Meet The Team
"Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself from the inside out, that’s when you’re most beautiful.”
Larissa is an experienced veteran in the beauty industry. Her natural gifts and passion were ignited at a young age as she watched her mom work as a Cosmetologist both outside and inside of the home. With a salon at her fingertips, she began experiencing with hair styling techniques. It was common to find her up late at night wrapping her sister’s long hair in tight curls or practicing on a mannequin head. During those formative years, her aptitude and love for transforming hair and people’s appearances become ingrained in her. She knew without a doubt this was her life calling. She began her formal training by enrolling in beauty school as a senior in High School. Upon graduating, she passionately applied and got accepted into a prestigious Advanced Training Program with Gene Juarez where she developed highly specialized color techniques. She went on to work at Gene Juarez Redmond Town location for four years where she developed a very loyal client base.
She continued to improve and expand her skill set by getting trained to become a Balayage Specialist. Balayage is one of her trademark services.
Larissa’s desire to expand her services and career led her to begin leasing a station independently with various salons for the last eight years. She pursued on-going training to fine tune her skills and keep up with the latest trends. As a way to add more value for her clients, she has partnered with local businesses to host fun marketing events showcasing fashion and unique merchandise. She continuously strives to improve her knowledge and expertise, traveling to New York numerous times to collaborate with colleagues on the latest trends. Additionally, she’s trained to become a product educator on top lines, as well as creating videos demonstrating how to perform balayage services for other stylists to learn from.
Opening her own salon is the culmination of a life long passion and dream. She is excited to hand select her favorite tools, products and techniques from over a decade of experience and make it her own by offering a unique, high end experience for her clientele.
FAQ with Larissa
Why did you choose to name your salon Larissa Sofia?
I chose Larissa Sofia as a tribute to my Bulgarian roots and my late father who was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. He was a fearless entrepreneur with an exceptional work ethic. He influenced my desires to own my own business; I know he would be proud of me for following my dreams and in his footsteps. My logo has personal meaning as well. Each element was lovingly hand drawn by my sister, Natasha. The unique design formed a butterfly where the leaves come together; a ladybug was discreetly placed in the butterfly as a tribute to our dad whose childhood name for me always makes me think of a ladybug. My name and logo is not only beautiful and shabby chic, it represents my style, my culture and special family ties.
Why do you specialize in Balayage?
Balayage is a technique I discovered over a decade ago while at Gene Juarez. At that time it was only available in salons in New York with an average cost of $500 per service.
I love the versatility Balayage offers – not only does it allow me to be artistic & creative, it also is more gentle on the hair. Balayage is known for providing a subtle grow out, which allow for more time between services. It is so rewarding to see my clients’ hair transform from dry and damaged hair to beautiful, shiny hair with added dimension and depth. It’s also an amazing technique to use when performing corrective color services; it allows me to remove old hair color with very little compromise to the integrity and health of the hair. Please see our F & Q page for more info.
Why Did You leave Gene Juarez?
I wouldn’t be the stylist I am today without the valuable training I received at Gene Juarez. I took a huge leap of faith when I chose to branch out on my own. My desire to offer full services and to be more creative with my branding and services is what continues to drive me. My passion for the beauty industry has evolved over the years. I now have the opportunity to teach others and to build an exceptional team.
Why did you pick Sammamish?
I moved to the Issaquah Highlands five years ago. I have been working in Issaquah during this time as well. I have fallen in love with the area, the people and the community. Sammamish is part of that atmosphere and I really wanted to open a salon that was part my neighborhood and community. I’m so excited to create a warm, friendly experience that offers all the things you can find in a high-end salon without the corporate feel.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy being active, especially with my shih-tzu, Rosie – she is my first and only child to date. I value spending time with my family and close friends. I also love to travel during my spare time. I recently went to Iceland last year. I’m a foodie at heart: being Bulgarian and Filipino, I grew up eating an eclectic group of foods (thanks, Mom!).
