Carrie Baltazore is the kind of woman that every one of her clients wants to be friends with. She is also the kind of woman that, despite the pain, her clients come rushing back to see — as if they are going out for a glass of wine with a friend rather than a wax. She is quick witted and always sports the perfect shade of red lipstick. One step inside Habit, which she started eight years ago, and the wallpaper alone will show that you are in for a good time. I mean, she lives in North Beach with her husband and two kids for goodness sakes. Who lives in North Beach?
What I have always admired about Carrie is that she is a go-getter and a business woman all while being the life of the party and never taking herself too seriously. She is the type of person who can give her hard to hear advise in a way that makes you feel as if you really wanted to hear it. In a word, she is a straight shooter…with a bright red gun. Carrie is also the co-founder of CANE Sugar Studio which is now open, and Terrific St on Grant Ave opening soon. What is it? Stay tuned, it’s going to be a lot of things, and if Carrie is involved it will blow your mind.
1. What was your best career moment or your first big break?
The owners of my very first job in SF gave me a gift certificate for a facial for a birthday gift. I remember laying on the facial bed and thinking, “that’s it, this is what I want to do”. I enrolled to beauty school shortly there after. Not only did their “gift” lose them a employee, but they also gave me my first loan to start my own place, HABIT. I didn’t have a pot to piss in and they believed in me. I will forever be grateful to Leslie and Eleanor from Jest Jewels. Now that I’ve had some life experience years under my belt, I so realize what generous terms they gave me.
2. What three words represent your work?
Life changing, painful, and in demand. Weird uh? You wouldn’t think the last 2 would go together.
3. What brought you to your current city? Would you ever live anywhere else?
One spot left in a car. It was a total fluke. I hitched a ride with a group of friends. It was in 1999 and we just couldn’t figure out why a landlord wouldn’t love to have a group of jobless girls as tenants. The whole “dot com” thing was so foreign to us.
I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else, but I could be talked into a few landing pads for my family world wide. I’m open to anything but my heart belongs to San Francisco.
4. If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now — what would be your alternate career?
I think I’d like to own a corner market store. I like the idea of running a tab for locals, and you really do get to see the best and worst of people in that setting. Plus lining up the cans label-side forward must be deeply satisfying.
5. What is your happiest / most vivid memory involving a certain floral?
My grandma Goldie lived in LA is a cute little duplex. The neighborhood modernized around her and before she knew it she was sandwiched in between a gun shop and a 7-11. She had a long wall in her yard that she shared with the gun shop. It was filled with Calla Lillies. It’s always stuck in my head. Thirty feet of white along thirty feet of rough. Makes sense though, as It’s a hearty flower.
Thank you, Carrie!