” Lexie said. This is the mantra that much of the organization’s content stems from.

Moving Forward

Though there are many issues concerning female body image and the way women’s bodies are portrayed in the media, the biggest issues are that “women’s bodies are valued more than women themselves,” Lexie said.

Objectification is the root of these issues and both men and women must fight to stop it.

The sisters believe that “progress for all of society requires valuing women for more than our parts, not simply expanding the definition of which parts are valuable.”

 

Local entrepreneurs discuss new wedding business in Salt Lake City

Story and gallery by JOE WOOLLEY

Simon Morris, 36, a local entrepreneur who was born in Salt Lake City, has always dreamt of one day owning his own business. When his fiancée, Sarah Beale, 34, pitched the idea of starting a business together late one night he jumped at the opportunity.

“All dreams are possible if you work hard and believe they can happen,” he said.

Morris grew up in a military household and was expected to follow his brothers into the Army. Morris had other interests such as fashion but felt so much pressure from his father to join the military, so he kept his passion to himself.

After a childhood full of expectation, Morris joined the Army at the age 18 and was due for deployment September 2001. However, his world changed as it did for so many when the World Trade Center in New York was hit by hijacked planes.

“The experiences from the Army will follow me in every aspect of life, but it was time for a change,” Morris said.

His priorities had changed and he no longer wanted to be a part of the Army. “I know to some people it may be foolish, but I didn’t sign up to be fighting terrorists. I wanted to  follow my dreams and be involved in fashion,” Morris said.

In 2001 Morris went to New York and attended Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion. He was finally content with his job and never looked back. After graduating in 2005, he went straight into the fashion world and began designing wedding dresses for Roma weddings.

During his period in college he met Beale during one of his art classes. He claimed that it was “love at first sight,” and the two of them hit it off straight away. He admitted that he’s not sure where he would be without the help of his companion.

In 2012 Beale owned a Toni and Guy hairdressers in Nottingham, United Kingdom. She loved the responsibility of owning a business. However, unforeseen circumstances forced her to leave and move onto a new chapter. “I loved satisfying people and giving them makeovers is one of the most rewarding jobs out there,” Beale said.

After learning the couple shared the same ambition of owning a business, Beale thought it would be a great idea for them to follow their dreams. She said, “I didn’t really know what business he wanted, but I gathered we could integrate our skills and create something amazing.”

After many discussions the couple decided to create a company which focuses on wedding days. They both agreed that they could incorporate their skills and give the special day something extra.

Morris committed to the wedding dress designs along with the choice of venue, while Beale would take the responsibility of hair and makeup. He said, “It was really a dream come true for me, when Sarah first pitched the idea to me I was very concerned, however, after going over the risks I decided it would be a good idea for us to give it a try.”

The business is yet to officially be launched as Beale is still in the works of getting her medical aesthetician certificate, but once that is completed they can offer their services to the public. While they cannot officially start their business, they are currently in negotiations on where to set up the main office.

“The whole process has been a blur, it only seems like yesterday since I pitched the idea to Simon,” Beale said. Even though they can’t make the company public yet they have been offering people a free makeover session to experience some of the work that they will be offering.

Lindsay Bollschweiler, one of the people who experienced this free makeover session, said, “This is one of the most amazing makeovers I have ever had. My wedding is sometime next year so I will certainly be using the services of Simon and Sarah to help with the big day.”

Another person who experienced this free makeover was Maddison Kemp, who could not speak highly enough of the professional approach Beale took. “The things that this woman can do with a makeup brush is amazing. Not only did I love the makeup, but I enjoyed the company from both Sarah and Simon. They were so welcoming.”

The pressures of starting a business had been much different than what Morris expected, but he reassures himself daily that all of the hardship will be worth it in the future. “I never thought that this process would be easy, but every single day comes with a new challenge,” Morris said.

Going from the Army then to fashion was a major change for Morris, but he said the challenges created from this project have been much more difficult for him.