Love for Larissa
“Almost weekly my hair receives a compliment. With high-lights and low-lights, Larissa makes my blonde hair look so natural. It’s easy to leave a recommendation for her here as I have already recommended her to several friends who were so happy that they are now her regular customers. It’s an added bonus that Larissa is also a super-nice person.” – Christina Hart
"Your hair is your best accessory “ - Unknown
Hair Stylist/Color Expert/ Special Occasion & Braid Specialist
Connie is a lifelong resident of Issaquah, and even owns the house she grew up in since she was 2 years old. She has watched Issaquah grow from a small town without stoplights with vast farm lands to the busy suburb it is today.
Connie has been doing hair her whole life. But it wasn’t until Jan. 2018 she officially became a licensed cosmetologist. She has always loved doing hair as a hobby, and grew up doing family and friends hair. She married in 1997 and had 3 kids. Both boys serve in the Marine Corp and her daughter attends Issaquah High School.
She tried various careers, but nothing quite seemed to satisfy her creative energies. Her kids never went to a salon to get their hair done, since she always took care of all their haircuts, styles, dying, etc.…
As the kids got older, Connie realized it was her time to achieve her dreams and went to Gene Juarez Academy in Federal Way to earn a Cosmetology License.
She has always loved doing braids and special occasion styles. Always looking for new ideas or latest trends to learn and master!
She has spent the last year training under Larissa as her Associate. Learning the melting techniques of balayage, foiling highlights to create brightness, and the fun of color to accent your natural features. She has a special fondness for doing fun fashion colors for those who like to change it up.
In addition to that she loves cutting men’s styles just as much as women’s. Having 3 men in the house she has had many years of practice cutting various men’s styles.
For examples of Connie’s work check out her Instagram page @bellasconnie
Love for Connie
Chandler loves all hair types, especially working with curly hair. She is well rounded and very skilled with creating the ultimate blonde through foils and balayage while maintaining the health of the hair. She loves haircuts for women and men and everyone in between! She thrives off making genuine connections with her clients. Her ultimate goal is to make you feel comfortable and feel your best every time you come to see her. She looks forward to meeting you!
Love for Chandler
Hair Stylist/Deva Color + Cut Specialist
Liz is a Deva Color + Cut Specialist, with advanced Curly Education. She also loves specializing in Blondes & Balayage. She thrives off using her creativity to customize every cut and color for each guest so they feel and look their best leaving the salon. On her downtime she loves spending time hiking and being outdoors.
Love for Liz
'Beauty is being the best possible version of yourself, inside and out.' - Audrey Hepburn
Nick graduated from the Gene Juarez Academy in Mountlake Terrace. His training allowed him to build a strong foundation in hair cutting and coloring techniques. Upon graduation, Nick continued to develop his skills by working for prominent salons in Bellevue and Kirkland.
His warmth and creativity will have you looking and feeling your best. He is especially fond of highlighting services but he absolutely loves all things color — from babylights to balayage and all things in between.
He loves to provide custom and innovative services. Following his services, he takes extra time to apply creative styling, whether adding a few bouncy curls, or a sleek straight look — you can be sure you will be looking and feeling your most fabulous self! He is passionate about increasing his knowledge and expertise to stay on top of the latest trends.
He has an intense love for coffee — you can catch him in his free time at a local coffee shop or checking out new restaurants & local bars.
For examples of Nick work check out his Instagram page @nickdoes_hair
Love for Nick
"I see no good reason to act my age."
Meet Rosey Mae
Official Door Greeter
Meet Rosey, Larissa’s miniature Shih-tzu and official Larissa Sofia Salon Mascot. The two year old pup loves to greet everyone who walks in the door. She doesn’t mind being picked up and sitting on guest’s laps. Her favorite foods include spinach, broccoli and chicken. She is likely to turn a bad day around with a special cuddle looking up at you with her big round eyes. In her spare time she loves to sing, chase after dogs that are too big for her own good, spend quality time with her boyfriend Oso, and watch netflix while relaxing on the couch with her mom.
Love for Rosey
“I always look forward to visiting with Rosey during my appointments. Rosey is pure kindness and has such a big personality. I’m pretty sure she thinks it’s her salon!” – Mary H.