Sunup Studios Offers Dedicated Space for Beauty Prep
The new concept from the people behind The Blowout Bar and now-closed The Bride Bar opens next month.
Until recently, brides and their wedding parties could head to The Bride Bar, sister concept to The Blowout Bar, where hair and makeup artists would pamper them before the big day got underway. They’d book professionals through The Bride Bar, which was located near Grandview. But sisters and owners, Kristin DeJohn and Kailen Echeverry, sensed something wasn’t quite right.
“It’s kind of a good thing [that we closed The Bride Bar],” DeJohn says. “What ended up happening with The Bride Bar is, it’s such a great concept—it always will be.” But with the way independent hair and makeup artists operate these days, brides tend to reach out directly to the artist first—often through their Instagram account—then focus on a location for the services, she explains. “A lot of the brides that were inquiring [with The Bride Bar] at the beginning, they really were interested in mostly the space as well, because … not going into a crowded salon or anything like that was very appealing.”
“What we had decided is, rather than deal with all the fuss of [scheduling] hair and makeup artists, and the logistics of figuring that out—why don’t we just home in on the one thing that we’re really great at, as owners, and just come up with the space itself?” DeJohn says.
That space—Sunup Studios in New Albany—is now booking for dates on or after Dec. 15. The name is a nod both to the abundant natural light that was a starting point for finding the space itself, DeJohn says, as well as an homage to the fact that it will be busiest in the mornings, when wedding parties are getting ready for their days.
DeJohn likens the space to an Airbnb in structure: The client or their hair/makeup artist can book it, and that party gets exclusive use of the space for the time allotted. Weekends have a four-hour minimum, which starts at $500 and can be supplemented with additional hours starting at $100 each; Mondays through Thursdays have lower minimums and rates. (Pricing varies based on season.)
The space itself features a neutral color palette, tons of natural light, and all the amenities needed for a morning of beauty: bar-height stools for makeup application, full-length mirrors, stations for anyone doing their own hair or makeup, two dressing rooms (perfect for the gown reveal!), a lounge area, a kitchenette, Wi-Fi, a Bluetooth speaker, on-site parking, a clothes steamer and other wardrobe helpers, props like accessory trays for photos, and more.
“Getting ready in hotels will definitely always be there [as an option],” DeJohn says. “But one thing that we always try to do is think outside the box and what the newer, modern, younger bride is going to want these days, and it’s all about the photos. … A lot of times, these hotel rooms just don’t lend to that.” Between insufficient electrical wiring that results in blown fuses, to a lack of artist-friendly furniture (no one wants to hunch over a client in a desk chair!) to a lack of natural light or even space for everyone to move around, hotel rooms often just don’t cut it when it comes to beautiful getting-ready photos, she explains. By contrast, Sunup Studios is a space for hair and makeup, designed by people who do hair and makeup.
While Sunup Studios isn’t the first to land on the concept of rentable beauty prep space—hair stylist Denise Chesser of Beyoutiful Creations opened a small, utilitarian space with brides in mind in Olde Towne East over the summer—this new venture is the first in the area to be created with the dual purpose of prep space and photography in mind.
The first location of Sunup Studios is located at 45 Second St. in New Albany; a second location is in the works, DeJohn says.
Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to add clarification to a quote and to correct photo credits.