Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

This week we discuss a salon with no carbon footprint which doubles as an art gallery.

Today is December 8th my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on– we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.

Reach us by email [email protected] — interact with us on Facebook @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with The Marshmallow Overcoat

We start today with season’s greetings.

Salon has big impact and leaves no footprint

Appearances can be deceiving. Just ask the team at English Salon Spa in Downtown Tucson. Walk in and be exposed to blasts of color and vibrant energy. You can see some natural work right next to an abstract design. You probably think I’m talking about the hair, but I’m actually referring to the art. For 3 years, English has hosted artists in their space- for 3 months at a time- the artist has no cost but must leave a piece behind to add to the growing collection. The first time I stepped into English was for an art show on a second Saturday.

Don’t misunderstand- They are foremost a full services salon and spa, but the owner Ricky English believes in giving back and creating opportunity. The artwork is not the only surprise about English- they have no carbon footprint. Through reduction, re-use and recycling they are able to eliminate almost every ounce of waste the salon produces. IN fact they calculate their impact on the environment and ensure enough trees are planted every year to offset that impact.

I had a chance to sit down with Ricky English to get the full story about this full service salon.


Tucson Style

Tom Heath: Good morning Tucson. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station this week. We discuss a salon with no carbon footprint and it also doubles as an art gallery here in down town. Today is December 8th. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to To Life along the streetcar.

Tom Heath: Each and every Sunday, our focus is on social cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban core. We shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A mountain to the U of A and all stops in between, you get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org. We’re also available 24/7 in your pocket by putting us on your smartphone. Look it up, our Downtown Radio Tucson app and you’ll have us wherever you go here on the show. 

Tom Heath: If you want to get us our email addresses contact at Life along the streetcar dot-org many of you interact with us on Facebook at Life along the streetcar. We are also on Twitter and past episodes can be found on our web page the Life along the and we’re going to start Today’s Show with Seasons Greetings.

Tom Heath: Today is December 8th. Yesterday was the 78th Memorial of the remembrance of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And as always at the University of Arizona where the Bell from the ship is housed and the new USS Arizona Memorial brings people together. They had a ceremony they rang the bell at 8 a.m. They did a ceremony at 10 a.m. And hundreds of people showed up to partake in this in this remembrance celebration. Kind of a as a an honor the Coast Guard’s emblem was added to the Student Union, up until then it’s just been the four basic Services of the military. 

Tom Heath: Now that was not an oversight when they did the Student Union. We actually have a whole story coming up on the Student Union and bookstore, but it was intentional to have the four branches of government four branches of service shown in the union. Not the Coast Guard, not the merchant marines because they were the emblems that were on the original Student Union. So when they were recreating this they try to bring some symmetry to the Student Union that was being replaced. 

Tom Heath: But now they are expanding that so coasties you have your emblem in the Student Union. Lots happening yesterday. The Cultivate Pop-up Market was a big success from what I could see, another a huge turnout for that rare occurrence where we have all those artists together. And then next weekend starting on Friday, we’ve got the spring. I’m sorry, the Winter Street Fair. The Fourth Avenue area will be closed down special streetcar schedules will be out so, you know how to get around that but we’ll have hundreds. I think it’s like three to four hundred vendors and artists come in to sell their Wares just in time for Christmas and you can capitalize on all of that over there at 4th Avenue. And while you’re in the neighborhood 6th and 6th has the rad Market that is up there at the old gas station there near XO Coffee and Tap and Bottle, a little bit north of that right there on the corner. 

Tom Heath: So all kinds of activities happening yesterday and bunches of stuff coming up on next week the the 14th, but the one I do want to highlight that’s coming up that I really hope you have a chance to explore is the Luminarias events at the Presidio Museum. They’re open on Second Saturdays. They do their living history days and you can experience that life by attending of the museum on this particular occasion in the evening probably around six ish or so, maybe a little bit later as it starts to get dark. The volunteers will head up to the top of the Presidio wall and do a musket volley, which is a very powerful thing to see that’s the problem. City of Museum will have links to the street fair, the Presidio, the Rad Market will have all that on our Facebook page after the show. 

