See Which Hairstylists Won In the Sola Pro Awards Program

Sola Salons, a studio suites concept for independent beauty professionals, hosted its live educational event, Sola Sessions, on June 18 to June 20, 2023 in Austin, TX.

The brand also debuted its first-ever Sola Pro Awards to celebrate the technical skill, creative presentation and originality of work from its community of independent beauty professionals. Over a six-week entry period the Sola community self-nominated by submitting 5000-plus entries to eight categories including Studio Design, Blondes, Nail Design, Transformation, Barber Cut, Texture, Skin, and Extensions. Winners received an award featuring their honor in each given category, will be featured in Sola Salons and industry social media and news channels. Each winner will also receive one week of free rent (up to a $500 value).

Sola Pro Award Winners Include: 

Studio Design – Valeria Pasillas, Denver CO. 
Blondes – Jessica Gentle, Columbus OH. 
Nail Art Design – Sara Clark, Morgantown WV.
Transformation – Kimberly Marina, Milwaukee WI.
Barber Cut – Johnathon Gilyard, Oakland CA. 
Celebration of Texture – Eric Kelley, Baton Rouge LA.
Skin – Angie Barraza, Chicago IL. 
Extensions – Meg Silver, San Diego, CA. 

“The Sola Salons team introduced the first-ever Sola Pro Awards to celebrate the achievements of our community and had the privilege to share the award winners at our annual educational event. Sola Sessions provides unparalleled access to education for our beauty pros and is a true testament to our brand continuing to be the salon suite model of choice for those seeking independent opportunities,” said Emily Alders, Director of Education at Sola Salons. “This year more than ever, we were thrilled to provide our beauty pros with a multifaceted approach to continued education by providing them with firsthand insight from industry change-makers. Following this year’s event, our Sola professionals left reinvigorated, and we look forward to further amplifying their voices and helping them reach their fullest potential as beauty professionals and business owners.”

This year’s event was supported by Sola Salons’ Director of Education, Emily Alders, who spearheaded planning and execution at Sola Salon’s annual educational event. 2023’s Sola Sessions offered VIP workshops hosted by beauty industry business coaches, Nina Tulio and Dawn Bradley, business-focused presentations and panels, technical breakouts, vendor expo, as well as a keynote address from the renowned Tabatha Coffey, an accredited coach, beauty icon, television personality, writer, coach, and hairdresser. To arm its stylists with well-rounded business and industry acumen, Sola’s breakout sessions featured the top leading industry professionals including Andis Global Educator, John Mosley, and Global Creative Director for Living Proof, Michael Shaun Corby. Additional speakers included one of Hollywood’s most sought-after hair stylists, Frida Aradóttir, North American Hairstyling Award winner Francesca Rivetti and pro beauty photographer, Babak. 

In support of the next generation of beauty professionals, Sola Salons teamed up with Beauty Changes Lives, a nonprofit driven to make the beauty profession a first-choice career through scholarships, mentorship and advanced education, to serve a cocktail for a cause at the Sola Sessions VIP Party and Sola Pro Awards Party during the three-day event. For every cause-mopolitan cocktail sold, Sola Salons donated one dollar to benefit Beauty Changes Lives. 

The event was sponsored by a number of beauty industry leaders including Diamond Sponsors Living Proof and Jack Winn Pro along with Gold Sponsors Wella Professionals, SalonCentric, OlaPlex, Morrocan Oil, CND, Ashtae, Andis, JPMS and CanvasMe. To learn more about Sola Salons or to find out how to join the Sola Salons community, visit