Love is in the hair! Hair is fabric!
As stylists we are responsible for sculpting the styles of our very own streets. We are artists with a hair brush, designers with a flat iron, and our graffiti streams from our aerosol can. We fit no mold. We are all unique, as are the clients we shape. It’s a passion for hair that bonds us and our love to create.”
-Eric Alan Nelson, Stylist and Founder, Sidlab Hair Couture
Born to Style
Coming from a multi generational family of hair dressers including both grandmas, an aunt and an older brother, Eric Alan Nelson-the humble, tattooed, talented, Harley riding and self effacing founder of Sidlab Hair Couture was born with styling in his veins.
As a child his grandmother baby sat he and his brother from her home salon, giving him his first looks at curling, coloring and cutting, and he doesn’t remember a color or cut he didn’t try through out in those nasant early years.
When the alternative pop culture movement of the 80’s and it’s new styling trends emerged, his friends clamoured in for cuts of their own, giving him his first taste of success.
However in hair school when told by an instructor “You should drop out and get your money back because no one would want someone with wild hair to do their hair.” he took that ill advice, so he and his Mohawk withdrew, taking their refund with them. It wasn’t until his brother Richard completed a cosmetology program himself that Eric was encouraged to return and pick up the scissors once again.
Living the Dream
Upon graduating his dream was to work for a top hair care company and he worked hard to do so, but once that came true he realized his new commercialized and corporate dream job wasn’t close to what he had imagined as an eager student of the industry. The fashion and hair conglomerates he looked up to cared more about the bottom line than hair, but he was a hairdresser to the core and couldn’t sell out.
Bruised and disappointed by the corporate mantra but looking forward to returning to his roots, back behind the chair he went.
This is where Sidlab was born from these simple thoughts: why not start a passionate hair product company that cares more about updo’s than up selling? Why not start a company that could deliver innovative professional wholesale salon products which keep up with clients and an ever changing culture? Why not start a company that loves hair?
A Business Plan Which Works
So for the last four years under the guidance of Eric, the backing of Portland native and business partner Ron DiPietro, the encouragement of the styling community and his clients, Sidlab Hair Couture as evolved into one of the most respected companies in the field.
Never tested on animals, their 21 eco-chic and earth friendly product line can be found in major salons across Portland and the country. Sodium and Paraben free, Sidlab Hair Couture keeps innovating and developing new products while setting the bar high where sustainability is concerned.
From their use of recycled packaging and printed materials and their Portland based earth friendly philosophy, to working hard supporting the eradication of breast cancer and gracing the runways of such high profile events as Portland Fashion Week and The Better Living Show (the largest sustainable lifestyle show in the nation), Sidlab Hair Couture continues to grow and expand in a very healthy mode, all the while bringing their eco-chic ethos and Portland quirkiness to
the styling world.
Think globally but shop locally!
By Tod Foulk
Semper Fashion and Portland Fashion Week Principal