From Our Editors
Unlike more traditional how-we-met stories, the chance meeting of Natalie Gordon and Rachel Shrader eventually led them to many, many weddings. That’s because the two met while working on the beauty team for a three-day Indian wedding in 2009, and they knew they had an artistic connection; shortly thereafter, they founded Avenue 42 Style Studio. Each woman brings extensive experience to their business: Natalie has completed more than 130 hours of professional training and is an adjunct professor at the Virginia Cinema Makeup School, whereas Rachel has worked as a stylist for 10 years. Their mission began as a bride-centric one, and business boomed by 300% in their first year together. When they realized they couldn’t handle demand on their own, they brought stylists Sarah Bell and Gracia Triplett on board. In 2012, the opening of a permanent Avenue 42 Style Studio downtown solidified their presence in Richmond as not just wedding stylists but everyday stylists.
Today, the four-woman team at Avenue 42 Style Studio specializes in beauty services that cater to both the glam-seeking bride and the man, woman, child, or chow chow in search of a simple haircut. They hand-select hair color from lines by Schwarzkopf and Aveda, brushing color over roots to touch them up or creating ombre highlights. The styling team can also craft updos for formal occasions, as well as extend manes with Hairlocs, which adhere to the head without glue, heat, or forcing strands that just met to hug. As for aesthetics, their expertise now extends into organic airbrush tanning, airbrush makeup, and airbrush tattoo cover-up. Their on-location bridal services continue to flourish and have been featured in Southern Weddings magazine, among other publications.