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Introducing: The New Hot Mess (A Letter From Tara)

Welcome to the new Hot Mess Studio blog. While we're excited to use this space to connect with you more often, it's not the only change you'll notice at Hot Mess. Tara, our founder wrote this letter to let you know what's coming next.

Dear Hot Mess Tribe,

I’m writing this letter to you with so much excitement I can hardly type. It’s an excitement that I think is well-earned given all that’s happened recently.

It hasn’t been an easy past few months for any of us and I hope that as you read this you and your loved ones are safe and well.

Since quarantine began, my team and I have been collaborating on ways to make sure that Hot Mess Studio remains your safe haven and continues to provide the same amazing experiences you love.

But this letter is not about those important measures post-pandemic measures, it’s about the progress and transformation that the salon is going through as it grows.

I’ve always imagined that Hot Mess and I have a sort of “rising phoenix” story to tell. And this pandemic has only made me more passionate about sharing that with you. For those who may not know how Hot Mess began, here's a small piece of that story:

Eleven years ago, I was working at a salon in Red Bank. It was a wonderful place but I always knew I wanted a space of my own. I knew I wanted to be a salon owner.

I was really feeling the pull of Asbury Park, which I'd always remembered hearing stories about when I was younger. The independent artist community there was really beginning to come into its own and that energy was impossible to ignore.

I spoke to a realtor about some of the artist spaces to see if any were available. He didn't have the type of space. I was really looking for but he did have a place on Cookman to show me and so I went to check it out. It was bigger than I wanted (I was looking for a salon suite) and so I didn't commit to it that day.

I returned to work the next day to find that the salon I was working at was closing. That felt like a sign. I asked the realtor if the space was still available and by that Friday I was sitting on the floor of that salon holding the keys.

The years that followed would see my salon and team grow. I'd welcome so many new and amazing clients to that space and it felt like magic.

After I got married and had my daughter Dakota, I took my eye off the game a bit. I wasn't leading with my tribe the way I do now and that led me to a place where I nearly lost my business.

I learned so much from the ashes of that time. It changed so much about who I was and how I choose to run my business. It showed me who I was and who I was becoming. And it showed me how deeply grateful I am for the people I work with and the clients we get to support.

I lead now. I communicate now. And I'm always there for my team.

And while we moved to a larger space, holding those keys in our first space... That was the moment where my life and Hot Mess started to really come together, right here in Asbury Park.

So, when we first began to see sparks of hope that we might emerge from the darkest parts of this pandemic, I could see, once again, a phoenix rising from the ashes of another challenge. (I’ve navigated many, of course. And each one has brought me a unique strength once I’ve overcome it.) I’ve worked diligently to be a leader and walk beside my team as we trust the process of change. The result of that effort has been amazing. And it's definitely not just me: The entire team is phenomenal and I could not be more grateful to them as we’ve navigated this time.

You, our clients, are the most remarkable people and I’m beyond excited to see you all again soon.

So, now, the reason for my excitement: As we begin to step into this new era at the salon, I want to introduce you to the new Hot Mess Studio.

What’s New at Hot Mess Studio

In the coming weeks, we’ll be offering even more ways for you to stay a Hot Mess. We’ll be elevating our look and providing you an even more modern and cutting edge experience.

As part of our transformation, we’ve partnered with the amazing Keith Fiori for our visual rebrand.

Meet Keith Fiori

Keith has over 20 years of experience as Creative Director and VP Graphic Design for leading New York City fashion and retail companies, including Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. He has produced internationally recognized work for some of the industry’s most influential fashion brands, including the iconic logo for American Eagle Outfitters.

Keith is the Founder and Creative Director of independent branding studio

ROGUE, committed to bringing fresh, creative design with the highest standard of brand excellence. ROGUE continues to have a branding and graphic design influence in the fashion industry but also in the hospitality, fitness, health, beauty, engineering, and finance industries.

When he’s not elevating our branding, Keith lives at the beach in NJ with his wife Daniele and Jack Russell Terrier, Hope. He is a life-long and year-round surfer, musician, volunteer environmentalist, and passionate yoga devotee.

Needless to say, we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with Keith for our new look.

Keith was able to translate our new, refined, and modern approach to salon life into something that’s visually stunning and speaks to who we are as a Hot Mess Tribe.

In addition to our new logo, we’ll be introducing changes to our booking system and with our new blog that will help us to keep you in-the-know when it comes to all thing Hot Mess, including personal insight from me, tips on feeling your best inside and out, and of course the latest industry trends and how you can make them your own.

What Will Never Change

While we’ll be looking even hotter with our new branding (Thanks to Keith!), modernizing our booking system, leading the way with post-pandemic practices, and using our blog to continue connecting with you all, some things will not change.

And that’s on purpose.

  • We remain committed to our mission: To passionately inspire beauty every day, inside and out.

  • We’ll continue to lead the way on the latest salon practices and offerings.

  • We’ll always get to know you and make you feel welcome.

  • We’ll continue to provide the best service possible and to grow our skills through on-going training and certifications.

  • And we’ll always support and encourage you to be your best Hot Mess self because you are the reason our salon exists.

I am so excited to continue this journey with you.

I hope you love the new approach and the new look as much as we do and I can’t wait to see you all soon!

Love and Hope,


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