From a very young age, Harding knew what she wanted -– a career as either an opera singer, an architect, or a hairdresser. “Since I couldn’t add, I couldn’t study music or architecture,” she quips. But in ArchiTexture she has combined her passions and fulfilled her dream of creating a comfortable community space in which her clients can relax and be renewed.
The salon wholly reflects Harding’s singular tastes. The music playing, for example, consists of only her favorites from Americana to Zydeco and everything in between, especially local artists. Hanging on the wall is a reproduction of a drawing by American architectural icon Frank Lloyd Wright. Around the corner may be art from a local photographer, painter, or mixed media artist. There are reportedly fairies hiding in the building.
Harding has received recognition from the community and her colleagues throughout her career including numerous consecutive awards as Ventura County’s “Best Hairstylist” and “Best Colorist” in the annual Ventura Reporter readers’ poll which asks readers to freely write-in their area favorites — local businesses, personalities, and service providers — in various categories from arts to music. In its first year of operation, ArchiTexture was named second best salon in Ventura County in 2006 .
In addition to her extensive experience as a hair stylist, Harding has also worked as a make-up artist, educator, and platform artist. Currently, she is part of the GHD Directive Team. Harding’s resume also includes providing hair and makeup for various fashion and bridal shows as well as for independent films and print photo shoots for publications including Your Wedding Day and Ventura Life & Style. Most recently, Harding served as a hair stylist with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, part of Fashion Week L.A. 2007. She worked on runway shows for collections by Dina Bar-El, Literature Noir, Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier and others. Her expert opinion has been cited as a source in trade publications including Salon News.
Her son, Keenan, has following in her footsteps. He graduated cosmetology studies at Santa Barbara City College. He is now embarking on his own adventure as a stylist.
Harding has a diverse clientele, including many regional political movers, shakers, and thinkers as well as your next-door-neighbors. This also includes several entertainers and musicians who have sought her out for styling while touring in the area. These include Ian Moore, Mika, members of Social Distortion, Whiskey Chimp, and The Chris Cairns Band; and actors John Diehl, Tom Kennedy, and Mandy Moore.
A family and den of critters -– two dogs and a cat –- keep her busy as does her musical career and her horse Thunder. She is responsible for founding the all-female Americana-Country group LilyWater and has also performed with groups including The Tatters, Red Betsy, Madrigali, Man & Wife, and Melba Toast & The Ironin’ Maidens. She is married to a touring musician and enjoys traveling with him in the United States and Europe as time permits.
An active member of various business organizations including a member of National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC).
• 25 South Ventura Ave. • Ventura, CA 93001 • 805.506.0669/805.641.3900 • Erika@erikaharding.com