The wedding dress designs seem like a breeze to Morris who learnt his trade during his time at school. He took several designated classes to learn how to design wedding dresses and holds the ability to create a dress for personal specifications. However, the venue choice did seem to unnerve him a little. “I often know what people like, but weddings are such a particular case, so I have to be extremely careful when judging a person’s character,” he said.

Beale said that she has never seen Morris this stressed about life. But, she continues to remind him of the end product. “I have been doing makeup and hair for a long time, so I am very much in my element, whereas Simon is not so much in his comfort zone so it’s difficult for him,” she said.

Morris added, “We just want to make people happy. I understand how important their wedding day is and I want to make it my duty to give them the best day of their lives. If I can put a smile on just one person’s face a day then I’ve achieved something.”

 

Two single moms open medical spa in Salt Lake City

Story and gallery by ASHLEIGH ZAELIT

Devynne Toote wakes up in the morning and takes her 3-year-old daughter Grei to her mother’s house. She grabs her morning coffee, and gets ready for work. When Devynne gets off around 7 p.m. she picks up her daughter to go home and make dinner together. She gives Grei a bath, they read a bedtime story, and then it’s time for bed.

Toote referred to her life as “work and mom.”

Yet Toote, who is a single mom, doesn’t mind this exhausting schedule because she is turning her dreams of owning a medical spa into a reality. She owns Bye Bye Med Spa with friend Kaeci Durfey, who is also a single mother.

Toote met Durfey seven years ago at the Mandalyn Academy, the beauty school they both attended. They became best friends and moved in together.

“We had always wanted to open up a med spa, it was our dream,” Toote said.

After school Toote started doing eyelash extensions. She later started training where she taught students the ins and outs of lash extensions, and even started her own lash company.

Toote was 20 years old when she got pregnant with Grei, and has been working to show her daughter that she can do anything.

“I just want to be a great example for my daughter,” Toote said. “Being a single mom and working full time is not easy but it’s fulfilling at the end of the day when you start accomplishing things. We don’t have time to waste. It’s hard to do alone but both my parents have helped me along the way. What makes the biggest difference is having a support system.”

She said it can be very difficult to balance the need to work to earn a living with the desire to spend time with her daughter.

Toote said it can be daunting to be a single parent and entrepreneur. But she advised other women, “Don’t let the fear of it all stop you. As long as you’re working hard and remember who it’s for, it will all be worth it.”

Kaeci Durfey is a medical esthetician. A medical esthetician specializes in advanced skin care treatments to develop and maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

Durfey provides the service of microneedling. This is a treatment that improves the look of scars, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and minimizes pores.

She starts the microneedling treatment by cleansing the face. Then she uses a device that stimulates the production of collagen, uses different kinds of light therapy, and removes impurities. Next she applies a topical numbing cream on the face followed by going over the face with a microneedling tool.

Both Durfey and Toote loved their jobs, but they wanted to expand. Opening Bye Bye Med Spa was the first step in their 20-year plan.

Bye Bye Med Spa is located at 4698 S. Highland Drive in Millcreek. Services include Injections like Botox, microdermabrasion to lighten and tighten the skin, eyelash extensions, microblading, waxing, airbrush spray tanning, and even weight loss programs. The spa also gives clients a great selection of everyday skin care as well as supplements.

Toote and Durfey would love to help others accomplish their goals and are leasing out rooms to anyone, even those who aren’t estheticians. Rent starts at $650 a month and includes social media marketing, business financial services, and web design.

Kendall Robbs is a 21-year-old single mom who rents out a room at Bye Bye Med Spa. She provides facial waxing and eyebrow tinting, and she specializes in microblading.

Microblading is a type of permanent makeup applied to your eyebrow. Robbs uses a special blade to tattoo individual hair strokes giving a fuller, natural looking brow.

