We had the good fortune of connecting with Blair Smoker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blair, are you pursuing your passion?
I feel like hairdressing is my calling. I kinda hate that phrase but it’s the truth. Hair has introduced me to people I didn’t know I needed. It has given me a family like no other. It empowers me to be creative and inspired every day while letting my science brain go nuts! It’s a perfect blend of art and science, and people trust me enough to let me do whatever feels right for them. I love sharing with new and old hairdressers alike. Until recently I was in a different salon every week sharing advanced color techniques and foundation color knowledge. Education is what has kept me going at times. I enjoy the travel, the alone time, seeing the “Ah ha” moments happen, learning something from every student I meet, etc. I miss teaching as much as I miss doing hair. Since I can’t do these things during lockdown, I bake several days a week. It’s the perfect blend of science and instant satisfaction. I have some old recipes I keep in rotation like my signature chocolate chip cookie but I push myself to make something more complicated and challenging at least once a week. Baking has filled my need to mix hair color haha!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My husband Patrick and I opened a small salon called PAIR Studio in Grant Park March of 2018. Our clients love that we are a hairdressing duo. We’re all a big family at PAIR Studio, all of our clients seem to know each other. My current project is obtaining our Sustainable Salon certification. It’s nice to have something green and happy to focus on during the pandemic. We will be implementing new practices put out by the United Nations, Benefit Corporation, and Davines each month after we reopen to qualify our little salon as a sustainable and an eco friendly safe haven for our clients. The state of the world and the damage we as humankind have done to our globe has driven PAIR Studio to be as sustainable and eco friendly as we can. Our industry has brought so much beauty to the world and we want to continue to do that with as little environmental impact as possible. We all have to make money. We need to eat, we need to pay bills, we need to put gas in our cars. At this time, so many things are uncertain. We don’t have a reopening date yet. Georgia’s Covid-19 numbers are continuing to increase and the state is opening around us. This will be a defining moment in our careers and we are being watched how we handle it. Our business has changed forever. We are constantly checking our bank balance to see what groceries we can buy and what products we can keep in stock so we can sell enough to make enough money to survive for now. We will never take for granted a day of 15+ clients. We will never take for granted the support and loyalty of our clients. Our business practices have nurtured relationships with our clientsthat will continue to keep our salon afloat amid global crisis. Our global focus has shifted as of late but we are still, and will always be a family owned small business who provides quality crafted hair services for the community of Atlanta.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love to hike and our favorite local spot is Sweetwater Creek. We go off the regular path to get a good 6-7 miles of beautiful forest scenery. We would grab tacos and drinks from Elmyriachi in Kirkwood. Side note, we had our wedding reception there! I suggest a stroll through Sylvester Cemetery in East Atlanta. We walk our dogs through there regularly as it’s at the end or our street. Arabia Mountain in the spring is beautiful with pockets of tiny red flowers that grow in the craters. The views are incredible! A stroll though the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Oakland Cemetery are beautiful way to spend an afternoon. We LOVE Bonelick Southern kitchen for Mike’s off the menu treats, usually of Asian influence with a southern twist. To finish off any day, we like to set up a movie projector in our backyard with the neighbors and friends next to a fire pit and your drink of choice!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a small group of very talented women that I was introduced to through Davines education a few years back. I have NEVER in my life encountered a group of women like this. Truly the most non judgmental, supportive, loud and sometimes potty mouthed (while still being sweet southern), loving, brilliant educated women. We talk all day most days. We have cried together, shared countless meals together, we know each other’s personality types to a t, held each other’s babies and changed diapers, and hugged each other so hard you feel like the other is going to become part of you. We support each other in education but more importantly we are getting each other through these tough times In a whole new way. Without them, I might have had a very real breakdown during the pandemic. Sarah’s, Mackenzie, Amy and Ty thank you.
All taken with my phone except the bridal prep shot. That’s Charlie Watts. Charliewattsphotography.com