David & Alexis - Pulp Riot

In this exciting edition of ‘Ask The Expert,’ we meet David and Alexis Thurston, creators of the innovative Pulp Riot brand which has recently launched here in the UK and can be bought directly from us here at Salons Direct! We catch up with the power duo to find out how they got started in the industry and how they are making waves within the business of hair colour.

Ask the expert with David and Alexis of Pulp Riot & The Butterfly Loft…

Alexis Thurston shows us how to attract color clients to your hair salon business

Where did the idea for the award-winning Butterfly Loft Salon originate?

David: It all started when I was going in and out of salons educating hairdressers across North America. I would love the moments I would spend with the artists, but I wasn’t able to form a meaningful, lasting connection because I would only spend a few hours with them. Meanwhile, Alexis was building a very successful hairdressing career in Los Angeles. As long-time friends, we decided we wanted to start our own salon family… and Butterfly Loft was born. (Later, Alexis and David moved from friends to a couple, and soon after they got married… inside Butterfly Loft salon.)

Butterfly Loft Salon has a green certification, how has the salon earned this status?

Alexis: A lot of the eco-friendly aspects of Butterfly Loft began at the design phase. The materials, the faucets, and the lighting design we selected were all geared toward minimizing the impact we made on the environment over the long life of our salon. One of the coolest things we installed was a custom exhaust fan system that allows stylists to simply flip a switch and keep the air clean around them and their clients as they work.


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How do you think social media has shaped the industry you are a part of?

David: Social media allows individual salons and stylists to educate, inspire, create trends, and influence others outside the walls of their own salons. Traditionally, this power was reserved only for the large product companies, but now, with a little talent and a cell phone, an artist can create a revolution. It also allows artists to build a clientele so much more quickly than they were able to five years ago.

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Tell us more about Pulp Riot, how did it start?

David: For years the people who have been creating products and tools for hairdressers have never actually stood a day behind the chair. We believe that magic happens when there are zero degrees of separation between those who create products and those who use the products. We were dissatisfied with the longevity and fade of the colors we were using, and we set out to create something better. We launched Pulp Riot with no sales rep, no distributor, and no advertising… we just used our connections we formed while educating across North America as independent artists and added social media to fuel our launch. In just 3 days, we were in all 50 United States and all 7 Canadian provinces.


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What makes Pulp Riot stand apart from its competition?

Alexis: Pulp Riot came up from the beauty community (artists and salons), not top-down from the beauty industry. We give artists a platform to shine on the biggest stages, we help build extraordinary careers, and we help talented artists gain national exposure. Our color is more vibrant, it lasts longer, and it fades better. I think the fade is critical. Before Pulp Riot, the colors never faded beautifully. Colors should fade into true pastel versions of the original color. With Pulp Riot, they do.

How important is education within the hair world?

David: Our company started as an education company and it morphed into a product company. Education is still the cornerstone of our brand. While we enjoy teaching in salons and on stage at large events, we’re most excited about the digital age we live in and the ability to get instant access to education. This is why we created Pulp Riot Television, which you can find online at tv.pulpriothair.com. It’s a series of original shows we create through collaborating with other artists. Each episode is 10 minutes or less, and it’s all free.


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What is one thing you wish that you had been told before embarking on a career within the hairdressing industry?

Alexis: I was never told just how rewarding it would be!


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What’s next for your career throughout 2019 and beyond?

Alexis: We’re going to continue to spread the riot to new parts of the earth. The UK is very special to us, so we plan on spending a lot of time in the UK so we can form meaningful relationships with the artists there. It all starts at the Colour World event in May.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to stylists just starting out in the hair business?

David: This is going to sound too obvious, but I’m a big proponent of professionalism… so my advice may seem simple, but if followed, it will reap powerful results… are you ready for it? Here it is… the big secret to success… Be on time!

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