By Julie Pendray
IDYLLWILD, Calif. — At the quiet end of a somewhat hidden lane in this rustic mountain town, you can take a deep breath and unwind while being pampered by artist Franceska Schofield in her new hair salon. Here, in her first independent business, she enjoys placing warm, lavender-imbued towels on her guests’ foreheads, while offering them herbal teas and pondering which natural, organic products might bring out the essence of each person’s soul. In this calm, soothing space, with art photography on the walls, a guest feels at the center of a one-person retreat.
“I believe that beauty starts from the inside out,” says Schofield. “It starts with your thoughts, what you put in your body, not only food but your environment, the people you have around you. We have become so oriented toward the outside that we’ve forgotten to explore the inside.”
Her “Salon on the Lane” is a culmination of a career that has included doing fashion editorials for underground magazines, working for Vidal Sasson in Atlanta and Aveda in Indiana. She studied at an art institute in Miami as well as attending cosmetology school. Then five years ago, she came to Idyllwild “to find her bliss,” after hearing about it from her godmother, Rhonda Legate, who lives here. Schofield launched her salon on July 1 this year. She refers to herself as “a creative” — a freelance master stylist, makeup artist and photographer.
“Some people say you can’t be a jack of all trades,” she says, “but you have to listen to your intuition and do what you’re being guided to do.”
Schofield is known for spending time to make a haircut, color or style truly artistic. She describes herself as very “hands-on.” Her artistic side developed early, as she studied ballet, jazz, tap, theater, piano and five languages in her youth. Now, she enjoys crafting a new, exciting look for her clients. It’s about freedom, courage and transformation, she says.
“That’s why I love doing what I do, to see someone looking at themselves and saying, ‘That looks good’ … that makes me feel very good. It’s empowering.”
The beauty business has become more conscious, Schofield says. “It’s more of a lifestyle effort. Aveda was a leader of that. There are companies like Oway that care about their ingredients, about what’s going on your skin or what you’re breathing.”
Schofield now uses Oway’s products, including organic and ammonia-free hair color. “I will be carrying skincare, other products and arty stuff,” she says.
Her salon is like a mini gallery, with a neutral background displaying her own art as well as work by others. There are white walls, a hardwood floor, white shades, with white and beige furniture. Schofield’s skills and the atmosphere she has created are bringing people up for appointments from off “the Hill,” according to their comments on social media.
Schofield mostly works with her customers in relative silence. “Doing hair can border on meditation,” she says. “When you’re not talking, you can get into that zone. You’re thinking about that moment and what you’re doing with the hair. You’re thinking about the technical aspects. Being in hair has pushed me into lessons that I haven’t always wanted to explore but the universe is like, ‘Guess what, you’re dealing with it right now.’ Every time I have a new client, it’s an adventure and a challenge. I’m an introvert. In this business you can’t be an introvert. It has taught me to put myself out there and be more one-on-one with people. I’m very sensitive to energy. It has taught me to ground myself more and have my boundaries and still have passion to transform people.”
As a new business owner, she has learned to stop and take a deep breath when she feels overwhelmed, she says. “This has taught me to center myself.”
On her web site, Schofield states, “At the core of our being there is an essence waiting to be discovered.” In her photography, she enjoys capturing different cultures, she says. She has done photography for events in Miami, plus fashion shots for an Idyllwild business — the Sage & the Butterfly — and personal shots for people. “I usually plan some of it, like a kind of inspiration page … like a direction page that I work on with the person … then I go with my intuition in the moment,” she says.
At Salon on the Lane, visitors will find bags and notecards featuring local model Shawntel Boucher beautifully portrayed with colorful make up, a shaved head and jewelry from the Amazon, via the Sage & the Butterfly. Boucher, who battled serious illness a year ago, is brought to life as a warrior in this depiction.
“We were trying to get the light right,” Schofield says, “then Shawntel said she had this light stick in her car in case she needed to look under the hood. We brought it in and that was the shot.” It is stunning. Schofield did the styling, make up and photography. Boucher now teaches yoga at Reps Gym in Mountain Center, near Idyllwild, and home schools her daughter.
In addition to photography, make up and hair styling, Schofield also sings. She worked with Miami producer Rob Roa, known as DJ Fono, on an electronic project in 2009. “It’s all about frequency, energy and fun stuff,” she says. “I used to do theater. I wanted to get back in touch with that.”
Her singles — Alien Daughter, Drop Down and Primitive Energy — can be found on Sound Cloud, Spotify and iTunes. Her lyrics express her individualistic personality. In Primitive Energy, she sings, “I wanna try to speak my mind, don’t wanna cry or leave you behind. Primitive energy. Take it back. My bruises smacked. Full-on attack. Don’t be like that, ‘cos I wanna try to speak my mind. Don’t wanna cry or leave you behind. Primitive energy. I knew all along that you wouldn’t stay, so I got away …”
In Alien Daughter, she sings, “I am sun, you are water … ”
Schofield is writing a memoir, which she wants to be empowering. She doesn’t want to appear as a victim, she says.
At 39, the southern Illinois native is petite and slender, a brunette with blonde highlights and warm brown eyes. She displays vulnerability, humor, warmth, humanity and courage.
She serves me herbal tea in a mug that reads, “Every day is a new adventure,” while her own mug reads, “Today is my day. Tomorrow can be yours.”
Schofield does hair by appointment only. Contact her at 951-468-3200. Her web site is www.SalonontheLane.com. The salon address is 54200 N. Circle Drive, Suite D2, Idyllwild.
To learn more about her artistic side, visit her web site at CskaCreatives.com . Cska is a derivative of Franceska. It is pronounced “sees-ka,” she says.
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