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It’s Not a Hair Colour, It’s a Lifestyle
  • WRITER
  • SPARK & PONY
  • PHOTOGRAPHER
  • ANDRE BOBER
  • VIDEOGRAPHER
  • OLD SAW STUDIO INC.

For salon owners Alaina and Ella, Blondie is about more than just a fresh cut and colour. It’s about creativity, inclusivity, and a way to live a bold and inspiring life.

Blondie is a new boutique hair salon in the heart of West Ritchie, serving up fresh looks and retro vibes for ladies looking to fill their cups with self hair care. 

Started by Alaina Morse and Ella Healy, the pair are long-time friends who’ve been in the beauty industry for over a decade. 

While they two had talked about opening a hair studio of their own in the past, it was an unexpected pandemic that pushed them to take the leap in April 2020.

“Coming back to work after the pandemic has been such a refresh for us. It really makes me feel so grateful and so valued as a hairstylist because I can just feel how important it is for self-care at these times,” says Morse. 

“Hair is one of the few self-care things people can do right now to feel normal,” chimes in Healy. “We are really fortunate we were able to open a business in these times.”

Nevertheless, starting a new venture in the middle of Covid-19 has not been without its challenges. Levering social media has been a key differentiator for Blondie.

“Our social media strategy is about putting out amazing content that we are proud of,” says Morse. We have used the reach of our community to create our Blondie Ambassadors. These are an amazing group of people who embody our brand and help us get the word out there.”

The Richie Neighbourhood

Ritchie is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Edmonton, attracting millennials with its modern aesthetic and blend of character homes, vintage bungalows, and contemporary spaces. 

In addition to housing, one of the other reasons buyers are flocking to Ritchie is its vibrant local business scene. 

Spots like The Ritchie Market, a shared space that houses Edmonton favourites like Transcend Coffee and Acme Meat Market, always house a line-up.

There’s also the new family-friendly brewpub where residents can drop in for a pint or set up shop for a few hours of remote work.

Locally owned and operated shops like gluten-free bakery Food in the Nud are always bustling with neighbourhood support. 

There’s also Strathcona Spirits Distillery, the first of its kind in Edmonton. This creative team serves up locally farmed and foraged ingredients to create unique vodka and gin flavours. 

While the Blondie salon itself is about a 4 minute drive from this local entrepreneurial hub, let’s be real…

They’re a perfect edition to a neighbourhood that only continues to grow.

“We love the old school Whyte Ave feeling, but we’re still tucked away onto a cozy quiet street. We also love our neighbours and all the artisanal shopkeeping around us,” says Morse.

Ritchie is a spot that feels refreshing and fun, hip and trendy, all at the same time.

On a warm Saturday afternoon, the streets are full of new families and young professionals enjoying the vibe – ice cream cones and craft beers are plenty. And when you realize you’re not just having fun, but supporting local business, too?

Well, that’s just the cherry on top. 

“We love watching others become entrepreneurs and open new businesses, or tackle their own goals,” says Morse.

“We are heavily influenced by the attitude that anything is possible with enough hard work and good energy being put towards it.”

Blondie is a Lifestyle

Part of what makes the Blondie studio unique is that it’s about more than just styling hair. 

So…

What does it mean to be a Blondie Babe?

“Our aim is to create a lifestyle that is incredibly inclusive, creative, and inspiring,” says Morse. 

“We mainly focus on doing female hair and we want the salon and the merch line to really embody that. We love supporting and uplifting not only our staff, but our clients, and we get so excited to see the different goals our community is always crushing.”

The salon itself has a modernized, industrial vibe showcasing an open-style concept. The pair wanted the brand itself to hit a bit different, though, giving you hints of nostalgia while also feeling “girly” – just like them. 

In addition to hair styling, Blondie also carries a range of products including popular brands like Kevin Murphy and Olaplex.

They also recently came out with an exclusive merch line that embodies cozy streetwear fashion. So you can look fabulous with your new hairdo while sporting something comfy-cozy. 

“This year with the pandemic – a whole sweatsuit has been something that’s been so popular, and we wanted to put our own brand on ours and see how many different ways it could be styled.”

As for what keeps this pair inspired?

“Current fashion, new hair trends, street style, a throwback to different eras and seeing the trends/fashion that were cool back then. We love being inspired by people walking down the street, music videos, etc.”

Need a refresh or a completely new look? Find the Blondie Babes at 10155 81 Ave NW Suite 104 and follow them on Instagram for salon updates and new merch drops.

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