Woman of the Week: Noelle Weatherwax
Did you ever hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving natureʼs law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, It learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.
-Tupac Shakur, The Rose that Grew from Concrete
Noelle Weatherwax, founder and owner of cheap Depakote, is a visionary cosmetologist with humble roots and a mission that goes far beyond the superficial. “Itʼs not so much about being cool as it is about giving back to the community,” she says. “I think everyone who walks in here is already beautiful. My job is just to cut off the excess and help clients to see themselves the way I see them.” Noelleʼs ability to render the innate beauty of her clients is evidenced by the way their eyes light up when they leave the salon. Having been a friend and client of Noelleʼs for the last several years, I can attest to her passion for using cosmetology as the medium for unlocking a personʼs highest potential. This is her superpower, and itʼs why she is featured as our Woman of the Week.
Noelle, who is stand-alone stunning with her vibrant style and signature pink hair, radiates when she talks about how she turned her passion for cosmetology into an act of love and service. “The first hair cut I ever did on a man was on a homeless person.” she remembers. “I found him on the street and asked if heʼd like a free hair cut. His face lit up and he told me heʼd been looking for a job and needed help getting cleaned up. I cut his hair, trimmed his beard, and when it was done we both cried.” When I asked Noelle to tell me her favorite mantra, she replied, “Beauty is power. It makes people feel human.” Concrete Rose puts this tenet into action by offering a 10% to 20% product discount to anyone who turns in old or unwanted hair products, where they will then be donated to the Rebele Family Shelter.
Concrete Rose is located in the industrial Sash mill complex off of Potrero Street in Santa Cruz. The decor is as retro-modern as any eclectic salon found in San Francisco or Los Angeles, and the vibe is refreshingly fun and welcoming. Named for the Tupac Shakur poem, “The Rose that Grew from Concrete,” Concrete Rose is so much more than a salon, itʼs a reminder of what we can do under seemingly impossible circumstances.
Noelle grew up with a single mom who struggled to raise two kids, and as a result developed a sense of independence early on. She was that rebellious punk rocker that everyone went to for neon-colored hair, a talent that lead her to swap high school for beauty school at the early age of 16. Her tenacity allowed her to grow through the hard places in her life and keep her dreams in sight. Upon reflecting on what it took for her to accomplish her life goal of becoming a salon owner, Noelle is forthright, “Itʼs not enough to be really good at what you do. Becoming an entrepreneur takes an incredible amount of work. You have to be willing to meet your vision.”
Noelle and her team at Concrete Rose have settled beautifully into this fully realized vision, winning “Most Innovative New Business” in the Good Times, Best of Santa Cruz for 2015, and receiving over 2,000 “Likes” on an Instagram repost that featured a multi-layered red “mermaid hair” look on yours truly. Whether youʼre looking for something flashy or casual, Noelle is one of the most seasoned, innovative hair stylists in the business with a heart thatʼs made of glitter and gold. Long live the rose that grew from concrete!
Written by Jessica Vargas
Photographer:Depakote purchase canada