After living on opposite ends of the country for 10 years, co-owners Bobbie Yanoupeth and Michael Sing are back in Seattle and opening their hair salon-meets-floral bridal boutique: Bahtoh—a Laotian word that roughly translates to “wow.”
“If a girl’s stepping out and she looks amazing, [you say] bahtoh, girl,” says Yanoupeth, who’s bringing a bit of his Laotian culture to the new shop slated to open at 672 South Jackson St in the International District come springtime.
Both Yanoupeth and Sing met here in Seattle, but the longtime friends moved to New York City and San Francisco, respectively. Moonlighting as a hairstylist in New York City, Yanoupeth became entrenched in the bridal scene and eventually worked with MAC to shoot an AIDS awareness campaign with Lady Gaga, styling about 40 different mannequin heads on Gaga’s dress. Yup, that sounds about right. “It was the weirdest and coolest thing I had to do.”
Meanwhile on the West Coast, Sing was managing a medical facility in addition to floral gigs on the side. He was born and raised in Seattle, and studied opera at the University of Washington—perhaps where he developed his self-described penchant for “more classic, glamorous, over-the-top, but edited” floral arrangements.
A year and a half ago, after successfully collaborating on a friend’s wedding among other projects, the local duo decided to dive into business together. “We kind of just dropped everything. We realized that we really understand each other’s aesthetic; our work became more magical, a little whimsical,” says Yanoupeth.
That whimsy comes in the form of an 850 square-foot boutique with lavender-hued walls, wherein Sing and Yanoupeth have a welcoming botanical oasis of a waiting room, or rather living room, plus the floral shop, and retail space highlighting wares from local makers. The salon area will be nestled behind partitions.
“High-end salons can feel rigid,” explains Yanoupeth, “We want you to feel like you're with family—laugh, giggle, cry; just have a connection with us."
The shop will be closed on Mondays, but not necessarily creatively quiet: They plan to open their shop to artists for gallery nights and local chefs to host pop-up dinners. Can’t wait until spring? You can meet the hair and floral duo at Badwill Market’s February popup, or contact them for consultations now.
Oh, and opening dates tend to change at the last minute, so stay tuned to Bahtoh’s Facebook page for the latest updates.