The cobblestone walkways of Gastown will guide you to many places for shopping and lunching, but for those looking to settle in and enjoy some self-care, these historic streets will now lead you to Vancouver’s newest beauty space!
Joanna Keller Beautique has returned to Cordova Street and the renovated location sees the heritage bones accentuated by bright and modern fixtures. Interiors are vintage without looking old, and modern without being stark. Joining Joanna is Primp and Proper, owned by make-up and hair artist, Faye Smith.
The Early Days of Lash
Joanna Keller Beautique has long been the place to go for lash services. In 2012, when lash lifts and extensions were taking off, Joanna decided it was time to venture out alone and stop working in other people’s studios. “I just wanted to be an independent artist,” Joanna said, “I didn’t necessarily want a business.” Originally offering a mobile service, she eventually set up a table in her home, which, coincidentally is in the very building as the relaunched Beautique.
Her customer base grew and soon she had a thriving business catering to strong-minded women who were daring and loved to experiment with trends and style.
In 2014, Joanna hired her first employee and officially outgrew her apartment/lash studio set-up. Working in her first official studio, the Joanna Keller Beautique became the number one lash studio in Vancouver. When the landlord sold that location, the business moved to Chinatown, where services expanded and clientele continued to grow for almost two years.
A Sign from the Lash Deities
When COVID-19 hit, so did the uncertainty. Joanna and Faye had just started their partnership, and Primp and Proper had barely finished moving in when the city shut down. With no tourists in Gastown (which made up the lions share of summer business), and the area becoming increasingly challenging, a decision had to be made, so Joanna asked the universe for a sign, “Show me a sign that I should leave, I asked! The next day our banner got stolen. It couldn’t have been more literal than that!”
Almost immediately, a suitable salon space in Gastown announced they were closing, so Joanna immediately reached out about taking over. On June 15th, Joanna Keller Beautique and Primp and Proper opened their doors in the same building that Joanna had provided services to her very first client in 2012.
Business is steady now; her loyal core clients having followed from the previous space to the new. Next year if the pandemic dust has settled, it is expected that business will pick back up as usual. Since the new location is smaller, the salon will not see the same monthly client volume as before, but Joanna considers this an opportunity for a different kind of growth. Not only can you get an incredible set of lashes, a spray-tan, your hair and make-up done by experts, you can now sign-up to learn Joanna’s lash expertise as she has begun teaching.
When Life Gives You Lemons!
There are also exciting lash products in the works. In partnership with Lash Snob, Joanna has created a clear lash glue. What makes this glue unique is that it has been formulated to be safe for those usually allergic to lash extensions, like Joanna herself. The clear glue will work perfectly with her next project, a capsule collection of her own colour lash extensions, for which she is known.
2020 has presented many challenges to small business, but in all the chaos, there was some positive thrown into the mix. A new space and a fresh start!
Book Online and visit Joanna Keller Beautique / Primp and Proper at 73 East Cordova Street in Gastown. Open 7 days a week!
- Mona Butler is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, BC.
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