Georgia Bramhall's salon's got the vibe and the rep
Michael Barnes, Out & About
Honeycomb Hair Boutique, Georgia Bramhall's salon on East Fifth Street, opened quietly in September 2011. She had scheduled an opening party inside the Moroccan-influenced retreat with its high ceilings and warm feelings at the 501 Studios for Tuesday, Nov. 15.
She spoke to her father, beloved musical artist Doyle Bramhall, then living in Alpine, to make sure he would attend. Yes, the proud parent confirmed, he'd travel to Austin the Sunday before the affair. On Saturday, Nov. 12, however, Georgia Bramhall received the news that her father had died suddenly at 62. She canceled the party.
"I tried to work that first week," she says "It was too hard. It took me several months to find the excitement and joy for the salon again. I just lost the spark. I had to pick up and move forward. That's finally happening. And I love it here."
Georgia Bramhall, 41, is a hit with wide cross-section of Austin women — plus a few men. Musical luminaries like Charlie Sexton, Kathy Valentine and Kat Edmonson seek out her offbeat sensibility and assured skills.
Born in Austin, Georgia Bramhall moved with her mother, retired CPA and county manager Linda Cannon, and her brother, musician Doyle Bramhall II, to California when she was 4. She didn't hit the books in school, proving quite social instead. Bramhall studied dance and later played in musical acts.
College life was not to her tastes. "I went in a whole different direction," she says. "Not a good direction. I did a lot of drugs and alcohol."
Before the drugs started, Bramhall had a baby in 1993.
"My parents were very worried," she says. "They tried to get me to stop. It didn't take effect until I entered a treatment center. They said I could go to treatment, or they would take custody of my daughter. Thank God I was ready. I was relieved."
Sophia Bramhall Jordan is now 19, social and artistic like her mother. She even wants to attend beauty school.
Sober, Georgia Bramhall followed a best friend to Austin, where, after beauty school, she landed a job at Pink. She showed up every day for two weeks before the owners gave her a break.
After working at Bo Salon and Propaganda Hair Group, Georgia Bramhall decide to secure her own space. Her first tattoo — delicate cherry blooms on her right flank — led her to the hip district along East Fifth."I thought: This is a cool little area."
She's proud of the salon's vibe but she's more vocal about the staff, including skin specialist Zimi Chappell ("Very conscientious about how to nourish your skin and body from the inside out"); stylist and makeup artist Adrianne Lashley ("We tend to sing and dance when we are working together"); and coordinator Kat Dowling ("I'm the artist. She's the businesswoman.")
A member of Austin's expanded music family, she's an ardent follower of Gary Clark Jr., Ephraim Owens, Black Red Black, James Bullard, Emily Gimble and Tameca Jones.
"I never missed a show when my dad came through," she says. "And now, whenever my brother comes through."