4

5 Essentials for Abel Escoto of Shampoo Ink in Central Phoenix

Business owner and stylist Abel Escoto's five essentials for operating Shampoo Ink.
Business owner and stylist Abel Escoto's five essentials for operating Shampoo Ink.
Jamie Robert
^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Abel Escoto started cutting hair at a young age. He would pass the time playing video games and giving mohawks to his friends. It's a combo that has followed him into his career as a stylist and business owner in central Phoenix.

Escoto owns Shampoo Ink Salon, a Windsor Square district hair salon and tattoo parlor housed in a little gray building at the northwest corner of Seventh and Colter streets. Previously housed in a historic structure, Escoto and his wife and partner, Veronica, moved the business into a former automotive repair shop in July 2016, but they left none of the original ideology behind.

Shampoo Ink is a hybrid salon and tattoo parlor in central Phoenix owned by Abel and Veronica Escoto.EXPAND
Shampoo Ink is a hybrid salon and tattoo parlor in central Phoenix owned by Abel and Veronica Escoto.
Merge Architectural Group

Graduating from the West Valley’s Westview High School in 1998, Escoto went to college with the intention of majoring in business. “Talk about going to school for something you’re totally not passionate for,” he says from his office at Shampoo Ink. Needless to say, it wasn't a good fit. And Escoto made the switch from banking to beauty school in 2004.

Today, Escoto runs and works at the hybrid business – home to nine stylists and one tattoo artist – thanks to these five essentials.

The Hyperkin RetroN 3 Gaming Console makes it so stylists can decompress with a little Mortal Kombat 3 for SNES.EXPAND
The Hyperkin RetroN 3 Gaming Console makes it so stylists can decompress with a little Mortal Kombat 3 for SNES.
Lauren Cusimano

Hyperkin RetroN 3 Gaming Console
“I have to have a game console,” Escoto says, motioning toward a Laser Red Hyperkin RetroN 3 gaming system hooked up to a flat-screen TV in the corner of his office.

The device accepts game cartridges for Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis. Currently, Mortal Kombat 3 for SNES is inserted and ready to go. Escoto says he has a “crapload” of games for it. He sees it as a stress reducer for employees. If a stylist is frustrated with a client, Escoto will gently order, “Dude, go play video games, please.”

“It’s a way to decompress and at the same time stay creative,” he says, “And it’s hella fun.”

Escoto highly recommends Air Jordans and Gold Toe socks for being on one's feet all day.EXPAND
Escoto highly recommends Air Jordans and Gold Toe socks for being on one's feet all day.
Lauren Cusimano

Footwear
“Shoes are very important,” Escoto says, who admits he used to wear dress shoes to work. "I’m on my feet anywhere from eight to 12 hours a day,” he says, “so being nice to your feet is essential.” Escoto highly recommends Air Jordans.

And socks? Gold Toe socks. "They're a little pricey, but totally worth it," he says. They're moisture-wicking, blister-preventing, and just “amazing socks.”

Escoto can't function as a stylist without the Oster Fast Feed clippers.EXPAND
Escoto can't function as a stylist without the Oster Fast Feed clippers.
Lauren Cusimano

Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor Clipper
Escoto holds up a maroon-colored object wrapped in a cord. “I can’t work without this,” he says. “I need this.”

Escoto explains the Oster Fast Feed clippers are extremely universal, and something a stylist could also use on women’s hair. “The industry is crossing over a lot of tools from barbering to the cosmetology world,” he says. “I can’t function without this – it’s basically like a pair of scissors.”

Escoto has been using this tool for roughly 15 years, and says he also always had a pair of clippers at home.

Staying hydrated and well-fed is key in this industry.EXPAND
Staying hydrated and well-fed is key in this industry.
Lauren Cusimano

Food and Water
In this industry (an ever-changing salon environment where stylists are usually on their feet), Escoto stresses how staying hydrated and well-fed is key. A giant water cup is usually at the ready, and his desk keeps fresh fruit and Power Bars close at hand. There’s also a blender and tub of protein powder in the corner of his office.

The Booker app allows Escoto to run around while keeping an eye on the salon's schedule and his own.EXPAND
The Booker app allows Escoto to run around while keeping an eye on the salon's schedule and his own.
Lauren Cusimano

The Booker App
“As a hairdresser, I manage my business basically on the fly, so I use the Booker app,” Escoto says. “When I’m out and about, I’m able to connect to our database here, and what it does is it synchronizes my schedule."

Booker is a salon- and spa-focused appointment app used to schedule appointments online, take payments, and keep records. “The app has changed everything in the industry,” he says.

It’s also tethered to a number of social media accounts, which is ideal for Shampoo Ink, as salons and shops often post photos of a client’s new cut, color, and artwork, and often with before-and-after shots. "We take pictures as much as we can because that’s kind of what keeps us relevant to what people want.”

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.