Kendall moved from Salt Lake City to Orem two years ago for an internship where she learned microblading. She decided to move to Bye Bye Med Spa because the location would better accommodate her clients.

“The location is great, and everyone offers something different vs. other places where everybody just does one thing. Since there are individual rooms each client gets a more comfortable experience,” Robbs said.

Robbs related with Toote and Durfey, saying, “They are young single moms trying to build a career and I just really connected with them being a single mom as well. We just get each other.”

Toote and Durfey have a lot of plans for Bye Bye Med Spa, including offering cool sculpting. Cool sculpting is a device that dissolves fat cells in the area of choice.

They just recently got a laser to provide skin-resurfacing, laser hair removal, and tattoo removal for their clients. Kybella was also recently added, which is an injection that completely paralyzes fat. They would like to partner with a plastic surgeon in the future.

Bye Bye Med Spa is planning a grand opening this upcoming summer but anyone is currently welcome to set up an appointment for a skin care treatment, eyelash extensions, microblading, or spray tanning session.

The confidence of their customers is their top priority. All women and men are welcome, regardless of their color, shape, or size.

 

Three Salt Lake City fashion creatives discuss the impact of social media marketing

Story and photos by BRITT BROOKS

A swipe, a like, a comment, a follow.

To get a look at marketing in the 21st century, go no further than your smartphone. Today you can look at any online platform and find a person, product, or brand that sparks your interest. But the businesses that perhaps utilize social media the most are those in the fashion industry.

Whether it’s celebrity-sponsored posts, live streams of runway shows, or notifications for product drops, fashion can be an immersive experience now more than ever. The elite fashion gods such as Gucci, Versace, Chanel and Balenciaga all have millions of followers on social media. But what about the startups?

Three up-and-comers in Salt Lake City’s fashion industry gave insight to their experiences with social media. The impact can be positive or negative depending on how active users are with the content presented to them.

Sydni Zaugg sat in a window seat at Salt Lake Coffee Break, her platinum blond bob stood out against head to toe black clothing and silver jewelry. Zaugg, 19, is a college student who attended the International Fashion Academy (IFA) in Paris in 2017. The program spanned three weeks and allowed her to attend Paris’ spring Fashion Week in early March.

Zaugg said she wouldn’t have even known about the opportunity had it not been for Instagram. After following IFA professor and trend specialist Agus Catteno on Instagram, Zaugg realized her wish to be educated about fashion in France was a possibility.

Zaugg direct messaged (DM’d) Catteno and asked questions about her job at IFA and  the opportunities for classes. Without her connection to Catteno, Zaugg wouldn’t have had a welcoming person to show her the ropes, and probably wouldn’t have gone to Paris for classes in the first place.

Parisian fashion influenced Zaugg’s personal style. And it serves as her template for advising others as she pursues a career as a stylist and photographer in Utah.

Social media give Zaugg a platform to share her availability for styling sessions and examples of her work such as dark, moody and romantic photoshoots with friends and models. But as with everything, it isn’t perfect. Zaugg mentioned the downside of pursuing likes and comments: a loss of creativity.

Avant garde clothing still graces the runways, but Zaugg has noticed brands moving toward more streamlined, minimalistic styles. This can be attributed to regular trend cycles. But Zaugg sees it as a reflection of the heavy use of social media marketing. Current fashion can be more about who you are, not what you wear. Big entertainment names like Kardashian and Hadid can be more influential than the brands themselves.

The integrity of the fashion industry can quickly fall victim to the whims of celebrities and influencers. Copycats are bad for any creative-based industry. To combat this ever-present sameness, Zaugg has a perfect mantra: “Clothes should give you confidence to express yourself how you want to, not how everyone else dresses.”

Someone curating new and wearable pieces for women is Madison Martellaro. A 21-year-old senior at the University of Utah, Martellaro has already started a company. In April 2017, she began working on her online clothing store, Fleur Fashion Boutique. She can be seen wearing multiple pieces from her boutique’s line including jeans, bomber jackets and everyday T shirts.