Tom Heath: Well looks can be deceiving just ask the team at English Salon Spa and downtown Tucson you walk in and you’ll be exposed to blasts of color and vibrant energies and all kinds of Transformations. You’ll see some natural work and you’ll be right next to something. That’s a little bit more of an abstract design. You might think I’m talking about the hair colors of their guests, but in reality, I’m actually referring to the art. On their walls because for three years English has hosted artists in their space. 3 months at a time, they are the gallery for that artist. The artist pay no money to be a part of this project, but they are asked to leave a piece of their work behind and adds to the growing collection at English Spa and Salon. 

Tom Heath: First time I ever stepped into English was for an art show on a second Saturday. I don’t misunderstand, they are formost a full service Salon and Spa but the owner, Ricky English, believes in giving back and creating opportunities. The artwork is not the only surprise about English. They have no carbon footprint through reduction, through reuse, through recycling were able to eliminate almost every ounce of waste the salon produces. In fact, they calculate their impact on the environment and ensure enough trees are planted every year to offset that impact.  I had a chance to sit down with Ricky English to get the All story about this full service salon. 

Ricky English: I’m Ricky English and we’re English Salon Spa in downtown Tucson. 

Tom Heath: How long have you been downtown? 

Ricky English: We’re going on three years our birthdays on Earth Day. So April 22nd. Okay. So we’re going to have an event during Earth Day. 

Tom Heath: All right, what brought you down here? 

Ricky English: There was an niche that needed to be filled and to sign such a great community and with all local talent and artists and they needed a place to be showcased and A really cool space to present them.

Tom Heath: A couple years ago downtown was an up-and-coming place, but it certainly was not nearly as as exciting as it is now so little bit of a risk on your part that that we would have this sort of trendy downtown. 

Ricky English: Yeah. I saw the direction that downtown was going in and we fit in perfectly down here because everyone that works here at English. Everyone is unique and has their own personality and really they get to be themselves in a really beautiful and professional atmosphere. 

Tom Heath: What activities you’re having?

Ricky English:  So we’re a full-service salon and spa or exclusive Donovan s which is a sustainable product line from Parma Italy. We color we have all of their color products everything like that. And then in the spa area where exclusive Cia, Cia Botanics is locally made in Tucson, but sold globally and from all of our manicures and pedicures to our body treatments. So we do waxing, full body waxing, body wraps, massage, facials. Spray tan. So we bring their products through pretty much all of our services.  

Tom Heath: You mentioned your birthday’s on Earth day and you mentioned some sustainable product. So is that is that a focus of the salon? 

Ricky English: It is, since we are pretty much one of the greenest salons in Arizona. We’re part of green circle salons. So there’s four of them in Tucson right now, all of our hair. Our hair clippings actually get made into bioplastic. So they’re making plastic out of your hair. So that must be a fun place to work the smell great, right? But it’s awesome because they’re either using it for that or for oil spills are foils and color tubes are made into bicycle frames. 

Ricky English: So using the aluminum to make bicycle frames out of we don’t have any waste really we might have like one bag of garbage from the bathroom a week if that where the first spot that was part of green circle and I’ll wax strips everything gets broken down and actually processed correctly. So we’re not we’re not making we don’t have a Footprint at English. So what green circle does is they calculate all the carbon that all of the green circle salons in the world are putting out and they plant that amount of trees every year to make up for our footprint.

Ricky English: So that’s how we are certified stamp sustainable. So we really we know Carbon foot. We have no carbon footprint. 

