SLOcal Biz: To Have & To Hold Bridal

Calling all brides! There is a new store in town: To Have & To Hold Bridal Salon. Briana Gros has moved from Bladerunner to her own space on the corner of Marsh of and Garden--and delving into a yet untapped market here in San Luis Obispo: consignment bridal gowns. She also has created a space bright and beautiful for a wedding day ready space--as she airbrushes, curls and glosses you to picture perfection. We caught up with her to do a little photoshoot and interview, read about this go-getter and her beauty must-haves below:

What first brought you into this career? How long have you been working in the industry?
Well, like most hairstylists start out, at age seven I was chopping my Barbie's hair off, cutting my own bangs and hair, and my best friend and I would take turns box-coloring each others' hair. As a young girl, my Mom spoiled my sister and I by taking us to the hip salons in town to get our hair done. I always asked to sweep up all the hair for the stylists and I could sit there all day and watch them cut and color hair. Though at a young age, I did not want to be a hairstylist. I had big dreams of becoming a singer and dancer, a teacher, fashion designer, and wanting to own a clothing store that had a salon inside. As a young girl, I grew up in my grandma's sewing room watching her make patterns and clothes and helping me with my own sewing projects. As soon as junior high started and all through high school I took all the home econ classes I could--making pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, a bathing suit, and reconstructing clothes to make my own creations. I graduated San Luis High school in Spring and quickly enrolled in Cuesta College that Summer, anxious and so excited to study Fashion Design and prepare myself for the FIDM Institute in San Francisco. At that time, the Gap had freshly moved to SLO (which was a huge deal at that time) and I couldn't wait to work there (as if I knew I was gonna get the job), I loved having a job in retail and being surrounded by all those cool clothes! 
As if I wasn't busy enough, I got a second job at my favorite salon in town, Elements Salon. There, I worked as a receptionist and was mesmorized by the hairstylists and their art form. It was there the owner inspired and encouraged me, as well as a few family members, to take a look into the Aveda Institute and study Cosmetology. A few semesters deep into College and putting my dreams for FIDM on hold, I looked into local beauty colleges, and I started at San Luis Beauty College. From day one of my Freshman class, I just knew I was where I wanted to be--I felt so comfortable and confident in learning a new trade. After graduating, I went back to Elements Salon to work as an assistant and from there moved to District 96 to be an assistant, then began working at Bella Gente Salon where I started building my clientele. 
From there I moved to and stayed for a little over ten years at Bladerunner Salon. A few months into working there, I felt right at home and instantly became part of the Bladerunner family! I made a goal for myself to become an independent contractor a year in after working there and also began my career as a bridal hairstylist and makeup artist.  My love for this art form and business grew, so I made another goal for myself of starting my online bridal business. With each wedding season growing and becoming successful years for me, as well as listening to my bridal clients' needs and wants for a lounge and gowns on consignment, I made yet another goal and began writing my business plan dreaming of one day owning a bridal salon and consignment boutique! 
After years of dreaming, planning, budgeting, going back to school for business classes and workshops, I can confidently say I have started my career and my dreams are coming true. I am proud of my hard work and determination and so thankful to God that He has lead my every step to the corner of Marsh and Garden streets where I have opened my new business.

Your place is so sweet and fresh feeling! Tell us a little about your TH&TH and what services you offer.
To Have and To Hold is a bridal salon and boutique. We offer salon services to include Hair Design, Hair coloring, Keratin smoothing treatments, brow wax and tint, Bridal hair and makeup, and specializing in Airbrush makeup. We indulge our clients in luxurious products by proudly carrying Davines, with an experience in sustainable beauty and handcrafted Italian haircare. Soon to come, we are going to introduce Embryolisse--a French pharmaceutical skin care brand. Also soon-to-be introduced is our favorite MAC makeup must-haves, a perfume line, and local jewelers. We also sell gifts cards! They make great gifts for brides to give their bridesmaids for day-of services. Another popular item are our travel-size haircare products--great as gifts and to take with you on a plane for your Honeymoon.
Our Boutique offers gently-worn bridal gowns, veils, and accessories--which are all on consignment. Our niche is for women who have already married and would like to place their gown on consignment, and then for brides-to-be looking to find that perfect dress for half the price. Our bridal lounge is the perfect setting for small bridal parties who would like to come in to get pampered with services, eats and drinks--all while having complete privacy. 

You must work with so many amazing vendors and local businesses, what's your A-list?
I have the great pleasure of working with very creative and talented local wedding vendors--a few of my favs:
Zest it Up, Lisa Mallory Photgraphy, Colleen Rosenthal Photography, Asia Croson Photography, Le Creme Jewelry, Patrick Ibarra Photography (his exquisite photos are currently displayed on my website), Danae Grace Events, and hoping to collaborate with so many more along the way!

What is your go-to hair and makeup product? Why?
I am a product junkie! My personal and professional hair and makeup kits are overflowing with every product imaginable--from drug-store brands to top-of-the-line professional brands. My fav drug-store product has always been and always will be Aquaphor! I use this for everything: to moisturize lips and hands, to keep brows in there place, and to tame stray hairs. My fav luxury must-have hair products right now are of course by Davines: Hair Refresher, a dry cleansing mist acting as a two-in-one product to refresh and clean all hair types as well as create full-bodied volume with a soft feminine scent! Another fav must-have hair product of mine right now is the Oi/Absolute Beautifying Potion, a lightweight oil for all hair types that adds shine and softness with an amazing scent!
My fav, splurge, must-have, can-not-live-without skincare products right now are by Embryolisse: Radiant Eye, an under eye treatment to brighten eyes while reconstructing/moisturizing to smooth contours of the eye and radiant booster to reduce puffiness with a cooling effect (for me, most under eye treatments don't work because my skin is so sensitive, my clients love it as well!) Another can-not-live-without product is by Embryolisse--the Eau de Beaute Rosamelis, an alcohol-free, natural toner to leave all skin types clean, soft, glowing, and revived with relaxing scents of rose water and orange blossom!

Any sage advice on wedding day beauty prep?
Dear lovely Bride-to-be,
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated in the days before your wedding. This will keep you feeling and looking your best for the day of. Wash your hair the night before your wedding day. This will leave a slight natural sheen and your hair style will hold all day and night. For a flawless complextion in your professional wedding portraits, definitely have an Airbrush makeup application--it's worth the few extra bucks! Airbrush makeup is made for HD photography, silicon-based so it leaves an even veil of perfection on top of your skin, waterproof so everything stays in place whether you sweat, cry, or get splashed with champagne, as well as amazing coverage from freckles to scars to birth marks to spider veins to tattoos!
Thank you for taking the time to read. I look forward to meeting you and working together. It is an honor to be shared in the memories on your special day.

(Grand opening date to be unveiled in April, like To Have and To Hold on FB and follow them on Instagram, @tohaveandtoholdbridalsalon, for all the details)