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Mark About Town

The First Ward Salon Tulsa Interview Mark Perkins
The First Ward Salon Tulsa Interview Mark Perkins

If you live in the Tulsa area, you've probably seen this face around town. But what do any of us really know about Mark Perkins? He loves a good glass of wine, an impromptu trip anywhere in the world, and he cares deeply about our fair city.  We sat down with this local enigma to get to the bottom of the important issues. Like, what is his Bacon Number? And, does Jessica give accurate tarot readings?  


What does "hygge" mean to you?

The First Ward Salon Tulsa Interview Mark Perkins

One of the beautiful attributes of hygge, and what makes it tricky to define, is that it is a concept that means something a little different to everybody.  It is both personal and universal.  For me, it’s that moment in which you find yourself content.  It’s the sensation more than the fact of being physically and mentally comfortable and untroubled.  It is related to coziness, but it has an extra kick that makes it an understated, half-conscious half-subconscious joyful coziness inclusive of multiple senses.  

Imagine finding yourself cozy, lounging with your favorite person after a night full of laughter and solid conversation, looking into the fire but not focused on it, during one of those seven-minute silences (not an uncomfortable one…a reflective one with a half-grin), and, as the illumination in the room dances with familiar cadence, the fire crackles just right, both breaking and prolonging the silence as its done since the beginning of time, while the fragrance of burning wood comingles with the residual scent of that delicious meal you improvised earlier using the beautiful ingredients you picked up at the farmer’s market you stumbled upon while exploring that cool autumn morning.  Hygge.  Or, imagine lying in the cool grass, late in the afternoon, with the sun hitting everything at the right angle but your eyes, which are looking up at the uniquely-perfect-for-that-day clouds speckled across a big sky, while a breeze comes in waves, audibly (and visually in your periphery) rustling the leaves of the semi-distant trees, reminding you of when you were a kid, having the exact same sensation without a specific memory attached to it.  Hygge.

Everyone in Tulsa seems to know you.
Are you Tulsa’s Kevin Bacon?
Do you know Kevin Bacon?

I don’t know him, but my Bacon number is 3, which is pretty good.  I was in Bring It On with Kirsten Dunst, who was in Spider Man 3 with Theresa Russell, who was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon. 

Oysters vs. Crawdads?

Well, I have a healthy obsession with crawfish.  My sister-in-law is from LA…she opened my eyes long ago.  It’s tough to beat a proper crawfish boil, or Cajun food in general for that matter. Frankly, the Dionysian outlook that permeates Cajun culture as I’ve seen it is something to be embraced and celebrated.  As a society, we probably need more of it, though not the caricaturization of it (if that’s a word).  And crawfish is the perfect representative of the culture that prepares it best.  

Crawfish has a latent, delicious beauty that needs to be teased out of it.  It needs spice, it craves attention, it likes to be complemented by other flavors without being overshadowed.  Ready to let loose and dance, it has a symbiotic relationship with the chef who prepares it.  In the hands of a good chef, crawfish reaches its apex, and is capable of doing so because it is ready to party.  Full of potential. Ready to burst forth in a flurry of bliss.  And the personality of the chef, and indeed the crowd gathered to enjoy it, emerges, uniquely, at every crawfish boil, and shines through in the flavor that is aroused.  Perfectly imperfect, ready to party, full of the emotion.  The yin to the yang. 

Oysters, on the other hand, don’t need any assistance.  The lucky ones are innately beautiful.  The last thing they need is encroachment, or some blowhard’s idea of what they should be.  Similar in their carefree attitude, but different in their state of contentment. They are what they are; a product of the environment from where they come.  And what they are shines through in their most natural state. The good ones were born with it, and are uninterested in being inspired to be anything else. Like Allen Iverson, they don’t give a fuck.  They are a product of their environment, they know with focused precision that the best thing they can offer the world is to be what they are not what someone else wants them to be.  When they have it, they have it, and nothing can make it better, especially not overbearing shit like horseradish.  Their flavor tells a story worth listening to, if you’re only willing to listen.  They taste like an experience worth experiencing.  They taste like the sea; they taste specifically like the sea from which they came.  If you give them the attention they deserve, they will take you to the particular stretch of the world they used to call home.  An oyster is a tour guide that will take you to a far away place you may not know, but that you can experience if you allow yourself to listen with all of your senses.  Oysters are like wine.  And, like wine, they should be the ones telling the story.

