JODI CONNOLLY FOUNDER
Although Jodi is somewhat renowned for her trademark ability to sport jeans, leather boots, tousled hair and a splash of shine on her lips, she is mostly distinguished by her passion for the hair industry and the growth of her brand in Eastern Iowa which has expanded in name and clientele to fan across the country. She is the creative force behind Buzz Salon and has been at the hair game for a quarter of a century. In pursuing her diligent goal of always maintaining the best standards and practices for Buzz salon, Jodi has become a source of sublime inspiration for generations of stylists that have come through her doors. She takes great pride and pleasure in mentoring her team in new trends and classic, beautiful style.
Baby of three, Bree, is a vision of loveliness if you have ever seen her rushing through the pedestrian mall with her five-inch heels, brusque and determined to get to Buzz and tend to her bevy of blondes. Rachel Zoe could have modeled her chicness on Bree’s style and foresight for fashion. North Dakota born and bred, Breanna spent one year at University of North Dakota before trading in her textbooks for some shears and a blow dryer when she met a cool hairstylist that led a life of creative fulfillment. Bree also has a new outlet for feeding her creative monster inside. She loves to follow fashion and style bloggers and currently there are seven that she adheres to religiously. This is good news for her clients because classically trained Breanna is not afraid to step out onto the ledge of cutting edge. (with the caveat that it must fit into a client’s personal style and what flatters each individual). She feels drawn to bouncy layers and best describes one her favorite hairstyles by referencing Brigitte Bardot with the curtain bangs and the layers that start at the chin and keep getting longer. For face framing, this meets Bree’s exacting standards. Standards that have been shaped during her time at Buzz and the industry education that has “opened her eyes to all the creative excellence out there.” Sculpting model hair backstage for Oribe the past two years and showcasing some of her finest work with Jodi at the Midwest Show in 2009 are experiences that epitomize how Bree grows and enhances the energy of Buzz and the rest of her creative team.
George is consistently praised by customers and co-workers for bringing barbering, a lost art from, to the front and center at Buzz. This beautifully honed skill is not to the exclusion of his long-haired clientele. George finds great personal satisfaction in working with the broad spectrum of personalities and hair types that grace his chair. George is adamant in his philosophy of starting with the basics for maintaining good hair. This means treat your hair like the crown it is on the top of your head and keep it healthy. He could be an industry advocate for how to use the right and best products for your hair type. According to this purist, it’s all about “having hair that fits and feels the way it’s supposed to be.”
People watching is an art form, at least the way Erin Ross engages in the art. She uses her same observant and methodical approach to be the stellar hairdresser she is. Her consult process is thoughtful and meticulous as is her eye for framing a client’s face and working with the unique qualities of each person’s hair. She embraces all hair types but will admit a special fondness for the challenge of naturally textured hair. This only child attributes her work ethic to her mother. "She raised me alone and always accomplished so much. I guess I modeled myself after the idea that being productive is a happy way to be." From a creative perspective, folks such as Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer, because “his pieces were wearable art.” and Kate Moss for being“on the cutting edge of fashion whether casual or formal and she has an amazing range if looks when being photographed.” and Vidal Sassoon, the man who changed the way women wore their hair “by being focused on the style, he created haircuts with deeper, real geometric shape congruent to the fashion of the 60's" have shaped her view on art and design. Ross moved back to Iowa City not so long ago after spending ten years working in Kansas City. Not surprisingly, based on her thoughtful nature, she prefers to spread her wings by traveling to places with a vast amount of history and culture. New Zealand, Italy and Switzerland are on the short list. When asked why she chose to be a stylist, Erin says, “This would be a very long story. Simply put, I took a chance and I have been thankful and living my (dream) career for 14 years.” So are we, Erin, so are we.
With 18 years in the beauty industry, Tim has traveled the world styling hair, and combining his interests and talents in the show business and beauty industries.
A Kansas City native, Tim grew up in his father's salon business, setting a firm hold at a very young age on his eventual career path. After years in the family business, Tim began traveling the world with major cruise and entertainment companies, serving as both an entertainer and hair stylists. His path then took him to a major salon in Chicago, and his most recent location, in Arizona. There, he was an award-winning, high-level stylist, colorist and educator at a prestigious full-service scottsdale salon. He has extensive experience in fashion, editorial, and bridal styling.
