I first came across The First Ward,  the way I find most amazing things, my 3:30 insomnia wake up call. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw Amy Farid, who I knew of from Bumble and bumble (also solidifying my belief that all roads lead back to BbU.) She is a ridiculously talented stylist and human. Amy was doing these insane sets in…. Tulsa, Oklahoma. I dug a little deeper and discovered she was at The First Ward. This was a month or two after Washington Square had gotten off the ground. I spent the rest of that early morning pouring over their website and instagram. I wanted to call Allie immediately, and say, “LOOK AT THESE PEOPLE! They have a 2/3 person team and they are doing cool shit in Tulsa!” I found out that there is a bike race in Tulsa that is on the same circuit as the Twilight Criterium. I immediately DM’d them and Jessica wrote me back, telling me about a high school or college Spring Break in Florida, and a boy from Athens, who was in a band. I just immediately felt like these were our people.

I think we all have a love/hate relationship with social media, especially these days. Flashes like these, windows were you see a kindred spirit make it wonderful. They remind me that this is what it can be, growing new friendships, even halfway across the country. Bitching about industry garbage or digging on some new product and everything in between (also EXCELLENT instagram dance videos). The “professional hairdressing industry” can often feel tacky, trite, lowest common denominator and usually just about the bottom line, how to make stylists sell you shit. We found Jessica and James at a time when we were going against the grain so hard, we second guessed ourselves. Seeing the shenanigans at TFW made us realize we should go with our gut always!  I have come to deeply appreciate the relationships I’ve built with salon owners around the country. The majority of those have come from just reaching out and saying, “Hi, hello- thank you for kicking ass.” It’s that simple- just show up.

I asked Jessica to make us a playlist for our Journal and she was kind enough to oblige. So thank you, Jessica, James and The First Ward Crew for making the world feel a little bit smaller.




From Jessica-

“This time of year has me feeling a conflicted mix of nostalgia, melancholy, restlessness and optimism…looking forward to the future. These songs hold a lot of memories for me and hit all the notes I need to get me through my day. Some make me feel tough. Some tickle my creative fancy. Some make me question the nature of reality.

But, really…are we all living in a simulation?”