The First Ward Salon Tulsa Interview Mark Perkins

You have the hair of a Disney Prince. 
Which princess is your soulmate?
Who had the best hair? 

Well, my first love was Ariel, but I’ve grown up a little.  So I’ll go with Belle as my soul mate.  She’s adventurous, intelligent, curious, strong, and effortlessly beautiful.  She marches to the beat of her own drum, but is not self-centered.  She is in fact pretty selfless.  Her farthest adventure afield was for others. She is both picky and romantic, and obviously is open to trying new things.  She’s an idealist.  And finally, apparently, she will also soon be played by one of my celebrity crushes, Emma Watson. Icing on the cake.

Best hair?  They all have pretty great hair (except for Snow White, obviously).  Rapunzel…her hair is literally legendary.  But I can’t get past her name reminding me of a beastie boys lyric.  And, honestly, who wants their hair to be that long?  Nobody, that’s who.  Can you imagine all the hassles it would cause, even locked in a castle (pun intended)?  Belle has really great hair, but she’s my soul mate despite that not because of it.  She could do whatever she wanted with her hair and she’d still be elegant and gorgeous.  Jasmine is exotic and gorgeous, free spirited, curious, compassionate, beautiful, and strong.  She’s also innocent, stubborn, and can be a little sassy.  Adorable.  But I’ll go with Merida.  Can you believe those locks?  Get outta here!  I’d be that creepy guy at a party she didn’t really know who’d ask to touch her hair.  Men have died for less than a fistful of those locks! Curls for life!  Ride on, red hot mama, girl, you sure look good to me!

The First Ward Salon Tulsa Interview Mark Perkins

Where in the world is Mark Perkins going next (literally + figuratively)?

I have a few little trips planned, but I’m most excited about visiting the middle east in the fall.  A few weeks ago, I booked a round trip flight to Dubai for $671!  Dubai isn’t really my destination though…it’s just a transit hub on the other side of the world that I could get to on the cheap.  Aside from spending a few days in the UAE, I have a blank canvas for a couple weeks; I’m thinking some combination of Israel/Palestine/Jordan/Egypt.  Or maybe East Africa.  I’m not really sure yet, but it’ll be fun to plan.  I’m open to suggestions…

Figuratively, I have no idea.  Hopefully, it involves a whole lotta hygge.

Has anything in Jessica's tarot reading proven to be true?

Not really. I think the first card was off.  The Empress is always a part of who I am.  My future is what it is, and yet to be determined, but by definition cannot yet be proven true.  I hope to always be a spoke on the Wheel of Fortune, open to what comes, swept up in the momentum I create by conscientious decision-making. Destiny is the cocktail made of ingredients determined by good living.


As with any good mystery, we still have questions but feel once step closer to understanding Mr. Perkins. Thanks, Mark, for taking the time to chat with us. Now we're gonna go watch Bring It On in slow motion to see if he's telling the truth. 

- Team TFW

Jan, You Hairy.

2017: A SALON ODYSSEY

Hey, hairbangers. What a year that was. 2016 was pretty good to our little salon. So good, in fact, that we forgot to tell you anything about it. In case you're curious, here are some photos that tell you everything you need to know:

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We are keeping the momentum going straight into 2017 and look forward to sharing what we're up to. Stay tuned in the coming months. The First Ward is going to have our most surprising, exciting, and controversial year yet...oh, wait...that's this season of The Bachelor. But really, we're going to have giveaways, parties, surprise guests, and someone is opening a new business downstairs. On top of that, we've been working on hair education that's sending us over the moon!


