Meet the Locals | Refinery House
Styled by Jenna Montroy
Photographed by Umbrella Tree Photography
The Refinery House Health and Beauty Collective has been getting ‘real’ since August of 2016. Owners Aly McRae (Creative Director & Lead Stylist) and Heidi Epp (Operations Manager) have been excited to share that they are more than just a one-stop beauty studio in the Fraser Valley. Between the ladies years of experience in the business world and a decade in the hair and beauty industry, it was no surprise that they came up with the idea of opening a collective space to showcase the best of what the Valley has to offer.
Located in the Garrison Crossing area of Chilliwack, this street-front store provides customers with a cozy ‘at home’ vibe in their own community. Unlike your typical salon, there is nothing typical or glamorous about this studio. What you will find at The Refinery is an eclectic design space that has been decorated with vintage and restored pieces, making it feel as though you’re not in a ‘salon’ but in someone’s living room.
Since launching their health and beauty studio, Aly and Heidi have made it their mission to help women not only tackle their outer beauty but, most importantly their inner beauty. At Refinery House it’s truly about the people and the love for them that makes this studio flourish. “We love their stories and how they found us,” says Heidi.
Of course there are plenty of other places to go and get your hair done but, at Refinery, they are actually conscious of the needs and lifestyle that individual deals with to make sure it works for them every day. “It’s about becoming better at who we are and what we do, being ‘refined’ if you will, and recognizing the whole of a person,” as Heidi and Aly both clearly state.
For Heidi and Aly, the studio’s message was simple, “it’s a place where we can take a journey with people through some of their greatest transitions.” It’s a rare occasion to find a studio that cares so deeply for the person behind the hair and makeup, which at the end of the day holds more value than just looks. This is why they offer services beyond beauty and aesthetics by incorporating health and wellness.
The space also provides counseling, nutritional, and midwifery services. At Refinery House it’s also about becoming better at whom they already are. It’s recognition that, yes hair can look great, but the heart can be sad. Life is hard, parenting, marriage, it’s all difficult. This is why they have collectively brought together businesses and individuals who can make this space excel and legitimize what real beauty means while promoting self-love.
At Refinery you will never leave feeling unappreciated. The core of this studio is to better equip you to create your own self-love and to accept your worth in the most natural way possible. Aly and Heidi truly believe that “this sort of acceptance is what we want for all the women (men and children) who come into our space.” It’s not about identifying with the fact that someone may have great hair, but about not taking beauty or themselves too seriously. They want to normalize things that are normal; gray hairs, imperfect skin, and the emotional struggles during transitions in life.
If you are interested or wanting to know more about Refinery House, or other services provided such as hair, makeup, waxing, brow shaping, lash lifting, and many more, please visit their website: www.refinery.house