We are so, so excited to be introducing our new Stylist, Tamara, to you today. An expert doily-maker, travel enthusiast, plant and animal lover, and all-around genuinely kind human being, Tamara will make you feel welcome from the moment she says hello (and keep you laughing even after you’ve said goodbye!).

Let's get to know her a bit, starting with a round of This or That (while crocheting!). Keep reading to find out what she’s working on.

Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: I grew up in Alaska and moved to Portland over twenty years ago. I have a black cat named Ophelia who might just be the most spoiled cat to ever exist (worth it). My spouse, who is truly my person, and I have been together for ten years and married for five. We love to travel, explore restaurants, visit museums, and relax at home with a movie or game night.

Q: What inspired you to become a hairstylist?
A: I’ve always been drawn to hair. I’ve done a lot of theatre in my life, and in every production I’ve been a part of, I was always the one who volunteered to be the hairstylist for the show. I used to braid my classmates' hair during story time in fifth grade, I cut hair for my friends back in my early college days… I finally decided it was time to become an official hairstylist.

Q: Tell us about a favorite feel-good moment you’ve had behind the chair.
A: I don’t have just one, because each appointment is so different. I think my favorite moment is when my client sees their finished hair in the mirror and it helps affirm to them that they look on the outside the way they feel on the inside. The smile that accompanies that is the best feel-good moment.

Q: Current favorite styles and trends?
A: I’m currently obsessed with creating super layered shags that are reminiscent of late 70’s/early 80’s rocker hair vibes. I am absolutely loving the trend of warmer blonde being embraced. Butter blonde? Wheat blonde? Yes, please.

Q: If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be?
A: I’ve already had so many careers, I can’t imagine what else I would do. I’ve been everything from a bartender to a child welfare caseworker to an account manager for the sales department of a TV station and more. Nothing has felt more like ‘what I was meant to do’ than being a hairstylist.
I suppose, if I couldn’t ever do hair again, I would start a nonprofit to rescue animals that no one wants. Is there a three-legged donkey that has been cast aside? I would welcome it home. A dog that is “untrainable”? By all means, bring this pup to my ranch. A goat that is more work than an urban farmer originally thought they would be? Well, kid, come on in and mow my yard.

Q: Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
A: Florence, Italy. Being surrounded by the history of the Renaissance in Florence is such an overwhelming experience. We got to visit buildings, monuments, churches, etc., built sometime in the late 14th to early 15th century. There is endless art that one can experience. Oh, and the food is next-level amazing! Can I go back, please?

Q: Everyone is very impressed by your doily-making abilities—how did you get into crocheting generally and doilies specifically?
A: My grand-mère taught me to knit and crochet when I was very young. I honestly don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to. She lived in a somewhat remote place in Alaska and was a very industrious person who either taught herself or learned how to create/build whatever it was she needed or wanted. Since she was the closest relative in proximity to where I grew up, I got to spend a lot of time with her. As such, my grand-mère’s talent for creating wore off on me.

From precision bobs to long layers, low-maintenance colors to all the vivids, Tamara runs the gamut of stylistic talents, and she holds a special place in her heart for gender-affirming haircuts. See what she’s been up to on her Instagram, @tamaraleighdesigns, and then schedule your next service with her asap. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

Now, wanna see what she was making in the video? Feast your eyes:

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Seriously. How cute are these snowflakes?! 😍