JAMES AND JESSICA DIP BENEATH LASERS

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It's pretty well-known that we like to throw a party, we love lasers, and Jessica loves 90s techno. With that in mind, the Day for Night festival in Houston was clearly our party mecca, and we had to make our pilgrimage. So Jessica and James took one for the team and gathered a few tricks to put in our back pocket for future parties. Day for Night is an immersive music and art festival, showcasing mind-blowing acts from around the globe. We're still in awe of how incredible this fest was. Who wants to join us for Day for Night 3 in December 2017?

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REMINDER: Jessica is going to be out of the salon from January 20th-February 14th. If you need an appointment during those dates, we can happily schedule you with another stylist or find JB's soonest availability. 


Cheers to the new year!

-Team TFW

 
 

Bonjour from The First Ward

August: Tulsa County

OK. Here we are. You made it to August in one piece. It's time to stop worrying about getting that body 'bikini ready' and start looking up those holiday cookie recipes. This month we recap the First Ward eurotrip, unveil a new product line we will be carrying this fall and finally introduce our latest addition to the First Ward team (please, Sarah, don't leave us). 


The First Ward's European Vacation

It's been a busy summer here at the salon, but James + Jessica managed to sneak off to Copenhagen and Paris for a well-deserved getaway. We obviously had a million questions about the trip and demanded a full play-by-play. We also thought we'd get some more interesting info if our two travelers interviewed each other about their shared experience.

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Copenhagen August 2015

Jessica (JB): France or Denmark?
James (JS): France, by a nose. (Get it?) 

JS: Favorite night in Paris and favorite night in Denmark?
JB: Denmark - that walk through Christiania on the way to Noma (best restaurant experience of my life), followed by hanging out at the Eiffel Tower bar. Paris - Our last night, meeting up with the McCreadys, drinking too much rosé, and making new friends that we'll meet up with in Bali next year. 

JB: Do you find women in Copenhagen or Paris sexier?
JS: Loaded question. Copenhagen women are naturally gifted and beautiful. Parisian women have more style and attitude. I prefer, well, you, but if I have to answer, I prefer Parisian women. 

JS: If you could import anything to Tulsa from the trip, what would it be?
JB: You know that foie gras TSA confiscated? Yeah, I'd import that. 

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Copenhagen NOMA August 2015
The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog France August 2015

David Mallett, Our Spirit Animal

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog David Mallett Paris France August 2015

Long before The First Ward was conceived, Jessica + James dreamed of having a cozy studio space to lounge in with clients, while sipping drinks, talking philosophy and playing with beautiful hair. Turns out, this fantasy already existed at David Mallett in Paris. Naturally, Jessica had to visit this space on their recent explorations. She absolutely fell in love with their line of products…so much so that for the first time in over ten years we've decided to retail a second line of haircare.

This beautiful and simple line consists of seven products that make your hair feel like it's your best hair day ever. In addition to being formulated by truly one of the greatest chemists in the industry (developer for Hermès, Kenzo, l'Aritsan, etc), the fragrances were developed by one of our favorites, Emmanuel Philip (Cire Trudon, Boucheron, Louis Vuitton, etc).

Be on the lookout for another upcoming Instagram Giveaway (@thefirstward). You know we aren't big product pushers, but we really can't wait for you to fall in love with these goodies as much as we have.


Our new secret weapon, Sarah Sullivan

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Sullystring Weaving West Elm August 2015

A few months ago, we caught our friend Sarah off guard by asking her to join our workforce. Sarah possessed a skill set of seemingly intangible traits that our team was lacking. Since she joined us, we've felt like we're on a rocket ship to who-knows-where. It feels awesome! Thanks for all your hard work and keeping us organized, Sarah!

Starting August 7th (for one weekend only), Sarah will be a featured artist at West Elm in Utica Square. We absolutely recommend stopping in there to see her sweet weavings. To see more of what she offers, you can find her on Etsy (SULLYSTRING) and Instagram (@polkadotsulli). 