Tom Heath: So the your staff that has to be trained because I’m looking at six different bins here. They all have their different labeling so you can’t just throw it in there and some sort it out you guys right? I have to go through but 

Ricky English: That’s the best thing about here in English that everyone that works here all have the same mission statement and the same views. We’re all on the same page pretty much everyone that works here when City made Institute, so we all kind of have the same background and that we want to do things for a purpose and give back to the community. We separate the hair the plastic the paper the metal and such even our color so we don’t put color down the drain to pollute the water and that kind of goes with Dalviness because with that product line I kind of work hand-in-hand the molecules in our color line or so small that within 30 days. It’s there’s no trace of it in the water system. So they process it for us. So we’re not really polluting anything. 

Tom Heath: So in or a salon that’s not as conscious as English. How much waste would they have that on?

Ricky English: Salons go through a lot of waste you’re thinking like chemicals products hair products even gonna say with hair and everything. There is a lot of waste in it. So You opened on Earth days. It was that intentional because of this massive. Okay. Yep. It’s a you knew right off the get-go right off the bat. This is this is a focus of right exactly. I mean in this align all of our installations recycled denim so we don’t have your insulation, right so all the insulation and all the spa rooms the whole Spa it’s recycled denim because fiberglass is terrible for the environment and recycled denim is a non allergenic and plus it’s more soundproof. So when you’re getting during a massage or facial you really don’t want to hear a blow dryer from the slum floor. So it’s really giving that it’s a quiet feeling but it’s it’s good. 

Ricky English: It helps the environment by using the denim to its Compact and you have to compacts after time. So you have to keep replenishing it you did a clothing drive when we were getting ready to open a few months before and anything that was not wearable denim. That’s what we use. To use for our walls. They had to be treated correctly for you know bugs and fire and all of that other stuff. But all the rest of the clothing that we got donated. We donate to the homeless teens downtown. So we were really trying to get back there too. It’s crazy. 

Tom Heath: What else in the building besides the denim is everything else know?

Ricky English:  all the insulation is that our front desk? It looks like rock but it’s actually made from recycled tires. So they the company that we went through they take tires out of landfills and they grind them up and make these they use it for like filler and so instead of using all the same plaster. They’re using the tires to kind of help reinforce the shape. We have a recycled beer bottle wall. So Brown glass was not as recyclable, but when they would melt it down, it wouldn’t fuse back together. So now they do know how to process it correctly that they can remake it into other things. So they were depleting the beaches of sand. So this is kind of a statement piece now that they do know how to repurpose it, but it makes a great light also, it’s a nice amber color. 

Tom Heath: And it seems like it would be more costly to operate in this manner does is that a fair statement? 

Ricky English: Sometimes you see it is little across especially with being more of a sustainable line, but it’s worth it. I mean, I really wouldn’t want to have it any other way and it’s people look for salons like this or just services in general that are one giving back to the community to really highlighting it and making people aware. So everything in the salon, I forgot to mention this earlier. You’ll see little plaques and it describes why we did this. So if you want to redo something at your house or office or something, this might be an idea that you take with you. So everything in here we do for a reason for a purpose just so it causes awareness in your everyday life and we always try to make an impact that somehow.

Tom Heath: We’ve seen a sort of a growth in downtown and similar Services. Is that is that helpful to create a attraction or That pull away from your clientele?

Ricky English: You know, I all of the other that’s a great question actually because all the other salons down here there. It’s it’s awesome because it’s downtown’s only a certain size but each Salon focuses on a different aspect and a different type of clientele. So our guests that we have here. Everyone here is very we could talk to anyone’s guest. It’s like a family here. So it’s a warm feeling other salons. Everyone has their own feeling so It’s the best part that there’s room for everyone and that it’s not it’s not like oh you work at that Salon or like know I go into the other slides. I asked to borrow things. Sometimes they come here. We have a very nice relationship.

Tom Heath: That was Ricky English of English Salon Spa and downtown Tucson glad to hear all of the various spas are are getting along and hopefully as our client base grows for them. The business will increase as well and we’ll be right back to finish up that interview and get into his Impact on the art community here in Tucson, but I want to remind you that you are listening to Life along the streetcar and Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown 

Tom Heath: If you’re just joining us our interview today is with Ricky English of English Salon Spa and downtown Tucson we heard about how he got started a lot of their efforts to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly salon so far as to make sure that they’re in isolation in their walls is from used denim of the I had not heard of so I learn all kinds of things on the show. We’re going to finish up that interview right now and learn about his impact within Tucson’s art community. 