Tim has taught courses on a wide range of topics, and continues to stay current on the latest trends and techniques by traveling the country to attend training with industry leaders including R + Co, V76, Kérastase, and Oribe, where is certified in "Oribe's Signature Cut."
SORAYAH HAMILTON || wedding team lead
Sorayah’s romance with Buzz began a decade and a half ago, or in Sorayah’s words, “Since two husbands ago.” This is glimpse into her endearing, quirky sense of humor since she has never actually wed.
She is a self-proclaimed chameleon who can appreciate Bohemian Rapture with a touch of 40s glamour. Think a great jacket from Revival with a Chanel flaming red lip color. She adores her unwavering and loyal clientele and prides herself on “going above and beyond the call of beauty” whether that entails a perfect male neckline or “creating butterscotch raindrops on a wheat field” for a blonde. She is also known for her personal style which on any given day can be intentionally tousled hair with riding boots (hold the whip—she left it on the bus) or a knit cap donated from the senior center where she volunteers, admittedly in a selfish act to proclaim her youth. This is in stark contrast to the multiple occasions when Sorayah is asked to hop a flight and do backstage hair for Oribe or Bumble and Bumble. What has kept her at Buzz for most of her career? “Honestly, Jodi’s inspiration, traveling education whether we go to New York City or New York City comes here, and the graceful, manicured pulse we have on Iowa City downtown.” She also has a deep and abiding love for constructing up do’s and bringing out the best in curly hair. She adamantly believes an updo shouldn’t look like you are arriving on the red carpet… rather you have been making out in the limo on the way there. However, the icing on the cake for Sorayah is the genuine camaraderie, laughter and creative genius of her coworkers.
In case you are curious, Sorayah’s brush with greatness is her brother Tim Hamilton. Yes, THE Tim Hamilton, New York based designer.
Winfield, Iowa native Mandy Davis loves her life in Iowa City. In part, because of the exposure to people: different cultures, different age groups and different ethnicities. The rest of her passion lies in the ability to push her artistic abilities to the max. She started flapping her creative wings at the age of five back in Winfield when her mother opened a beauty salon in their home (imagine Steel Magnolias meets rural Iowa). Her personal style is described as “classic with more than a hint of edginess and a heap of good looks,” according to fellow stylist and ardent fan, Sorayah Hamilton. This is parlayed into her creative work at the chair where she has earned a reputation for attention to detail and a flair for working with the natural tendencies of each client’s hair to create their own best look. Her inspiration for bringing out the best comes from fashion and beauty icons such as Jane Mansfield, to whom she bears more than a passing resemblance.
When it comes down to R&R, she turns to family time and country music. So how DOES she do it? “Life is about balance and gratitude,” says Mandy. This stylish mama has an abundance of both.
LATISHA MOTON || r + co Creative councel
Latisha Moton is a singer/painter at heart and a hairdresser in her soul. She is a great marriage of rock & roll and grace. In her salon chair, this barber practioner can create a Leonardo DiCaprio-esque, 1930’s gangster cut that is unparalleled. Dressed like a chic librarian and and artfully tattooed, Ms. Moton can also boast (but she never does) about her signature classic bob some of her clients favor, a powerful example of her technical precision. She has been a visual artist since a young age; dabbling in new heights of creativity with hair and makeup by enlisting her sister as a “live mannequin head.” She never dreamed her natural gravitation toward fashion, hair and makeup could be an actual reality but her purposeful stride in life lends itself to making visions into concrete matter. For example, she moved to Iowa City for the sole purpose of working at Buzz Salon. While living her dream today, Latisha has an ability to look at the colors and shapes surrounding a person’s face and create a mental hairstyle in the artistic right-side of her brain. Consequently, her craft can better be described by in her own words as “sculpting” rather than just cutting someone’s hair. She honors her work in her five-year old project devoted to creating a portfolio of her own stunning photography. Here she brings out the “glam mixed with 90s edginess of avant garde and punk rock” look of each model whom she has personally beautified in the spirit of keeping with her mantra, “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”—Edgar Allan Poe
Someday, when she undoubtedly snags her ultimate dream job as Beyonce's makeup artist, you can say, "I went to Haley before she was famous." Or, she may be discovered on the street for the Leighton Meester doppelgänger that she is. Currently, she is thriving in her first dream career--"helping people love what they see in the mirror"--at Buzz and it shows in her loyal fan club of basically everyone she meets.
