Mercer Island Spotlight: Au Courant, The DEN and POSH

DSC_0744At the New Year, we’re pretty excited about the resolutions we’ve made. Once we hit February, though, it can be hard to keep the momentum going. Did you make a style themed resolution for 2014? If you did, and you find your style resolution stalled, the new venture at Mercer Island’s Au Courant Salon may be just the inspiration you are looking for. Right before the holidays, POSH Wardrobe & Image Consulting joined Au Courant & The DEN.  POSH features a menu of style guidance services to help you simplify your style and magnify your image, intimidation-free and 100% personally tailored for you.

I recently had a chance to sit down and chat with Au Courant Salon owner Barb Hovsepian about POSH. The Au Courant Salon tag line, “Where Style Happens,” is a statement she takes seriously. “Being a salon owner, the emphasis is always style. And typically it’s on style as it pertains to hair and makeup.”  Barb’s style philosophy, however, is much more comprehensive. “My belief is style is head to toe. It’s more than hair and makeup. It’s about your image – it’s about the image you want to portray.” To support this philosophy, Barb wanted to offer a menu of services women and men could use to revamp their wardrobe, organize their closet and receive style advice tailored specifically for the individual client. She wanted to offer these services in an atmosphere free of intimidation and respectful of the client’s privacy. The addition of image and wardrobe services would enable salon clients to have an entire design team on their side, providing style support which truly addresses their whole image.

Barb debuted POSH on November 1st, 2013, rounding out the salon’s offerings to emphasize her style philosophy. Her excitement about the addition of POSH resonated as we talked. With permission, Barb is able to coordinate with a current salon client’s designer, offering hair and makeup suggestions that will enhance and compliment the consumer’s style direction, all tailored to fit her own body type and lifestyle. Barb shared, “That was really the impetus for POSH – full service style, full service fashion, one-on-one personalized service as it pertains to wardrobe, image and style.” The client’s design team will be able to work together to address skin care, hair care, and wardrobe needs holistically. “You’ve got people who work together to make sure that everything is working together for you, which makes it very seamless for the client,” Barb explained.  If you are interested in POSH services, but don’t currently use a designer at the salon, Barb understands and respects each person’s stylist relationship. “I appreciate the attachment one has with her designer and the relationship they have.”  The emphasis within POSH is on you, what your style needs are, and how to use tools like a building a core essentials wardrobe to revamp your image.

What is a core essentials wardrobe, you ask? Barb explained these are items of clothing that work together to create classic style, and also coordinate with those novelty items that are on trend for the season.   Examples of core essentials include a classic black pencil skirt, a good pair of jeans, a pump shoe you can wear from day into evening, a well-fitting blazer in black or charcoal, a crisp white blouse. Barb stated, “It’s true that you wear 5% of your wardrobe 100% of the time.” Her goal is for clients to wear 100% of their clothing within the season they are dressing in. Through training and education, Barb equips POSH clients so they master how to shop more effectively to keep their image intact while making good choices in what they purchase.

I inquired about POSH’s reception within the community of Mercer Island.  Barb said it’s been very well received.  People are interested in what POSH is, and how the services work. They are asking questions about the menu.  She indicated there can be an air of nervousness about wardrobe and image consulting.  If someone is interested in hearing more about POSH, the first step is to book a free meet and greet with Barb.  This appointment occurs right in the salon and takes about 20 minutes. Barb will walk you through what each service on the menu entails.  The menu is a la carte; the consumer will pick and choose those items she would like to employ. The goal of the meet and greet is to take the intimidation factor out of the process. Barb listens to the client and asks questions to help pinpoint important goals.  Barb also encourages those who are interested to take a look at the POSH webpages, which are a part of the salon’s website. You can read up on the menu, catch a glimpse on what POSH is all about, glean Barb’s style tips, learn what’s POSH for the Season (newly updated for spring at the beginning of February!) and view POSH client testimonials.

AuCourant_05AuCourant_21In fact, did you know that consultation services are also an important part of the Au Courant and The DEN salon experience? Women’s and men’s haircuts are the most popular services at the salon. You can book a free 15 minute consultation with a designer at either Au Courant or The DEN, to discuss what you are looking for in a cut. Barb feels there is so much value in a consultation –she wants people to come in, meet the designers, talk with them. This helps the client connect with the designer and receive a terrific haircut that is the right fit.

There is another side of Au Courant Salon that Mercer Island residents may not be aware of.  Au Courant supports Mercer Island Youth and Family Services through the holiday giving program, the food bank and participates in the annual Giving From the Heart breakfast.  When clients want to donate their hair to create chemotherapy wigs, Barb suggests Anton’s Hair Company. 100% of the donated hair sent to Anton’s is utilized to create wigs for those going through cancer treatment. It’s not unusual for Barb to personally deliver the hair donation to Anton! And Houses of Hope is a local charity dear to Barb’s heart.  When POSH clients book closet organization services, she suggests they donate the gently used clothing they edit from their wardrobes to benefit the homeless women finding refuge at Houses of Hope.  Barb helps facilitate the donations, which enable the homeless women to secure a career wardrobe for reentering the work force.  As a local business owner and active community member, Barb firmly believes in the importance of giving back to the community.AuCourant_01

If you would like to learn more about Au Courant Salon and The DEN, you can check out the salon website here. Peruse POSH’s website section right here – you can also click the POSH icon on the salon’s home page.  Au Courant is located at 7900 Southeast 28th Street, Suite 100 – the same spot it’s called home since 1986!  Stay current on upcoming events by clicking here or visiting the salon’s Facebook Page.  The salon’s entire design team shares their favorite style tips here. If you would like to call and book a free consolation with a member of the design staff, or book a meet and greet with Barb, please call (206) 232.1336.

Photos Courtesy Of Au Courant Salon