Tanya Miais one crazy cool chica. A baptized bastard, she was born on the road in '75 while her parents made their way west, far from their east coastern religiously repressive roots.
Following many high schools and a few unsuccessful college attempts, she decided at 22 that she needed a skill to pay the bills because her love for creating art wasn't going to cut it.
Her hair training began in 1997 at Marinello's School of beauty in the vibrant Hillcrest, the gay neighborhood of San Diego, Ca. She has been a licensed cosmetologist (hair, make-up, nails and skin) - aka: hair dresser on fire for over ten years people!
During her time in school, she met world renowned hair artist and educator for Paul Mitchell, Takashi and his wonderful wife Yuka Kitamura. They not only gave Tanya her first pair of shears (!), but also helped facilitate her 14 month apprenticeship at the original Robert Cromeans Salon in the grittier San Diego Neighborhood, North Park. - Thanks Takashi and Yuka!!
You've heard the saying, "Timing is everything", this certainly holds true for Tanya Mia when she lucked out with her apprenticeship in 1998-1999.
Robert Cromeans was still working behind the chair along with Paul Mitchell's current artistic director Stephanie Kocielski. These three stylist are as good as it gets, and Tanya was lucky enough to observe and to serve their every whim for over a year. Additionally, she also assisted half a dozen other extremely talented stylists working in the original loft style salon that once shared a parking lot with a bowling alley. This experience provided invaluable one-on-one time that is unavailable today because of the demand and popularity of these educators.
A few years after starting her job with Robert Cromeans, Tanya Mia helped open the Robert Cromeans Mens Salon In Pacific Beach, Ca. This experience also proved to be invaluable. It allowed her to concentrate for a year solely on men's cuts and colors. This was an immense addition to her skills (and bread and butter), even today!
Shortly after this, Robert became the artistic director for Paul Mitchell and we all became corporate associates of Paul Mitchell. Everything blew up and our edgy hip salons went mainstream and moved downtown and opened in Las Vegas. Industry hair shows, classes, and the opening of Paul Mitchell schools began to dominate the original RC team's time, and the number of assistants just kept growing. It was time for Mia to go back to school and study the arts!
Tanya was encouraged by her friends and family to cut casually while she furthered her education. Her bosses were unsupporting of part-time employees, so Mia quit the corporate control.
American Artist Salon was born, a bastard too, located in back patio of the infamous MCBEAN House in Clairmont. She cut n' colored here while receiving her AA at San Diego City college, with honors. --
Time to transfer, the timing of the digital video technology and her love of all the rainbow spirts (Haight & Castro), Tanya choose to move to San Francisco and study at SFSU film department. She gained a BA in Cinema Arts with a emphasis in Film Production, graduating in 2007 Cum Laude!
While getting established in San Francisco (with mucho kudos to Terese Noel- relocated former San Diego client and comrade), Mia continued to casually cut n color hair in various kitchens... thus the Pirate Salon was created. The Pirate theme was adopted to communicate to Mia's new Nor Cal community the underground, cash only, no phone, kitchen sink and bare bones punk rock style of services offered.
A good hair cut is generally really fucking expensive, at least in this City. Tanya Mia's heart was crushed, watching the rise of the corporate environment and the rise of her hair cut prices form 25$ to $65 in just 3 years. A woman in demand:); her friends could not afford to come see her and she was constantly out pricing old clients and obtaining new wealthier clients that she had a hard time finding common ground with. Out of this heartbreak came her business model today.
Pirate Salon's "hair for the common people & rock stars" approach is a creative, community and love based, DIY work endeavor. After years of 5 minute scalp massages (which is amazing, i know) and 45 min blow drys (lame). Mia's wrist started telling her to chill out too. She does not dream of being rich and famous. She desires quality and depth of experience. Tanya Mia only wants her fair share and the rest should be shared or kept in this case. (Also just hates how fricking expensive this city thinks it has to be!) So in order to make a decent amount of money to feed, house, educate and entertain herself, she has devised a less work, (and less money) but a more creative mode of working that allowed all her hair pirates to stay on board.
Opening a legit salon in 2009 in a 200 sq ft room by herself has been amazing (with the help of Jebus & friends!). Managed to keep the sink and chair from the original American Artist salon, just painted and reupholstered (thanks ZOE and Conny!) But now she just cuts and colors and give styling tips. You do it yourself wash and dry at the designated stations. Yes your mascara will run and you might get your shirt wet or leave with your hair wet! OMG! But you and Tanya will rest better at night, knowing that you are both richer in your own way.
Tanya Mia knows that her talent is under priced by general standards but feels lucky every day to have it and the demand for her "magic scissors". She gets to travel far, camp at hippie fests, buy unnecessary shit, go to the dentist and likes her job!
Now that her formal education has been begotten and a proper legit business has formed, she is taking time to make sculpture, film and music. In addition Tanya Mia is in pre and post production on too many film projects. On her off time she enjoys dancing to live music, cooking original dishes, smoking mary jane, interior decoration, biking and being outside, and yes, long walks on the beach. She has married herself to the ocean and continues to study Buddhist spirituality while embracing partial scientific views. If you made it this far you must be bored or obsessed.....cool. Tanya Mia Buhowski would hug you now if she could.