Written by: Naomi Fisher
Photography by: Christine LeBlanc, Oren Darel
Christine is the co-owner of LIFE&COLOUR Salon in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. With over 20 years’ experience in the hair and beauty industry, she is a highly sought-after stylist and fashion force in her own right.
Besides being a powerhouse when it comes to her professional drive, Christine packs a punch of style, class, and sass. She challenges conformity, be it through playing with feminine and masculine silhouettes or taking pause to look at life through a different lens. She’s an inspiring creative; a leader who isn’t afraid to take risks.
Christine and I met at a mutual friend’s birthday. We spent the night laughing and dancing until dawn, which turned into a breakfast of coffee, bacon, and apple pie. The only thing wholesome about that breakfast was our connection. That was over twelve years ago—we’ve been best buds ever since. Life has taken us through breakups, career shifts, family woes, and countless adventures around the globe. To this day, she claims to sleep better next to me than anyone else (sorry, Curtis). You could call it love; I suppose.
Hometown: Comox Valley, BC
Current Location: Vancouver, BC
Occupation: Owner and stylist at LIFE&COLOUR Salon
At-home style in three words: Topanga Canyon meets Vancouver Eastside mid-rise
Coffee style & ritual: Coffee is the reason I get out of bed in the morning, full stop. I like taking the slow approach: grinding the beans, making the espresso, steaming the milk. It’s my come to life moment; the calm before I roll into warp speed. It truly sets the foundation for my day.
You and Curtis recently purchased your first home. How have you decorated it differently than your last place?
Our new place had a super modern feel with concrete floors and white walls, so I wanted to add a ton of warmth and natural texture to soften the space.
What objects in your home are most significant to you?
I’m not a very sentimental person. The objects in my home are beautiful, but they don’t define me. Ok, fine! If I had to choose one thing to chuck on my back, I’d say this Montauk sofa because it’s the most expensive thing I own… but I’m 5’3, so that’s not going to happen. (she chuckles)
How do you relax or unwind at home?
Wine, wine, wine, wine! And selfcare: facemasks, hair care, baths. I always take a minute to strip my day away.
What’s your go-to dinner when you’re at home alone?
Charcuterie because I live with a gluten-free, dairy-free human.
Favourite rituals at home?
Detoxing and organizing my closet.
Tell us a little about your space. Do you have a favourite piece that you are currently coveting?
These mid-century modern, rattan lounge chairs with mustard velvet cushions from Curt’s grandpa. They are the grounding piece of our home and couldn’t have been better suited to us and our space.
What inspires you in life and work?
Change. Travel. I’m constantly seeking balance—mixing lavish with thrift. Going out for an epic dinner or making pancakes at home. Flying to New York for a city holiday or sneaking off to a cabin in the woods. Stepping into change constantly inspires me.
What do you enjoy most and least about running your own business?
I love that I have creative control and get to express myself through different mediums. I would say the most challenging part is managing peoples’ expectations, as well as my own.
What are the most important takeaways you’ve learned since starting a business?
Learning every nuance of owning a business—from accounting to operations. It’s a huge shift going from being a creative, being good at your trade and craft, to then refining it into a business and presenting it to the world. There is a mirror held up. I am continually learning how to become a better mentor and manager.
What things will you never take seriously?
(Answers without hesitation) Myself. Driving. Authority.
You’ve done a lot of travelling, what’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to and why?
I’ve traveled all over, but Bali has my heart. I’ve been there four times. It has this magnetic pull; it feels both exotic and like home to me.
We’re doing this interview amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. What has been your favourite quarantine activity and why?
Going for walks with my lover and exploring our neighbourhood now that we have the time.
Do you have any hidden talents?
So many to choose from! (she smirks) I can sing. I used to sing in church all the time. I wanted to be a superstar.
Growing up your family struggled financially at times, but your mother created beauty out of the minimal. How has this translated into who you are today?
I love mixing high and low. I often make alterations to my clothes. I have an eye for seeing something for what it is and what it could be. I’m a very visual person.
You have multiple tattoos. Can you tell me about one?
I have my grandmother’s signature tattooed on my forearm. She’s an absolute firecracker. We are Aries twins; we share the same spirit. She taught me that I could do anything I wanted and that it was ok to be wild and free. She was the first female race car driver on Vancouver Island. She started as a flag girl then worked her way up to racing cars. She used her beauty to her advantage and flipped it on its head. I love that about her.
Describe your personal style.
I don’t like to be too curated—I’m an imperfectionist. I am all about colour, texture, and proportion whether it’s in my home décor or in what I wear. And I always, ALWAYS accessorize.
Expanding my business, opening more spaces, designing salons, and developing my personal brand…. All while starting a family. What can I say, I’m a natural born multi-tasker.
And that, my fellow readers, is a taste of the one and only Christine LeBlanc. Whether you catch her whipping up magic in the salon, checking out new spaces to grow her empire, or sipping an Aperol spritz after diving into a glacial lake, I assure you, she’ll be doing it in style.
Definitely not the end…