Amber Molen’s Meraki Studio
By Sue Todd
It’s wedding season, and Amber Molen is busy! Makeup and hair are her specialties, and June brides are keeping her calendar full. Fortunately, she loves doing weddings. Blushing brides, giggling bridesmaids. What’s not to love?
Molen has been providing hair and makeup services for 15 years. The last six years have been in Girdwood. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she and her husband Seth Molen moved their family here to start their new Alaskan life in 2013. At the time, she was pregnant with their third child, and her husband had been hired to be the Beverage Director at the Alyeska Resort.
After her third daughter was born, she took a step back from her business and focused on her family. She homeschools Jocelyn (13), Scarlett (10) and Matilda (6), and it definitely requires a flexible work schedule. Over the last six months or so, Molen has really kicked it up a notch. She is now passionately growing her business.
Originally named Raven Hair and Makeup, she recently re-branded herself Meraki Studio. Amber explained that “Meraki” (pronounced may RAH kee) is a Greek word that embodies her mission. It means to do something with soul, love, creativity, and to leave a piece of yourself in your work.
She further explained that she sees every client as her walking billboard, and that her reputation is on the head of every one of her clients. She works hard to ensure her clients are happy, satisfied customers so they in turn will spread the love. Word of mouth is everything in her business, and if her calendar is any indication, her clients are satisfied and spreading the word.
Her small studio is located just off her kitchen in her home. Here she works by appointment only. Cuts for ladies and children, color, makeup tutorials, and special event makeup and hairstyles are her offerings. She mentioned that often when she has a wedding group at her studio, the kitchen becomes the overflow room while she works on them one at a time.
I imagined serving appetizers and mimosas in this lovely, clean setting, while bridal parties were engaged in happy, excited conversation about the big day. There is a sweet, Alaskan feel to the studio, and it is certainly a great setting for such an event.
Sometimes, Amber works on location. For weddings or special events, she can take her talents to you. In fact, at the time of this writing, she was doing hair and makeup on location for two back-to-back weddings. What sets her apart is that she works very closely with photographers to produce beautiful pictures.
To avoid unnecessary shine in photos, she uses the makeup line Limelife by Alcone to provide a nice matte finish that photographs well. From dramatic to natural, Molen can provide the exact look you want, and she will not rest until you are satisfied with the result.
Amber does not restrict her events to weddings, though they are her favorite type of work. She also offers makeup and hair for themed events. Whether a masquerade ball, a Gone With the Wind theme party, or prom night, she is prepared to provide the appropriate hairstyle and makeup.
When I asked about her vision for the future, Amber said, “I really want to educate people about style, hair and skincare, particularly the younger generation.” With three daughters of her own, she is very conscious of young skin and has dedicated herself to teaching them about the long-term benefits of good skincare.
Her particular focus for business growth is in the realm of cuts and color. Though she does not plan to grow the size of her studio, she does want to grow her clientele. Some seek to beautify our town with landscaping and artwork. Amber’s mission (somewhat jokingly) is to beautify Girdwood one head at a time.
Contact Amber for an appointment by phone, text, email or Instagram message. In the coming months, look for her website to be up and running: Merakistudioak.com. You are sure to find Amber to be professional, enthusiastic, stylish and passionate. “Meraki” truly is her modus operandi. Set up an appointment today and see for yourself.