Who out there is curious about the mastermind behind your favorite salon? When I read about a new specialty salon coming to the Van Aken District, I was intrigued. Andrews Colour Atelier is the kind of salon I’d expect to see in a major metropolitan area (think LA, DC, New York), a salon that is at its core a workshop of hair artisans, people working first to perfect their craft. This salon takes on all tasks hair (cut, color, you name it), but they are experts in Balayage, which is a fancy new-ish technique for painting hair to add in multi-dimensional, graduated, and natural looking highlights. On staff at Andrews are three certified Masters in Balayage from the L’Oreal Academy in NYC and a Vidal Sassoon celebrity stylist who travels from NYC to cut/style the hair of Cleveland clients. Impressive. I wanted to learn more – so I did a little more research.. I was even more impressed to learn that that the woman behind the salon, Erin Andrews Wervey, is widely credited with bringing Balayage to Cleveland. She’s a true local too, having grown up in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Falls, and on top of all of this impressiveness, she’s a mom too.
When I learned that last part, I did something supremely uncharacteristic for me – I called the salon and asked to speak to Erin specifically. I explained who I was and that I’d love to feature her here, and I made an appointment to have my first Balayage – something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I spent quite a while in the salon that day, chatting with Erin, her staff, and getting an overall feel for the place. A few things are clear immediately (other than the gorgeous space and convenient location) – these people have a lot of fun at work. Red ‘power’ booties are worn with abandon – I think at least half the stylists and Erin herself were sporting them during my appointment. The second is that the staff LOVE Erin. They respect her, they look up to her, and they genuinely enjoy their work. The third is that the people at Andrews are VERY good at their jobs. I wish I had a before/after pic to include here, but my hair still looks incredible almost 4 months later. I’m definitely going back.
Our resulting interview with Erin is below, I hope you enjoy reading it!
Where are you originally from?
I’m the youngest of four siblings, and we’re from Cleveland Heights originally. I went to Roxboro elementary and middle school, but my family moved to Chagrin Falls when I was in the 7th grade. I graduated from Chagrin Falls High School. My family moved back to the Heights and they live in Shaker Heights today. We have family on West side, too.
What’s your current profession?
I’m a master hair colorist specializing in balayage. I trained and studied the technique at some of the top salons in New York City prior to moving back to Cleveland. I am also a certified Balyage Master.
Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?
I live in Auburn Township today, which is about 20 minutes east of Chagrin Falls.
How many children do you have & what are their ages?
Francesca is my oldest. She’s 5. My son, Denver will be 3 in March.
What are some of your favorite things about Northeast Ohio?
The people, the cost of living, the lack of traffic, the number of things to do with kids, how family friendly it is … what’s not to love?
Can you tell us something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m not terribly artistic (aside from painting hair, that is). My husband’s name is John Denver, but he isn’t named for the singer. Denver is a family name. My son, Denver is named after his grandfather, not the city in Colorado!
Tell us about your community involvement – a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or business – how do you rely on the women of Northeast Ohio?
How do I rely on them? They rely on me! I am the owner and founder of Andrews Colour Atelier, a salon specializing in cut, color and balayage. I started the business in 2011 at Salon Lofts, but we recently moved to our own studio space at the Van Aken District in September of 2018. I’m really honored to have brought Balayage to Cleveland, and I’m extremely proud of how far this salon has come.
But in all seriousness, the women of NE Ohio have made Andrews Colour Atelier possible, and I could not be more grateful for their support. I love all of our customers.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Absolutely opening the salon here at The Van Aken District. This path was definitely not the easiest or most straightforward one for my career to take, but I’m so glad I took the road less traveled. I’m rewarded for it every day.
What would you say your biggest failure is?
I don’t like thinking about setbacks as failures, honestly. To me, they’re just obstacles – the more you overcome, the better off you are.
What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
Is it too cliche to say hair? I love my business and the team we’ve created. I’m a firm believer in the importance of artist collaboration and I do my best to prioritize that in our work environment. I encourage everyone to attend the L’Oreal Soho Academy in New York to learn from and be instructed by the best Balayage artists in the industry. All of my stylists are Certified Balayage Masters, which creates a great environment for creativity and inspiration in the studio.
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?
Keep on keeping on. Power through. Take your knocks and get back up. Press forward. Challenge yourself. That’s 5, whoops.
If you could encourage more people to take action in some way, what would it be?
Don’t take the easy road. The easy road might be safe, but it’s boring. I’d never be where I am today if I took the easy road.
Last question – is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband, John! Having your own salon means you work some pretty crazy hours sometimes, and he’s always there to pick up the slack. He’s an amazing husband and father.
Want to try Andrews Colour Atelier? When you call to schedule your appointment, mention this article and get 15% off with select stylists!
other meet-a-mom features
This week’s Meet a Mom is Mona Shah, owner of Color Me Mine at Pinecrest!! Find out all about this amazing pottery painting studio that’s a hit with everyone!!
Father’s Day is this weekend and we wanted to introduce to you Andrew from Class 101! Hear what he has to say about being prepared for College Admissions!
Meet Jennifer Woda from Sing & Swing, music classes for infants and children all over Cleveland’s East Side!