my thousand hats, and my shop.
i’ve worn a variety of hats while living in ann arbor including haircutter, streetcart flower vendor, jitterbug champion, arts organization director, and so much more!
my story unfolds in 1970, when I moved from detroit to ann arbor for college…
in the beginning…
While a student at the University of Michigan, I ran several campus film societies, which led me to volunteering with the Ann Arbor Film Festival (and performing there as a live mannequin in art installations friends and I created).
After graduation in 1974 with a teaching certificate in film I did what graduates do when they can’t find a real job: I created a fun job! I became a hippie flower vendor and sold fresh flowers off a flower cart at the corner of E. and S. Universities. At that time I met the friend who became my professional dance partner. For a number of years Jim and I taught and performed the jitterbug, were the State of Michigan Jitterbug champs several years in a row and even made it into Life magazine — that’s the Life magazine picture, above (shot by the awesome photojournalist David Turnley). I began taking ballet lessons in my mid-20’s and got on pointe in my early 30’s. I still dance as much as possible.
I also spent a short stint in a Michigan resort town running a sweet movie theater for the summer crowd. All along I’d been cutting people’s hair, a skill I picked up as a kid practicing on my three brothers. After spending that summer and fall up north, where I wound up cutting everyone’s hair, I returned to Ann Arbor to get my cosmetology certificate.
the story behind Vicki’s Wash & Wear Haircuts…
In 1980 I began cutting hair professionally in Ann Arbor. For five years I cut hair inside Saguaro Plants. It was a wonderful downtown plant store that had two haircut booths hidden amongst the plants and an 8′ finch aviary. In 1985, after Saguaro closed its doors, I opened Vicki’s Wash & Wear Haircuts on Ann St. My haircut shop also shared space with the Ann Arbor Film Festival. After all those years as a volunteer, I was employed as the Festival Director for 15 wonderful years. It was a wild ride wearing two hats, but 207 E. Ann St. sure was hopping!
what is a wash & wear haircut:
Simply, I cut the hair to do what it does inherently. I do not wash or blow dry, use a curling iron or give perms or color treatments. I cut all lengths of hair and all hair types. Curly hair? Bring it on! Straight, fine hair? Not a problem. I instruct my clients to throw away their brushes and hair dryers. “Use your fingers,” I say! I encourage my clients to bring in pictures, or better yet, let me create the best cut for one’s hair, face, and lifestyle. I cut both men and women, and am available for new clients.
My haircut fee is $40. It’s best to have an appointment. Click here to schedule an appointment or call me at 734.663.4247.
the Heavenly Metal story…
After wrapping up the 2002 40th Ann Arbor Film Festival season, I handed over the reins so a new generation could steer the ship. It was a great decision. AAFF was able to bring in new blood and I was able to slow down. But not for long: after 10 months with too much leisure on my hands it was time to take on something new!
I’ve always filled and decorated my home and hair cutting shop with wonderful hand-crafted items acquired from art fairs, artist friends, and galleries. People have always wanted to know where I find such great stuff. They were feeding into an urge to do something I’d always dreamed of: open a gallery/boutique of unique hand-crafted items and artworks. It was a no-brainer: I filled the empty space and walls where the festival office had been with hand-crafted items to sell.
My very first wholesale order was with Kathryn Arnett, one of the original mixed media artists working with recycled metal, thus the name Heavenly Metal. As my sources widened I began finding items made from other materials and fabrics that compliment the metal pieces. Even as it’s evolved, my gallery/gift shop is still filled with stuff I would purchase for myself — and sense Heavenly Metal fans want as well!
what’s not to love?
I sell jewelry, purses and bags, apparel and footwear, porcelain and ceramic works, books, collage art, candles, home goods, paper products….and more. Many of the goodies are made from recycled and reclaimed materials, such as tin barn roofing, barn wood, sap buckets, glass, billboards, melted-down metals, used woolen goods, recycled paper, vintage buttons and beads. And much of what I carry is handmade, as I place orders directly with artists from the U.S. and Canada.
I carry well-known lines such as Highway purses, Baggallini (purses and travel bags designed by two former flight attendants), Maruca Designs (purses handmade in Boulder), Baggu re-usable shopping bags, Hi-Di-Hi (funky, hip bags designed in the Netherlands), Jill Pearson’s Wasabi jewelry, Elements by Jill Schwartz jewelry, Eric Silva jewelry, Sugarboo (stenciled wood wall art), Mincing Mockingbird bird art prints, ZPots ceramics, Beth Mueller milk bottle ceramics, Lisa Neimeth pottery, handmade shoes and boots from Fly London, Bos & Co, and Bed Stu, Red Chair Studio’s hand-dyed silk scarfs, clothing from Willow & Clay, Mystree, and Mechant….among others. I’m just a little year-round art fair. Heavenly Metal is a great place to find gifts….as well as something wonderful for yourself.
the stories inside Heavenly Metal…
I call my displays “stories” or “moments“. Here’s a few pictures of favorite stories I’ve created with merchandise.
what’s the story behind the music:
Music is one of the things that rocks my world. Guaranteed, you’ll hear great music while shopping in my store. I often log onto pandora.com to listen to the fabulous playlists I’ve discovered, sometimes causing us to shake our booties!
In my spare time I’m a volunteer DJ at our local community/student radio station, WCBN, 88.3 FM. You can hear my show Sashay’s Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop with the Father of Funk on Thursdays, 8-9pm. Check out the station wherever you live: you can listen live at wcbn.org or put the app on your device.
the dog story:
Meet Lucy, my 8 pound Papillon. I’m very lucky to be able to bring her to work with me every day.
She’s kind of shy but if you bring her a treat her tail may start wagging!
the story has no ending…
My online store offers just a teeny bit of the products I carry. The store blog is where I post the most current arrivals, so sign up to stay in the loop! I receive new inventory pretty much every day. I’m happy to ship to you if something catches your eye on the blog post or in an email announcement.