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 traipsing 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 on which they would soon embark.
With a decade of hair styling experience under his belt, Pony decided to open up his salon, and in January 2012 he found a storefront in Echo Park to start his salon venture. The location of the storefront is trendy, but the unit 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. "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 quirks 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 conserved conceptual desk. Coincidentally, one of Pony’s associates found the same piece on Craigslist the very next day! Constructed by a friend of Pony’s, the selected light fixtures 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 took in mind 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 the ’50s and '60s 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 create 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 folklore.
Pony’s 10-year emphasis in cutting combines traditional barbering and modern hairdressing techniques to fit a person’s specific style.
Passionate about her chosen career, Sparrow is always on trend with her styling skills and still pursuing higher education in hair. Sparrow specializes in long hairstyles, 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.