Aryka Chrupalo has more drive and passion than most people at the age of twenty-eight. She is always ready to learn something new that will not only benefit her career but also help her grow as a person.
Growing up in Roseburg, Oregon, Chrupalo wasn’t exactly surrounded by fashion. Her love for it came from her Aunt who owned a salon in California. It took her awhile to figure out what she wanted in life but now she is ready for anything. Chrupalo recently graduated from Aveda Institute and now rents a one-chair salon. She has big goals for the future and nothing can stop her from reaching her dreams.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Southern, Oregon, Roseburg, which is a small town. I did all the sports. I actually majored in Journalism before I left school. Growing up around that area, it was sports, camping, and fishing, that kind of stuff. Not really fashion or hair or makeup but I have always had a passion for that because my aunt in California owns a salon. I was always interested in that aspect, a whole other world than how I grew up. I have been with my boyfriend for ten years this December. I just opened my own salon on 10th and Glisan in February; it’s a one-chair salon.
So you mentioned that you are from Southern Oregon, what made you move to Portland?
It’s funny because I have actually moved from Roseburg to Maine, which is where my boyfriend is from, when I was 19. I thought I wanted to go to cosmetology school than, but I just wasn’t ready for it yet. Than he had a job offer back here so we moved over to Medford, which was not where we wanted to live. Then we moved back to Maine and bought a house and lived there for 3 years. Than I just wanted to be close to my family. I was working for Forever 21 and I looked to see if they were hiring anywhere and got a transfer to Lloyd Center Mall and moved here.
What got you into hair and makeup?
Because I worked for Charlotte Russe, Pac Sun, and Forever 21, I was always styling mannequins. I was a visual manager at Forever 21 for 5 years, I traveled to other states to help set up stores. I didn’t want to do fashion design so I started to look into cosmetology. I started touring schools and when I went to Aveda I knew that it was where I wanted to go.
What is schooling like at Aveda?
I went part time. In the state of Oregon you have to have 2,300 hours and so I went Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. At Aveda you start with haircuts. Than you do color for the next 18 weeks and once you have graduated from that, you do cut and color. Than you do nine weeks of nails and nine weeks of SD, which is skin and facials. Then you are on the floor all day every day. I had to go to school for 24 months. I graduated early in October. It was fun because they really involve you with stuff.
What were you involved in?
Like we had Cat Walk for Water, which is a charity fashion show. We get to pick our models and there is usually a theme, like this year the theme was paint. We also did resources from Aveda, like the countries where our paper comes from. I had Brazil; I did a flower model and a bird model. Than the year before that it was Imagination. So it was fantasy, adventure, nightmare, and romance. I did fantasy and I did a unicorn. Once you get to your senior level, you get to do a photo-shoot and you get to pick your themes and models. I chose Galaxy warrior. It was actually printed and hung at the Vancouver campus on a canvas taller than me.
What do you like better, hair or makeup?
You know, it’s mainly just hair coloring and makeup, those are my two passions. I still really like the technical skill of cutting hair but I really like coloring and colors in general with makeup and hair.
What it inspires you most?
I’m inspired by the landscapes, the architecture, the weather, and everyone’s looks. I have always been attracted to color, so I’ve been taking tests with Pravana to become a color specialist with them. I just got my certificate for advance color technique. Pushing myself is always what inspires me.
How much practice does it take to become a makeup and hair stylist?
A lot, I will stay up at night sketching things, I am always practicing with color. Everything is always changing, so I keep up with that by taking advance classes so that I don’t lose that technique. I have a mannequin head that I practice on. With this industry you always have to stick with it or you will be pushed behind and I don’t want it to be where I can’t do a certain technique that my clients want.
What was the process like for opening your one-chair salon, Vivid Chromatics?
I actually was working at a salon in Tualatin, I wasn’t happy and I had a lot of retail background. I applied that management to help me now. It took about 2 months of preparation. I found an ad on Craigslist about solo salons. I first thought it might be a scam but I decided to check it out. I met him and I fell in love with the space, I knew that I really wanted to do this. I started to talk to all my friends and asked them if they would come. I told them that it was a one-chair, so they wouldn’t have to listen to blow dryers going on and all of people talking about what they did last night, just them and me. I put down the deposit in January and I gave my notice at the Tualatin Salon. He held it for me till February 1. I opened that day and I had full books and it was great.
Who are artists that you have worked with?
I have done a lifestyle shoot with Rukka, Billabong, Roxy and Element. It was with a group called Photo Revolution and it was with three photographers. I volunteered to do make up for that and I did hair for Betsy Johnson before the store closed in Portland. I have also worked with four or five different students from the Art Institute with their senior films.
Do you have a favorite person to work with?
I just did Portland Fashion Week for spring and I would have to say my favorite was when I worked with the students from the Art Institute. They were so humbling and appreciative. I could feel that they really appreciated our work.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
One of my biggest accomplishments was RAW. I liked collaborating with the different artists and seeing how everyone else goes through the process. But also just the amazing photographers I have worked with in photo-shoots and film directors I have worked with. When I look back and see all the people I have worked with and networked with, I think that’s my biggest accomplishment.
What was your experience like at RAW?
I did the April Showcase. I had 11 models and was the makeup artist for them. I was paired with a stylist that helped me with the hair and I picked out the wardrobe. My theme was goddess and queens, so I did Queen of Darkness, Queen of Hearts, Egyptian Goddess, basically women in power.
What has been your “About Face” moment?
I would say there are two times. One when I was accepted into Aveda because I was finally clearing my life from retail and I was super excited to start something that was completely unfamiliar. The other was when I graduated from Aveda because I got through the 2,300 hours.
What are your plans for the future?
I would say my next adventure would be to get published in a major fashion magazine, Elle or Cosmo. I have been published on Nylon magazine’s Instagram and their website. I did their Look Book with them last year and it was a lot of fun. It’s great to see a picture that I did hair and makeup for have one million likes.
What are some of your future career goals?
My biggest goal was to open my own salon, and I did that. It has been a huge success but also a learning progress. I want to grow Vivid Chromatics as a brand, whether it’s making my own shampoo or conditioners or whether it’s me being a global artist for Pravana. I also would love to be nominated for a Portland Fashion and Style award. My clients push me to be a better stylist and salon owner.
www.styleseat.com/vividchromatics for online scheduling