Her editorial work is in magazines all over the country, and life is sweet for this Dubuque-native, doing exactly what she envisioned at 15-years-old. This is when she had the epiphany that "using hair and makeup to accentuate my own features blossomed a whole new confidence in me. I craved the idea of helping others find that confidence as well." This fuels Haley, along with '90s country music and her passion projects--cooking and photography. Spoiler alert: her tacos are almost as sublime as her updos.
Tiffany is as equally graceful with a pool cue as she is with her shears. She can style a wedding party and beat you at poker. She actually moved from the Texas heat to the polar temps of Alaska (worth it--she met her fabulous husband Jeff there). In other words, Tiffany--our very own Texas rose--embraces a challenge from both sides of the spectrum. She is a fashion-forward bundle of energy wrapped in southern charm. Just ask her husband, Jeff and their equally dynamic black lab, Chief.
Kind of known for her trademark rocker-tee and footwear combo that double as a conversation piece, Tiffany has an impressive resume in hair education that qualifies her to do HairDreams Extensions (rave reviews) as well as Uberliss, the latest in smoothing and frizz control treatments. Her work as our very own Buzz apprentice has exposed her to the latest in techniques and also satisfies her drive to become better every day at her craft. Somehow, she still makes time for family, winning at board games and pretending to be a detective while watching 20/20.
The baby of the family "by a long shot", Allie Meyer arrived, presumably, in grand style into this world on the cusp of both Aquarius and Pisces. This is far from her only unique trait. Allie is a petite package that is quite the contradiction when you witness her effortless and compelling takecharge manner that tends to sweep everyone in her path off their feet... often into her chair! Born and bred in Dubuque, Iowa, she knew she loved making people look their best for as long as she can remember. This passion extends to her own fashion sense as well. Allie loves all things vintage, decorating herself and her home with thrifting finds from local shops in the area. This same enthusiasm for good looks is also applied in her work at the salon. Allie prides herself on her strong relationships with her clients; relationships that reflect her depth of concern for their all-over beauty and happiness. Her carefully cultivated beauty approach channels her inner Audrey; "Always Audrey" is her personal mantra. But throw in a little bit catlove with her feline Daizy and some nature strolls on her best friend’s farm and you’ll have the whole picture of "Always Allie."
This beauty began her journey with Buzz at the Front Desk, where Kristen started as a receptionist while completing hair school. After graduation, she assisted at Buzz for 1 year before making her brief appearance in the Big Apple working for IGK Salon. From there, her horizons quickly expanded. Next stop: Beverly Hills, CA. Here, Kristen mastered the on-trend technique coined as "Lived-in color" by founder, Johnny Ramirez of Ramirez | Tran Salon. After 2 years of training directly under a Ramirez | Tran Colorist, Ariel Hauck, Kristen was made a 3rd Generation Ramirez | Tran Colorist. Her philosophy lies in low-maintenance, natural looks. Her particular specialty being those coveted beach-y, blonde styles -- giving the Midwest a taste of West Coast beauty year-round, if you will.
"If you give someone a great cut, you can make their daily hair ritual a positive one, thus setting the tone for their day." Dylan caters to his clients' needs and believes their experience is of utmost importance. He began his hair journey here in Iowa, influenced by his father who happens to be a hairdresser himself. Shortly after working at The Aveda Network, Dylan joined the Buzz Team, perfected his craft and later spread his wings to take New York by storm at IGK Salon. With his portfolio and experience quickly growing, his work spoke for itself. In 2016, he worked NYFW alongside Laurent Dufourg, owner and founder of Prive Hair. As much as he enjoyed the big-city life, Iowa City certainly has the small-town charm he missed. Thankfully for us, Dylan's talent is back home at Buzz. He specializes in cutting and styling of the sexy, airy and natural variety. Cue, "I Woke Up Like This"