Tom Heath: We see a lot of Apartments coming in on is that are you seeing at your clientele starting to change over the three years as it increased? 

Ricky English: It has increased it has increased a lot which is it’s awesome. You know people that are down here people are coming down here to talk a lot of our clientele that we have at the salon. Are they walk here like it. Great. They’re like I just it was a two-minute walk from my office. It was a minute walk from my house. So it’s nice because people are like downtown. I have to find somewhere to park. We have a lot of parking around us but a lot of people live in the area.

Tom Heath: Anything for someone that’s getting into into this business any tips that you can give them. This world seems to be changing a little bit?

Ricky English: Just go with it. It’s always changing and it’s exciting and challenges are fun. 

Tom Heath: But you said a lot of your group came from the Aveda Institute and that you all Should have share the same Mission. So if you’re a stylist is that they’re correct order stylist, or if you’re getting into this business do you shop around for the right spot it to make sure it’s not just a place for you to work but a place to put you right?

Ricky English: Right. We do have to because in the interview process. I know when I was first starting out you’re interviewing the salon as well. So it might be a good fit for this. So I want to be in this environment.

Tom Heath: So if you’re graduating if you’re looking for that position probably save yourself a little time and frustration by really asking some tough questions. From the interviewee standpoint about this long because it’s got to be a Fair fit.

Ricky English: Exactly. Yeah, it definitely it helps to know where you’re going to work and what they what the expectations are for sure. You use the word impact a couple of times and when I first time ever visited English Salon was for an art show awesome. 

Ricky English: Yeah, so tell me how did I end up in a salon for an art show? 

Ricky English: So when I opened English, I have a ton of my my guests my clients and my friends their artists I mean Tucson One’s full of artists in our community. It’s an amazing City and I wanted to be able to Showcase their work because I went to a friend of mine. So she was our opening artist for when we open. I went to one of her openings and I didn’t realize how much it was for for them to put on shows like to rent out a space and I’ll just like put the whole thing on with the food and all of this other stuff. So we have such a amazing space. And that’s why it’s very like simple and very clean in here with white walls because it is a salon and spa but Gallery as well and I just want to be able to showcase everyone.

Ricky English: So that’s why we have a different art show every three months showcasing a local Tucson artist and we have this food and drinks. We have a DJ we have one coming up December 14th, Mother Tiara, She’s going to be our deejay. And the artist is Kevin Eddie and he’s actually our first photographer that we’ve had we’re gonna have a Little pop-up shop. Snip lips I did up a lot of people have heard of nip lips. Actually. We have their soft launch party here. They’ll be part of the pop-up. Gina Becca is going to be another one as well. And we’re just going to Showcase everything the Tucson has to offer. 

Tom Heath: So when you come in you’re talking about an actual on the 14th are gonna have an actual art exhibition?

Ricky English: Yes. It is open to the public open to the public from 6:00 tonight. Is there a charge to get it? There’s no charge to come in. We want everyone to come in. Check it out like are seeing back. To answering your question when you came in to the are other art show. We love seeing new faces. Some people wouldn’t come into a salon. He’s I had a guy come in and he’s like I’m bald. There’s no need for me to be in a salon, but you’re having an art show. I want to come check it out. So you came in now he gets services in the spot because he just thought we were salon. So I guess the Showcase the artist plus the salon at the same time. 

Tom Heath: And you charge the artist to do this?

Ricky English: No, so that’s another thing that we love to do. We don’t Just artist at all. The only thing that I ask they keep their order for three months, right and they set their prices for their art. The only thing that I ask for is for them to leave a piece of art or a little something that says them for the salon. So then we can look back like we’re going on three years. So we have art like this was this piece right here. This was from one of our last artist. We have pieces all over so when people are in the space and they’re looking though. I love that piece. Well, that was from we Had Bet she was in here and we showed okay sir. 

