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The First Ward is always up to something. Stay up to date with news from our blog, including local Tulsa highlights, hair tips, and tales from our #tfwadventures. 

WAX ECSTATIC

Well, we did it! The First Ward is happy to announce that we have created our first-ever custom candle. It only took us about two years to develop, but it was well worth the time.

After the short run of our pop-up shop Hygge, a spark was ignited in the minds of Team TFW. We wanted to bring a little more of the shop's cozy lifestyle into the salon. We've also always been interested in developing a signature fragrance, so the answer seemed simple: candles. The warmth and comfort of a good candle is the key to coziness. Did you know the average Danish citizen burns thirteen pounds of candlewax a year? WHOA. 

The main purpose of a First Ward candle has always been to provide a familiar sense of space that our clients and friends can take home with them. It's the same welcoming feeling we want you to experience in the salon. 

To achieve this vague and ambitious goal, we needed a candlemaker that could translate it into smells. Through our friends at Workstead, we joined forces with Beau Burdette at The Contents Co. in Charleston, South Carolina. Beau definitely spoke our language. To kick things off, Beau sent us a questionnaire that helped keep us on the right path throughout development. 

What feelings or emotions do you want this scent to convey?
Comfort and familiarity, while still being challenged. Like a song you feel you should have heard before, but is new to you. Or a new friend that seems should have been in your life forever. Or the way your home smells like you remember, but more intense, after having a great adventure overseas.

Name a few adjectives you would want others to use when describing this scent:
Androgynous, balanced, comforting. 

If this scent were a person, who would it be?
Here are a few: Jane Goodall, Benazir Bhutto, Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhart. All strong, adventurous, passionate women.

After some back and forth, Beau knocked it out of the park. At times it seemed like he knew what we wanted better than we did. He also sourced the most incredible terra-cotta vessels from a Charleston ceramicist that make for a great keepsake after the candle burns out. 

The First Ward Contents Co Candle
The First Ward Contents Co Candle Tulsa Oklahoma
The First Ward Contents Co Candle Tulsa Oklahoma
The First Ward Contents Co Candle Tulsa Oklahoma

So what does it smell like? We took some notes from our favorite fig candles to create something sweet, complex, and the answer to all the questions above. According to the maker, "the leathery, milky fig notes come first, with a sharper touch of citrus/floral/green aromas.... lastly a subtle earthy/woods base note." 

Honestly, it's hard to describe. All we know it's the perfect complement to the scent of the salon and we're obsessed with it. First batch is a limited supply, so get your nose over to the salon before they're all gone!

The First Ward Contents Co Candle Tulsa Oklahoma
The First Ward Contents Co

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

Living the Dream in 2016

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Daruma Doll January 2016

Well the holidays were a long time ago, and the weather seems to be telling us to go into hibernation. As usual, we're doing the opposite of what we should. Instead, we've been going a mile a minute and taking care of business. Last year surpassed all of our expectations, and we're doing all we can to make sure 2016 is even better. 

Here is a little thank you note to anyone you shopped at our pop-up, a potential business opportunity for you, and some tips if you decided to change your hair this year. 


Hygge Thanks You

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Hygge Pop-Up Shop January 2016

Before we truly dive into the new year, we want to thank anyone who visited our Hygge Pop-Up Shop.  We had a hell of a good time spending the holidays with you and connecting Tulsa with some of our favorite designers. The shop was definitely an experiment for us, and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out. More than anything, we learned just how much potential there is in Downtown Tulsa, and we can't wait to continue adding to that. 

In case you missed the shop, we've added a few of our Hygge favorites to the retail shelves of the salon. We have Grown Alchemist skincare in stock, which our skin thanks us for every day. There are also a few great home items, including bottle openers, blankets, and a felt whale with a party hat. Also, if there's anything you remember from the shop but don't see, just ask us! Chances are we can find a way to get it to you. 

Now that you've filled in the eye of your new daruma doll, we hope you remember to keep things cozy and hygge as the temperature drops. There's a reason all those Scandinavian countries are the happiest in the world. They've made a cultural pact to not let the cold get them down. It's a damn hard thing to do, but we're willing to give it a try this year (as long as Jessica continues to host soup night at her place). 

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Available Pop-Up Space January 2016

While we take the next couple months to develop our next great idea, our downstairs shop space will be vacant. Within that time, we are interested in leasing the space for classes, workshops, and weekend pop-ups. Possible ideas include: a bartending class, flower shop, and psychic readings. We're always down to collaborate, so please email us if you have an idea! 


