Oranj Studio, located in the previously untouched modern SW Waterfront District, is the next generation of hair salons. iPads have replaced magazines, custom built wash stations and electronic massage chairs have been shipped in from Italy and not to mention the space is acting both as a hair salon and art gallery. You go in and never want to leave. Especially when the owners, Tamara and Eric Dayton sneakily corner you into the ultra-sleek, space-ship-looking-pod-chairs. Okay, so they didn’t really have to push us that hard but they definitely have a way to make you feel welcome. We wanted their story.E+E: How did you two meet?Oranj Studio: We met at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah (2002). I was with a Sightworks client and Tamara's best friend was my client's PR rep. I saw her walk across the room and 5 years later we were married.
E+E: What was the inspiration for an hair + art salon?OS: To us, the most important thing about art - whether you're talking about the art of hair or fine art - is the concept of contributing to "the conversation" and how best to achieve that. By putting our clientele in the center of an art space we're allowing them to be a part of that conversation and to experience it in a way that's totally organic, relaxing and unique.E+E: How does Oranj select the art that goes up everything 3 months?OS: This goes back to the "conversation" I was talking about - I look for artists who are making a significant, relevant contribution - art that makes you react because of its relevancy to the world we're living in now.E+E: How did you come up with the name?OS: Oranj (Oranje) is Dutch for Orange. It's also Tamara's favorite color.E+E: Tell us about the move to the SW Waterfront.OS: After the fire at our original Alberta location, we were looking for a neighborhood with an untapped potential for an appreciation of art . That's kind of my thing - developing arts communities in new places. In 1995ish - before there was a Pearl District - I was on the Art Space board and helped broker a deal between the city and the Everett Street Lofts to create affordable spaces for artist to live and work. The South Waterfront is on a different level economically to be sure but it's still got that kind of potential arts-y feel to it.E+E: What is the most popular hairstyle right now?OS: Our stylists are always interpreting classic cuts in a modern fashion. We literally travel the world looking for the latest trends and techniques to bring back to Portland. Our clients love it and actively follow us on Facebook and Pinterest to see what we're up to.E+E: Top 3 fav things about your job. Go!OS: 1. We're creating something completely new in this industry by focusing on our personal creativity and giving it back to the best place (and people) on the planet. Portlanders.2. We feel so lucky to work with awesome people who are on the same page giving it all every single day. We're a family3. Making people feel good about themselves (and our massaging shampoo stations don't hurt either.E+E: Any big future plans for Oranj?OS: We just added two incredible stylists and an apprentice to the salon end and we'll soon be launching an art retail section with high AND low price points to illustrate and capture the range of art in each city we visit on our buying trips (we'll be going to New York, Milan, London, etc). After that it's you know...the usual - drink some beer, take over the world. Oranj Studio0726 SW Gaines St Portland, OR 97239(503) 719-5338