Meet Alexandrea Zaniol. Stylist. Salon Owner. Hair Goddess. Wife. Mother. Travel Enthusiast. Halloween Fanatic. Foodie. Lover of all people. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and spreads so much love and joy everywhere she goes.
Alex owns, manages, and works as a stylist at Salon Swank, a Redken Elite hair salon in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. When she was a junior in high school, she was offered a weekend receptionist position at the salon she’s been going to since she was a child. She unexpectedly fell in love with the industry, which had never been on her radar. She didn’t even realize she had much of an artistic side (she had always leaned more toward the academics and was on a very college bound track). She has a knack for hair design and absolutely loves the artistic outlet this career provides. It’s the best of both worlds because she gets to mix her artistic abilities behind the chair with her left-brained talents in salon ownership.
Her friend and business partner, Keith, inspired her hair journey. They met while she was working at her first salon and quickly became friends. As she watched Keith grow his talents and clientele, she was inspired by the stylist/client relationship; there is trust, beauty, and friendship that bloom from within a stylist’s chair. She learned that work didn’t need to feel like work and has been hooked ever since. 15 years later, Alex and Keith are still best friends and business partners in Salon Swank with their 5-year Swank-iversary around the corner. They are currently gearing up to open their second location within the next two years.
Alex is a natural people person, one of the nicest on the planet and genuinely takes an interest in people’s lives. Connecting with others and going through milestones with her clients is beyond rewarding for her - from first haircuts to shaving hair of a cancer patient. She goes on the journey with you and has seen it all. To gain their trust and make them look and feel beautiful and confident is the most amazing feeling in the world. She loves watching the Salon Swank family grow their skill set. They started from the ground up with their team coming directly out of hair school, trained them, and gave them the tools to become career stylists. Today, they’re living their best lives, buying houses, taking dream vacations, etc. If Alex weren’t a stylist, she would most likely be a nurse or therapist, because she loves to help people.
It is no surprise to learn that Alex loves renovation and design; she has planned and designed two salons. (Fun fact: Salon Swank had to relocate after only a year and a half of being in our first location due to city planning. Not fun at the time, but in hindsight it was the best thing that could happen to our business as it put us in a much better, visible location). Plus, she recently did a complete renovation of her vintage 1926 charmer home that required some major TLC. She loves stripping things down to the bare bones and seeing the process and evolution of her visions. She loves digging through local vintage shops and electric treasures.
"Eventually all the pieces fall into place ... until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason."~ Carrie Bradshaw
1. First thing you do in the morning? Truthfully, I check the weather. It’s kind of funny because I live in Florida where it’s bound to be a million degrees 360 days of the year! But still, I have to know how to dress for the day!
2. Best advice you’ve received? Be good people. My grandmother, who was my biggest role model, told me this while on her deathbed. It resonated so deeply and it’s something I live by and is of the most important things I’m trying to teach my two little boys. Be kind and good to others, and others will be kind and good to you.
3. Dream vacation to escape to? I am a huge travel enthusiast. My husband and I travel as often as we can. I have not seen nearly enough of Europe. If I had to pick one place, I would choose Italy. Give me ALL of the pizza and pasta!!
4. Everything tastes better with...Truffle salt!
5. How do you stay organized? I recently organized my whole house and this trickled into the salon a bit, as well. I love nothing more than organization and cleanliness. I wish I were a bit more organized when it comes to tech, though. My iPhone and MacBook could definitely use some tidying up ;)
6. What can you not live without? - My Hanzo shears! I recently upgraded to these bad boys and quickly learned the value of quality tools. Not to say my last shears weren’t quality, but my Hanzo’s are hands down a better product and I feel empowered every time they are in my hands.
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Photo Courtesy: Alexandrea Zaniol