Small Business Saturday

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Hygge Pop-Up Shop Small Business Saturday 2015

Small Biz Saturday: November 28

Did you know Small Business Saturday was originally a marketing campaign conceived by a credit card company? It's ironic that a holiday that started out so commercial has now found a greater meaning. 

We personally love it (and not just because we are a small business). Tulsa is growing larger by the minute, determined to be the hottest spot on the map. With that comes a lot of big business. But the real personality of any major city comes from the little guys, the one-of-a-kind places that saw potential in the area before it was "cool." These local businesses create the soul of the city. Rarely are small-business owners in it for the money. They do what they do because they love it and the culture of their city needs them.

With that in mind, we need to do what we can to show small-business owners that their efforts are worth it. It's one thing to say you love a place, but it takes a little more to keep that place alive. When you're out and about doing holiday shopping, make sure to swing by your local retail stores and show them some love. If you're in the Tulsa area, here's a list of some local shops to check out:

Dwelling Spaces
Edit
Colors of Etnika
Whiskey Business
Holy Mountain
Merriment Market @ Hoot Owl
...and don't forget to visit Hygge

The September Issue

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog September 2015

Well, we woke up today and it was September. Even though it's technically still Summer, that Autumn change is in the air…which usually puts Jessica in a grumpy mood. Not this year, though! We have more awesome projects with awesome people happening than we can shake a stick at. 

This month we'll continue to explore the process of creating our first lookbook, we discuss fall cocktails with Aaron Post from Valkyrie, and talk about inflation and our price hike. 


Look Book / Dream Team / Sneak Peek

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Photo Shoot Greenhouse September 2015

The hardest part of creating our lookbook is over (for the First Ward crew, anyway). After a month of meetings, castings, and convincing, we spent two weekends shooting 11 models that represent what doing hair at The First Ward means to us. As I'm sure you know, we're an opinionated bunch, so narrowing that down has been a challenging task. But we like challenges and from what we've seen, we're so stoked that we're already planning the next one.

Here are a couple of behind-the-scenes sneaky peeks for you:

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Photo Shoot September 2015
The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Photo Shoot James and Jessica September 2015

The Aaron Post Post

The First Ward Hair Studio Tulsa Blog Aaron Post Valkyrie Interview September 2015

It's no secret, we like to enjoy some adult beverages on occasion. So it makes sense that one of our favorite people in Tulsa owns one of our favorite bars. Seriously, though, if you haven't met Aaron Post, he's one of the nicest guys around. That's good because our new motto is "doing nice things with nice people". He totally fits the bill and he makes us laugh to boot. 

We asked him a few questions and got a nice recipe while daydreaming about our fall cocktail. Check it:


TFW: We love going to Valkyrie because we can always expect something new, delicious, and exciting. You have such a great reputation and your bar is so welcoming. What is the driving force behind your motivation?

AP: Our mantra is "playfully serving serious drinks." We strive to be a world-class cocktail bar that doesn't take itself too seriously. The universe of craft cocktails can sometimes be overwhelming. We work hard to be sympathetic to all of our guests and curate great experiences no matter what they're excited about.

TFW: Who is George Turbo?

AP: Aaron Post is "work hard." George Turbo is "play hard." George Turbo is the night. George Turbo is leading in the polls. George Turbo comes with potato salad. George Turbo is here if you need to talk. George Turbo is Netflix and chill. Spoiler alert: George Turbo.

TFW: What are you looking forward to drinking this fall? Can we get one recipe?

AP: There are more seasonal flavors and ingredients in our upcoming fall menu than ever before. We're taking a shaken bias so expect big, gratuitous flavors from drinks coming out of a tin. Stirred drinks are going to be a little more nuanced, but still feature complex flavor profiles.

Here is a beautiful and moderately simple recipe from Aaron:

Skylark
1.5 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Becherovka
.5 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
.25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
4 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe or cocktail glass.  Garnish with Star Anise.


Salon Prices

On a serious note, we've all been so grateful for your support at the salon. We understand our success in Tulsa is because you've trusted us to provide a sincere service and thoughtful experience. It will always be our goal to continue pushing ourselves to deliver the unexpected.

All of that being said, it is time for us to raise our prices. From the price of our products increasing, to growing our staff to better accommodate you, it is costing us more to continue to provide an elevated service experience. Also, a little raise now and again never hurts.

You can find a detailed breakdown of our new prices on our website at thefirstwardstudio.com.


When You Wish Upon A Star...

Just like Walt Disney always preached, dreams really do come true. 

November 1st, "Hygge", our retail store, will open just below the salon on 1st St. With a concept inspired by our recent trip to Europe, we are creating a holiday pop-up shop featuring beautiful and useful objects. We are super excited to share more details soon.

Sweet dreams!

- James + The First Wardens