Pensacola, Florida
Saturday December 20th 2014

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Eimajination meets Inspiration

By Sarah McCartan

If you ever just so happen to see some lovely ladies decked out in full newsprint garb, you’re bound to stop and do a double take. It’s only natural. We certainly did a double take of our own this summer, especially when the newsprint in question we recognized as our own.

In the spirit of this year’s Best of the Coast voting, the ladies of Eimaj Spa, Esthetics, & Hair Studio took campaigning to a whole new level. They got extra fancy, and made their own newspaper dresses in Project Runway fashion, out of recycled Independent News issues—including our Literally Local summer food guide—and strutted around downtown during the July 19 Gallery Night, completing their looks with hair, makeup and the full effects.

Their efforts paid off—twofold and then some. Eimaj Spa, Esthetics, & Hair Studio raked up quite a few Best of the Coast nods, including Best Hair Salon. And on top of garnering quite a bit of attention on the street on said Gallery Night, thanks to photographer Jessi Field, photo documentation landed in the Pensacola Museum of Art’s “24 Hours in Downtown Pensacola” photo exhibit, a collection of photos taken around downtown Pensacola in a 24-hour time slot.

Owner of Eimaj Spa, Esthetics, & Hair Studio Lydia Nixon enlightened us about this “eimajinative” undertaking.

IN: Who gets the credit as the brains behind these operations? And which ladies were actually sporting the looks?
NIXON: Hair Stylists: Maxine Lyvers (Runner Up Best Wedding Hair Stylist) and Cathy Sheldon (Runner Up Best Wedding Hair Stylist)
Photographer: Jessi Field (Runner Up Best Photography and Best Wedding Photography)
Models: Lily Shimp, Lydia Nixon, & Maia Jones (pictured left to right) 
Makeup Artist: Sarah Peake 
Dress Creation Crew: Lily Shimp, Oksana Bagaas, Maxine Lyvers, Heather Shimp 
Support Team: Robyn Dohn and Megan Jade

IN: What was your IN-spiration?
NIXON: We braved the Pensacola Gallery Night crowd and rocked the Independent News “Best of the Coast” dresses we created in spirit of the Best of the Coast 2013. Hairstylist Maxine Lyvers’ concept for this newspaper dress event came to life in less than 72 hours of concept. We wanted to grab Pensacola’s attention and let them know the voting was currently going on in this local paper. More importantly, we wanted to bring awareness that this is a way to show your support for your local business favorites.

IN: What kind of response did you receive from those you encountered?
NIXON: It took us one hour to walk two blocks down Palafox. People wanted to know what was going on and why were dressed in Independent newspapers. When we told them about the voting that was currently happening in the Independent News for local businesses, they asked if we worked for the paper. They were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were out encouraging people to cast a vote to support local businesses. We must have taken hundreds of photos with locals, especially children, because they loved the dress idea and thought we looked like princesses.

IN: A photo documenting the spectacular has been part of PMA’s “24 Hours in Downtown Pensacola” exhibit. Is that right?
NIXON: Yes, it was chosen from thousands of photos that were submitted. Jessi Field took our professional pictures all night and submitted this photo to the exhibit.

IN: This certainly isn’t your first Gallery Night dress up spectacular, and I feel sure it won’t be your last. Is that a fair assumption?
NIXON: Yes! Our friends, family, and fans go to Gallery Night to look for our models now.