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
"Love is in the hair..."
Color and Balayage Specialist
Love for Valerie
"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