Embrace the Weird

“A creative space that inspires, supports and grows people. A guest experience worth re-telling. A place to get excited about, a place you want to be a part of.”

Kristina Hallwas is the founder and owner of The Junction {creative studio} — a community-focused salon, gallery, and studio space in Regina. In addition to offering a range of hairstyling services, The Junction serves as a space for education, experimentation, collaboration, inspiration, promotion, and growth. Kristina and her team invite you to pop by to be inspired, hang out, and embrace the weird.


I’ll start with the facts: I was born in Edmonton, AB but moved to Regina when I was very young and love it here in YQR! This is home. I live right in Cathedral with my little dude Asher, my partner Ryan, and dog Bowedie. I am a hair dresser, business owner, and an educator for evo hair products. I am stubborn and not afraid to work. With those traits (which I thank my mom for) I was able to open the doors to The Junction Creative Studio in September 2015. I am surrounded by my amazingly supportive family, friends, and all around good people. I couldn’t be happier!

unnamed_5I grew up in a single parent family with two siblings; an older sister and younger brother.. and yes, every middle child stereotype you’ve ever heard is true. Growing up, I quickly had to learn how to survive the wrath of “the cool kids”. I realized even quicker however that as much as I tried, it was very difficult for me to blend in. I spent the majority of my awkward pre-pubescent youth wearing dark lipstick, size 42 plaid slacks (by the one and only Value Village boutique), started dabbling in the world of box hair color (plum was my go-to color), planning school dances annnnd, get this, playing the Tuba… you know, just to keep people on their toes. High school was different though, well, sorta… the grandpa pants switched to pretty much anything bright in color, dark lips turned to glitter, plum hair morphed to pink and instead of the tuba I did pretty much everything else: volleyball, student counsel (continued my career in planning school dances), peer support, drama, public speaking competitions (en francais), youth wellness and mentor-ship programs, and was an unsuccessful guardian to multiple tank-living creatures (water nutes haunt me  to this day).. oh yah, and I landed my first job.. wait for it…. Randy River! Button up flame shirts for life haha! I always felt like I had a lot of friends, but never really fit in with a group, a clique. I was the “raver kid” who had never been to a rave, the “artsy kid” who was mediocre at art, and the “volleyball jock” who was pretty good at warming the bench. Little did I know this insecurity of not completely belonging — paired with my addiction to people pleasing, building ideas, and being a part of a team — would one day morph into this beautiful land called The Junction {creative studio}.

Though I would normally color my own hair throughout high school, I did splurge the odd time and went to the salon in the mall. I always remember thinking that being a hairdresser would be  THE COOOLEST job in the world, maybe to cool of a career for me. Fast forward to 2006. I somehow ended up at the front doors of Avant Garde Beauty College, which turned out to be one of the most challenging and rewarding experienced of my life. Looking back, that chunk  of my life was when I finally started to see the pattern: things get to the point when they seem hard, like really hard, but somehow, you push through and they always work out in the end… not only that, but you’re often left feeling stronger with a handful of lessons in your back pocket.

I have been a hair dresser now for ten years and there have defiantly been moments where I have questioned my path, and even taken a couple hiatus’. About five years ago I ended up making a deal with myself: ” if I quit doing hair, then that’s it, no more back and fourth stuff, I need to figure out a new career.” That was one of the more powerful moments of my life. I started holding myself accountable for my future. If I was unhappy with something, I would try to find out why, and do something about it. I would practice techniques that I didn’t feel confident with on my own time, I started talking with other stylists, volunteered more, started posting work on social media, and probably the most simple, but hugest change of all: I removed the word  “just” from my vocabulary. I don’t “just do hair” anymore, I am a hairdresser, and I really enjoy it.

Through this process I learned a few things: I do love doing hair,  I don’t love being put in a category. I am not a hairdresser to make people “look pretty,” as I  don’t think that people need to change their hair to look pretty. I want people to come get their hair done because they truly want to, not because they think they have to. I love building relationships, I love supporting people, I love forward thinking, I love equality, I love education, I love pushing the boundaries, and questioning rules, and super love building and supporting ideas. I’m not afraid of hard work, I dislike stereotypes,  I don’t like to use big fancy words for people to take me seriously, I love dressing up in costume, dancing, and though I’m not sure that balance actually exists, I try to live a balanced life.

Though I loved the salon I was working in, with this new found golden information, I realized that I couldn’t continue working in a salon only environment. I wanted to create a space for opportunity, creativity, support, and most important of all, a space, that opens minds, pushes the boundaries and breaks down stereotypes, and doesn’t fit in a category. At The Junction {creative studio} we celebrate the fact that we’re different, that we’re “weird”.

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What inspired me to open the Junction? Why be collaborative? I truly believe that everything that I’ve experienced and every person that I’ve met has contributed to this vision. Every moment, every interaction has taught me more and more about myself and what drives me.  The need to inspire and be inspired, to create opportunity, break down competitive stereotypes and change the expectation. To build our community by supporting each other, working together and creating something so much bigger than what one could do alone. To be unique, to be memorable, to “embrace the weird”. The Junction team is insane! I can’t even explain the energy that runs through me as a result of being around such amazingly talented, kind hearted people.

You never know what you’re going to see when you come to The Junction, that’s what keeps it so exciting. We currently have everything from paintings, jewelry, succulents, music, books, stuffies, hooks, pottery, crystals, dream caters, and the list goes on. We host events, we volunteer, and we have lots of fun. As hairdressers, we are always practicing new techniques and ideas… so don’t be afraid if you see a random mannequin head (or 10) hanging out. We are a part of a program called green circle salons, which helps us be as kind to our planet as possible we are able to recycle almost everything that we use…even your hair after we cut it. The Junction rule of thumb is simply this: We support nice people, who happen to also be good at stuff… so when you are admiring your new piece of pottery just know, that there is a really great human behind it. (not literally of course, that’s creepy).

. Kristina Hallwas .

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2347 MacIntyre Street . Regina, SK

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2 thoughts on “Embrace the Weird

  1. You are extremely inspriational and I have followed you lots over the years. Even in HS you were a girl on fire. Your attitude proved you were going places. You are also a great writer! Keep up the blogs!

    Like

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