New hair salon and barber shop aims to cut away barriers
New hair salon and barber shop aims to cut away barriers

New hair salon and barber shop aims to cut away barriers

‘Everybody is trying to change our downtown and make it look better. We are excited to be a part of that,’ says owner of Fabstyle, located in downtown Orillia

A new hair salon and barber shop has opened in downtown Orillia.

Fabstyle owner Emily Baker has been in the industry for 28 years but this is the first time she’s owned her own shop.

“We have two apprentices here that I am teaching,” she explained. “My business is based on mentorship. I’m constantly teaching my staff and improving their skills.”

Baker views her business as an opportunity to pass the torch from what she has learned over the years. She named her new shop after her mentor, Fabio Sementilli. 

“He introduced me to the show industry in hairdressing,” she said. “I had the opportunity to do New York Fashion Week, and I was an artist with the Wella Company for 15 years.”

She has decided it’s time to pay it forward as Sementilli would commonly do with young, up-and-coming professionals.

While there are plenty of hairdressers in town, Baker would rather work with the competition than against it.

“We are really trying to break that barrier everybody has in town where everybody has to compete with one another,” she said. “We really should be working together. There are enough clients for everyone.”

Fabstyle recently teamed with stylists from Sharp Image Salon and Spa and Avaia Salon to provide haircuts for people experiencing homelessness in Orillia and area.

Baker says she is on a mission to change the way business is conducted in the hair industry, and to do so she feels her shop needs to be different. That is why she has incorporated a barber shop into the business. 

“I added that in because I saw the potential in our barber, Justin (Mcwhinnie),” she explained. “Barbering is really becoming a trend, so I thought it was important to add that in.”

Mcwhinnie is a former student of Baker’s who taught in the hair program at Georgian College.

“He’s an incredible barber,” she said. “I see a lot of art in him.”

Baker, a Park Street Collegiate Institute graduate, says Orillia is the right place for her innovative salon and barber shop.

“Everybody is trying to change our downtown and make it look better,” she said. “We are excited to be a part of that.”

While Baker has travelled across North America, she says there is nowhere she would rather do business more than in Orillia.

“I love it,” she said. “I’m glad I still live here. It has charm now.”

Fabstyle is located at 19 Mississaga St. W. It is open Tuesday through Saturday and appointments can be made by calling 705-259-4404. 

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