EXPOSÉ: Straight Pin Studio

“For the girl with the adventurous spirit and a sophisticated street sense of style. She celebrates her freedom and lives life unpinned. The only thing that can stop her in her tracks is a lost bobby pin.”

This is Straight Pin Studio’s creed. It’s simple with a daring dash of complexity. When you say it out loud, it’s an eloquent way of describing today’s modern woman. But when you pair it with this stunning black and white photography, you just can’t help but want to crawl through the lens and live in Straight Pin’s classy, monochromatic world.

Co-Founder Lisa Botts summed it up perfectly when she said:

“It is a fusion of sophistication and street style. Someone who would mix McQueen with H&M—she has an adventurous spirit and a limitless mind. We wanted Lucie’s British heritage and my crazy love for 1960’s Britain to convey that sense of freedom in the branding.”

Did they nail that one on the head or what? I certainly think so.

The Visionaries

Straight Pin is the collaboration and brainchild of Editorial Stylist Lucie Doughty and Makeup Artist Lisa Botts. These two creative beings have spent the past two, almost three decades in the professional beauty industry. And for nearly 20 years, they’ve remained partners in beauty crime and also partners in life. It all started way back in the day when they both were educators at the Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica. Since then, they’ve evolved from up-and-coming educators into two women calling the shots—Editorial Director for John Paul Mitchell Systems (Lucie) and Straight Pin Co-Founder (Lisa).

Today, hairdressers flock to their website in droves. Their social media following grows daily, especially on Instagram. The mission? To provide hairdressers (and even their clients) with the proper tools, education and inspiration to push their artistic ability to the maximum limit. The big draw? Brilliant kits chockful of pins, bands, clips and netting—those “tinies” that a hairdresser relies on when styling and finishing that usually go missing or get buried in the bottom of a bag.

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The Kits

“These kits were born from a simple thought of wanting to have pro tools selected and organized so all the professional has to do is create. Every tool has a purpose and will ultimately make your job easier,” shared Doughty.

When you’re on the road and shooting in various locations and settings, keeping yourself and your kit completely organized is essential and often, cumbersome. For years, Doughty would walk on set carrying a giant, unattractive and bulky tackle box. And after years of doing so, she finally said enough is enough. No more! She set out to find the perfect packaging to house the tiniest of essentials. After 4 months of searching, the elusive black box with plenty of compartments was found and Straight Pin Studio’s kits were on their way from a dream to reality.

The Good Cause

But you know what makes these kits so damn special? No, it’s not the fact that it helps salon pros stay organized and not on their hands and knees searching for the bobby pin or elastic that decided to run off and play with the floor. And it’s not the miniature version that is a HUGE hit with salon clients because it’s something they can toss in their purse or gym bag and keep their hair looking sophisticated and stylish after they leave the salon. I’ll tell you what it is: these tiny kits give back in a big way.

Sure, Doughty and Botts could have cut their margins and had these kits manufactured and assembled in China on the cheap, but they chose not to. Instead, they partnered with Hillside Enterprises, a division of Advocacy for Respect and Choice based out of Long Beach (AR&C). AR&C is a private, non-profit organization that has been providing services for adults with intellectual disabilities since 1951. Doughty and Botts are providing jobs to between 50-100 adults—something that is on a greater emotional level that can’t be completely described.

“Just even talking about this makes my heart sing,” shared Botts. “It’s so rewarding to walk into Hillside and see the adults become so overjoyed because they’re going to be working on our stuff. They’ll see me and scream, ‘Lisa’s here with more pins!’ It means so much to them, and so much more to us that we’re able to give back like this.”

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The Future

Straight Pin Studio is already a styling force to be reckoned with. They have surpassed US distribution and have become a global entity. Since their passion is education and mentoring, Straight Pin is dedicated to elevating and evolving all levels of skill-set through video tutorials and maybe one day, an academy.

“Straight Pin Studio is our chance to create a space without walls,” added Botts. “What I mean by this is we are more than the products we sell. We invite people to design their lives through empowerment, education and the understanding of themselves and others. More importantly, for people to see what’s possible for their lives when they commit to it.”

When you speak with the founders of Straight Pin Studio about their journey, you can hear it their voices how truly dedicated and passionate they are for the industry, hairdressing and each other. Life partners working together as business partners can be challenging but Botts and Doughty, they have it down. All of us at Industrie couldn’t be more proud or thrilled about what they have already achieved and we fully support their continued success. You’re going to like what the Straight Pin Studios future will bring to the world of sophisticated styling and finishing. Trust us. Just wait and see.

Visit Straight Pin Studio’s site, peek at their kits and sign up for the newsletter delightfully titled “The Crumpet.”

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