Tom Heath: That’s who I came to see ya and I was like that looks like one of Bet’s. 

Ricky English: Yeah, that’s work. So that was the piece that she left for us and actually a really cool thing that we’re doing for this this art show on the 14th is all of our artists from the last two years. We are have them they’re all making twelve ornaments each. So we’re going to have ornaments from every artist that’s we’re going to be for sale. They range between anything five to twenty dollars. So if you miss shows in the I asked you can still get a piece of art Adela. She was our first artist that we had and she painted a table up in the front for us. She lives in New York now, so she mailed her her ornaments in so we have hers they’ll be here and it’s great because the artist really we form a really good connection with them.

Tom Heath: They can sell for those three months. It’s not just a display people come in and and they might walk through just to check out the art and you have no problems with that. 

Ricky English: No, not at all. I love that and with the art here and are like I was Saying it goes back to our guests our guests and being downtown. They love the art and how it’s always changing. It’s not the same thing all the time. So we’ve had a lot of our artists they sell a lot of their their work. We had one artist sell out of everything that evening. He’s like I have nothing left. So I’m like, that’s a good thing. Right? So it’s awesome. We have someone that comes in from every show. They want to get a piece from every artist because they love supporting them so much. So, it’s great. I love doing it for the community and They just grow like some artists. This would be like their first art show and then they’ll book 3 shows after this because it’s just they needed a little little push to get going. So that’s going to be a huge boost for the no. No, it’s great and we’re booked up for the next two years with artists. So everyone’s it’s great. It’s really good. 

Tom Heath: So where can people get more information or is the are the art shows on your website? 

Ricky English: So if you go to our Instagram Instagram or Facebook right now our websites going to launch in January, okay, but Facebook or Instagram, English Salon Spa and you’ll be able to see more information. We’re going to get more into detail with the artist that’s going to be on the 14th. Once again, is name’s Kevin Eddie. So it’s our first photographer to so you’ll get to see some of his work a little bio about him. And actually he all of the money all the sales that he does that evening or throughout the whole show are getting donated to an organization. Oh, well, yeah, so that will get there will be more about that on his bio exactly where that’s going to be going. 

Tom Heath: Treat second Saturday. Yeah, that’s intentional. Probably. 

Ricky English: Yes. Yeah, we like to do that because there’s people there on Congress in the kind of wander off into the other streets downtown and we just continue we continue the fun. You do not seem like an unapproachable person know I’m pretty I’m really friendly I like to talk you can tell so 

Tom Heath: If you’re the area stop in say say hello to Ricky and check out the salon. 

Tom Heath: That was Ricky English English Salon Spa downtown Tucson. Hope you you’re out and about for second Saturday or street fair or rad Fest or whatever. Whatever whatever is out there. Stop by Scott. It’s right there near the Pennington garage check out the artwork. I’m looking forward to seeing the photography. We’ll link to English has Facebook page was as of this morning. They do have a nice write-up about the photographer. And what the exhibit will look like.

Tom Heath: My name is Tom Heath. You are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio. 99.1 FM and streaming on Downtown Well that is it for show number 113 will have that available for you shortly on the webpage

Tom Heath: We’re gonna leave you today with a little music from the Marshmallow Overcoat. I just heard recently last week as a matter of fact. That lead singer and one of the founders Timothy Gas had passed. He was young man kind of surprised to hear that he did pass at that age. But you know that it happens. He was an author he was a filmmaker. We’ve had them on the show on a couple of occasions talking about hockey which was his passion and his film about the making of Marshmallow Overcoat. This is a this is a 2008 video performance that we recorded. Of a song called groovy little trip. It was their first song back in 1986 and the lead singer. There’s Timothy gas and my name is Tom Heath. I hope you have a fantastic week and please tune in next Sunday for more Like Along the Streetcar. 

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