Krystle + The Land of Bjork

All we know about Iceland is that it is greener than Greenland. Luckily, our own Krystle Morris will be there from August 30-September 9th to get us some more information. If you know you'll be wanting an appointment around these days, we suggest booking ASAP. 

Summa-Summa-Summatime

Time to Sit Back and Unwind

Congratulations. You survived Travis Meyer's Wicked Weather. We hope your basement is less flooded than James and Jessicas. In this issue we talk Tulsa Tough, Krystle's Intrepid Lifestyle, and more cocktails than you can shake a muddler at.  


Are You Tulsa Tuff?

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Tulsa Tough Cycling June 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Our favorite holiday is upon us. It's time for Tulsa Tough! We will be hosting our 4th Annual Friday night TT party on June 12th. Please join us at the salon from 5-10 to cheer on the cyclists from our air conditioned perch, while you enjoy a cocktail and entertainment provided by us!  We will have a door person making sure we don't blow by capacity this year, so show up early, or late, or whatever…we'll be too busy spilling drinks on the crowd below to notice what's going on in here. 

Also, we will be offering a 10% discount to those of you that ride your bikes to the salon in June. We have plenty of room to store those bikes, so you can bring them upstairs with you, or chain them up on the sidewalk.


Krystle Went to Canada

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Krystle Canada June 2015

Krystle was on a pretty sweet vacay last month. When she got back to work, she was all glowing and shit, so we thought we'd pick her brain to see what she did on her days off and how that makes her work better. Here's a little interview for you to enjoy.

TFW - What were some highlights from your trip?

KM - Vancouver has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. The street is covered in brilliant colors and there are tons of unique markets and restaurants to check out. My personal favorite was a Chinese brasserie called Bao Bei (meaning "precious"). It is not the most traditional approach to Chinese cuisine, but they have great dumplings, stiff cocktails, and they teach you useful Chinese phrases such as "it's not you, it's me" or "you are my baby." 

I'd also recommend taking the ferry to Vancouver Island, which is rich in lush gardens, fresh seafood, and great whisky. We were hosted by a couple named Tom and Rosie in Quallicum Beach. Tom created these nut shaped homes that suspend from the tops of mature cedar and fir trees. When I asked Tom how he came up with the idea, he humbly replied "It's just something that I couldn't get out of my head." You're an inspiration to us all, Tom! 

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FW - What regional trends did you notice? 

KM - People are more active in the northwest so most hairstyles are worn natural and are conducive to one's lifestyle. Highlights were subtle from the sun, curls from moisture in the air, and it's not uncommon to see a woman let her hair dry on her walk to work. I am ALL about this. We should have easier styles that work with our elements and natural hair so that we have more time doing things that we love. Hello! 

TFW - How do your travels influence your work?

KM - I am inspired by the colors in a desert sunset, Canadians being suspiciously nice, and the way someone's culture, religion, or environment can influence their personal style. Then, I apply it to my work/life in whatever positive way I can. Traveling has changed the way I relate to others by keeping me open minded and Stefan Sagmeister says it adds on years to your life. ;)

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Krystle Canada June 2015

Goodbye Bumbo, Hello Everything!

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Lake Drinks Cocktails June 2015

It's no secret that we've been busy little bees at the salon, so in honor of our summer fantasies we've decided to dive head first into "Lake Cocktails" this season. It was impossible to narrow this down to just one drink, so we have three: the Paloma - a tequila drink with all the flavor of a margarita and none of the ego, the Tinto de Verano - sangria's bastard child, and the Jack Rudy G&T - like a normal Gin and Tonic, but way better. These simple and delicious drinks will make you want to do donuts on your jet skis. 

 

Research and Development

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Travel Vacation June 2015

James and Jessica will be out of the salon doing "research" July 14th - July 24th. We promise to come back refreshed, inspired and ready to work. The schedule is already getting full, so if you know you'll be wanting an appointment around these dates, we recommend booking very soon.