Back in 2010, Sarah met Pony Lee Estrange through a mutual Eastside friend. Soon after, she was referred to his good friend and fellow stylist Dru Wright when the two worked together at a local Echo Park salon. After gallivanting through a few barbecues, dance parties and local fundraisers, Sarah and Pony became fast friends. As their friendship grew, none of them were aware of the journey they would embark on together in the near future.
With 10 years of hair styling experience under his belt, Pony decided to open up his own salon, and in January 2012 he found a storefront in Echo Park to start his salon venture. The storefront was in a trendy location, but the space itself was not a salon and needed everything redone from top to bottom. Thus, to bring the salon into life, Pony and a team of loving friends spent a great deal of love and labor in the renovation process. From lighting fixtures to popcorn ceilings, they pulled out everything personally. Although starting from a clean slate was difficult, the process helped Pony envision his design for the salon.
As the project began to move forward, Pony became more excited to materialize his vision. Ideas for the salon's interior began to percolate and as he mulled them over, his partner Pinkee recruited designer Sarah Barnard at a Thanksgiving dinner party to help assemble Pony's ideas together. "My [then] business partner and I started the salon with a lot of ideas. Bringing someone in with a wider perspective than us helped glue things together,” Pony stated, “Working with Sarah was great; she was very communicative. Right when the words fell out of my mouth, she knew where to pick up. She understood the confusion people have when they are creating a space." Soon, the interior design process came along swimmingly. The friends began to invest their time working together to find the perfect furniture and accessories to match the salon's vision and brand identity.
The salon was eventually given the name “Folklore,” deriving from Pony’s penchant for subculture and sub-genres that create self-image. His love for urban styles revolved around these influences, styles, and images, which are all idiosyncrasies that describe a person or a story. These themes resonated through the salons vintage decor and flair. All the furniture was created or found, thrifted and refurbished, and all the pieces found in the salon share a story.
At the onset of the design process, Sarah created a floor plan, which included a conceptual conserved desk. Coincidentally, one of Pony’s associates found the same desk on Craigslist the very next day! Their lighting fixtures were constructed by a friend of Pony’s and incorporated old, new and handmade pieces with a human touch that captured the salon's motif.
Pony commented that even the colors of the interior embraced the salon’s identity, saying, "Sarah's knowledge of color is incredible, and she knew the right color palette to bring this space together." Though Sarah was influenced by the salon’s warm and vintage touch, she understood that the salon’s ultimate aesthetic was progressive and decided early on to meld the old with the new. Immediately images of 50’s and 60’s automobiles came to mind, and Sarah kept picturing the 2-3 pinstripe tones found in the exterior color palettes of old cars. Aware that one of these three colors needed to be white, she ended up choosing Dunn Edward's Barrel Stove (DE6216), Sante Fe Tan (DE5375), and Powdered (DEW316) to outfit the interior space.
After the dust settled, photographer Martin Cohen was on the scene to document the renovation. Hailing originally from Amsterdam, Martin has been a globally active photographer based in L.A. for over twenty years. He’s taken photos all around Europe, Africa, and the former Soviet Union. Sarah, Pony, and the salon crew were thrilled to have him around to record their experience.
It took Pony’s vision and the support of good friends to build and open Folklore Salon in April 2012. Through their friendship and teamwork they were able to build a salon with a DIY approach. In some ways, the process of building the salon became a narrative itself. Whether it’s the way you style your hair or the way you create an interior space, we each all share our own individual folklore.
Pony’s 10 year emphasis in cutting, combines traditional barbering and modern hair dressingtechniques to fit a person’s individual style.
Passionate about her chosen career, Sparrow is always on trend with her styling skills and always pursuing higher education in hair. Sparrow specializes in long hair styles, smoothing treatments, and color applications, however with her artistic vision and attention to detail enjoys working with clients to come up with styles individualized to their needs.
SARAH BARNARD is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the United States Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy’s board of directors and specializes in green interior design and historic preservation.
Sarah Barnard Design undertakes residential interior design projects, commercial spaces and even single rooms. She can help you with space planning, color counseling, kitchen and bath remodeling, historic preservation, and all aspects of green design and healthy living: organic, non-toxic, sustainable and fair trade materials, energy and resource conservation, air and water purification, natural furnishings and fabrics and much more!