For a long while at Apartment 34, we profiled favorite businesses in and around San Francisco. Post-baby, as much as I resisted, I succumbed to the baby blackhole, so that series kinda fell off the rails. I’ve slowly but surely getting back out into the world (watch my IG for a fun travel adventure this week) and when I walked into the new studio of Michele Holmes – the brow savant of the Bay Area – my jaw hit the floor. This little jewel box of a Bay Area shop is just is so so good, I had to capture it for you!
If you’ve ever gone to get your brows done, you know it’s not the most glamorous of experiences. There’s often a bit of pain involved. You’re frequently crammed into the corner of a hair salon or taken into a small clinical feeling room. But Michele as spun the brow world on it’s head with her new studio just north of San Francisco.
Michele has a degree in fashion with a background in buying, merchandising, marketing and sales. A grueling travel schedule and the urge to settle down, drove her decision to flip the career switch. She initially worked as a full-service spa esthetician before going out on her own. She started doing brow house calls and built her business exclusively through word of mouth. 12 years later, she remained the “little black book secret” brow guru in SF and Marin until the word got out. In 2015 she was crowned “The Eyebrow Whisperer” by the San Francisco Chronicle and has since been featured in Goop, InStyle, C Magazine and more.
The studio was designed with a mix of modern furnishings, antiques and custom designed fixtures. A lot of Michele’s inspiration came from old British hotels and country estate houses during her frequent family visits to the UK. Michele describes her personal style as “modern grandma,” but I describe and simply perfect. She blends antiques and vintage with key pieces from faves like Anthropologie, CB2 and Rejuvenation.
Personally selecting every single detail for her studio, Michele applied a single mantra: if it’s not pretty it doesn’t come in. The rule applied to everything, from the products she sells (all organic and good for you) to the brow chairs clients sit in (custom made) to the tools she uses – all gold of course. Her attention to detail and her eye for bold moments blend seamlessly. The epic wallpapers that grace the studio and bathroom walls were sourced from Sweden and England. The art work is all vintage sourced from estate sales, eBay and Etsy. Everywhere you look, you cannot help but love what you see.
As Michele describes, “I wanted to create a cozy environment where everyone felt welcome to stay and hang
out for a while. Beauty is beyond fun for us and we will gladly talk your ear off in our lovely lady land.” Well, she certainly succeeded. Even though I don’t need to get my brows done every three weeks (thanks for Michele – deets on my face changing beauty secret tomorrow!) I’m always looking for an excuse to simply go hang in her beautiful space. The Bay Area should consider itself very lucky to have this gem!
Lighting: Rejuvenation, CB2, Anthropologie, Houzz.
Furniture: Anthropologie couch/ chair
Various antiques sourced from Charish & 1st Dibs and estate sales.
Brow chairs: Custom from Salon Designers LA.
Wallpapers: http://www.lottastrad.se // https://www.wallpapersales.co.uk/acatalog/harlequin-wallpaper.html
Gifts & Other
The Object Enthusiast (ceramics)
Maison Marie Louis (candles, bath products & fragrance)
Annie Anderson Designs ( Fine jewelry. 14K gold & natural diamonds)
For our entire Retail Therapy archive, CLICK HERE.
And do tell, do you like this series? Would you like to see it come back in full force? Please let me know!
original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas
What do you think?