If you don’t know the name Shani Gailbreath, you will by the time you’re done reading! In our latest vendor spotlight, we chatted with the owner of Canvas + Coif to learn more about her badass team of babes and their work styling beautiful brides AND grooms!
What was your dream job growing up?
Until I was about 10 I wanted to be a Broadway dancer, specifically the white cat in Cats. After that I thought I wanted to work in the medical field but looking back I think that’s because I wanted to be in a career helping people. I was always the friend that did everyone’s hair and makeup before going to the mall or for school dances. I should have known then, ha!
What does a typical wedding day look like for you and your team?
We are typically the first on the scene (except for venue owners). We arrive to set up as everyone is drinking their coffee and talking about the festivities from the night before. We get started on hair + makeup with moms, grandmas, flower girls, aunts, friends, and then save the bride and groom for last. After we wrap up those services we do quick touch ups and help everyone get jewelry on, veil in, buttons done, and pack our touch up bags to stick around for a few hours while photos are being made and so that after the ceremony (and incase any tears are shed) we are there to touch up hair and makeup. We are usually done when the reception starts. Then we drive to the nearest food place and eat!
How did you get into the business?
Myself and all of my team members come from various commercial and production backgrounds. We started by assisting other hair + makeup artists on sets or other jobs and worked our way up to lead artists. Some of us have worked for makeup brands such as Chanel, Makeup Forever, and Mac, and utilized those companies for training and education. Over the last 7 years we all found ourselves being drawn more into the wedding beauty world. Bridal is a completely different art but it adds some variety, gives us opportunity to build relationships, and be creative in a different market. We love our brides, grooms, and wedding vendor friends!
How long have you been in business?
In the wedding industry consistently for 7 years but off and on and in the makeup industry for 15 years.
What is your favorite look or style to do?
Classic, timeless, elegant, chic beauty. Soft, radiant skin with a light wash of color on the cheeks. An eye look that makes the eye color and eye shape stand out. An updo or down style that accentuates the neckline and compliments the gown and hair.
What advice would you give a bride going into her hair and makeup trial? How should she prepare?
We send out an email when scheduling the preview (we call it “preview” because no one is on trial) with a lot of very helpful information and even have a few blog posts on this subject on our website. We like to have a zoom call after the booking where we talk about your current skin and hair routine and what you imagine for your wedding day. We look at your dress, the time of year you’re getting married, how you want to feel, how you want to look, etc and make a plan for how to best take care of skin and hair over the next few months leading up to your preview. On your preview day, we suggest wearing a white top, the jewelry you plan to wear on wedding day, and have your veil and/or hair accessories. Consider looking at other places for inspiration and not just Pinterest and instagram (both are great though). We love red carpet looks for inspiration.
Which celebrity would you most like to be hired by to do hair and makeup?
Brad Pitt. But he’s actually pretty loyal to his makeup artist. My next option would be Reese Witherspoon. She’s incredibly kind, funny, a champion for women, and she’s gorgeous! And she’s a local Nashvillian!
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
If Covid were not a thing, Greece. I love the picturesque white villas along the turquoise sea.
Nashville is often described as a “big, small town” and in the wedding industry, that couldn’t be more true. We’re thrilled to be able to feature vendors who are more like friends and family! Thank you to Shani for being a part of our vendor spotlight! We know you’ll love her as much as we do!
For more awesome vendor spotlights, check out our blog at Vision in White.