Martellaro came into the fashion industry alone, with virtually no connections. After months of research and hard work, she was able to start her business and advertise through social media to grow a following before the boutique launched on Nov. 9. She credits her online following of nearly 1,000 people to creating brand awareness before items were even available for purchase.

To get a good idea of what her customers actually want, Martellaro used polling features on social media. Polls and comments influenced the way the boutique website looks and functions. For example, followers wanted to know the models’ sizes and dimensions as well as see the clothing from multiple angles. These are two details about Fleur Fashion Boutique that came directly from future customers’ wish lists.

During her first photoshoot, Martellaro held a livestream. The feature on Instagram enabled her to connect even more with her future consumers. “I want to show people really what goes behind a business,” she said. In a world where new competition crops up every day, a behind-the-scenes connection with followers is priceless.

Martellaro takes a lot of pride in curating pieces that women of all sizes can wear and personalize. One of her biggest goals is to sell clothes that can be worn day to night, and look glamorous no matter the occasion.

Packaging is an important part of her brand’s final presentation and delivery. For a cohesive image, all clothing and accessories come wrapped in tissue paper with the greeting “Hello Beautiful” in bold font on the outside. Fleur Fashion Boutique encourages its recipients to take selfies with their deliveries, creating a wider community of people that talk about the products.

“That was the biggest thing for me,” Martellaro said, “making sure women felt empowered and special.”

Keeping a cohesive and unique image is one of the top priorities for Davis Hong. A polished and composed 24-year-old, Hong graduated from Salt Lake Community College with a design degree. Sitting in a wrap-around black coat of his own design, Hong said he likes to wear his own creations.

Recently rebranded under its new name, BYSHAO has been in the works for over two years, and is set to launch in 2018. Hong has made huge strides toward creating his ideal company and style.

Sustainable, ethically sourced materials are of utmost importance for BYSHAO. Only natural fiber fabrics like cotton and linen blends are used in the designs. To avoid creating more waste on our planet, Hong prefers working plant-to-piece with certified organic materials, and avoids polyester. Natural textiles and humane working conditions are the core of his passion for sustainable clothing, and it’s something he’s sticking to.

The pieces of BYSHAO are best described in Hong’s own words as minimalistic, gender-neutral and timeless. Specializing in overcoats and tops, BYSHAO is both modern and classic with structured silhouettes and neutral colors.

Participating at the 2017 Art Meets Fashion show in Salt Lake City, Hong’s brand was one of the five main shows. Events like this help secure a following that he hopes will subscribe to BYSHAO’s e-newsletter. Emails are more of a personal connection with consumers, directly informing them about lookbooks and future sale dates. A great way to foster a connection that leads to loyal customers is to start on platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

As Hong’s demographic isn’t necessarily in Salt Lake City, he finds it important to get to know his followers through social media. He mentioned his use of geo tags, event announcements, stories and live videos to view people from the other side of the planet. “You can basically be right there and see the people there as well,” Hong said.

Networking locally and internationally has furthered Hong’s knowledge and increased the presence of his brand. Social media form connections that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. He’s found photographers, models and hair and makeup professionals to work on photo shoots and runway shows.

The internet is a fantastic way for startup businesses to get their name into the hands of others. “Social media is very much an open portfolio,” Hong said. The ability to view others’ work passively before making real-life connections is something new to the world. This can acutely affect professional creatives, as a lot of their work can be judged from a 5-inch screen.

Without social media tools, Hong would have had a much harder time making local and international connections in the fashion industry. It’s unlikely that Martellaro would be the owner of a business she built from scratch at such a young age. And Zaugg never would have known about the opportunity to study fashion in Paris, or launch her career as a stylist.

Connecting with customers, mentors and possible collaborators — no matter where they are in the world — is perhaps one of the greatest online inventions of all.