Miami Beach International Fashion Week. Jacksonville Luxury Living Magazine. Vidal Sassoon Academy in London. What do they all share in common? The creative talents and energies of Alina Castillo Fernandez, Master Stylist and owner of ACF Studio in Five Points.
After eight years honing her skills at local salons, she chose Five Points as the home for her studio in August 2010 because she loves the “creative vibe” of the neighborhood and its large number of locally owned and operated businesses. Ms. Castillo deliberately chose ACF Studio as her salon name to reflect her own initials and to establish a gathering place for Jacksonville’s fashion designers, make-up artists, photographers and dancers. In 2011, she served as the creative hair director for Jacksonville Fashion Week, helping to match area stylists with local designers, and lead stylist for FXSS|Fashion by Southside at Tapestry Park. During the Miami Beach International Fashion Week, she styled the model’s hair for noted Florida designer Erin Healy’s mermaid-inspired final exhibition design. The twenty-something entrepreneur also coiffed Whitney Thompson, a TV contestant selected for America’s Next Top Model.
Yet don’t think you need to be a model to visit ACF Studio. “It’s all about the client here. I offer my clients the best look for them in their everyday life. It’s not about me, but what works with your personal style, hair texture and skull structure,” says the down-to-earth, vivacious stylist-owner. This contemporary salon is open and airy with soaring ceilings and clean white walls as well as Euro-inspired design furnishings and a space age tri-directional hair dryer, nicknamed “R2D2”. She enjoys getting to know her clients and offers them a friendly cup of espresso or a glass of red wine as they discuss hair and lifestyle needs. A painter as a child, Castillo’s specialty is color mixing and she is a certified color expert and a lead educator for Alfaparf Milano products in Northeast Florida. Her staff members are also certified color experts and educators in their product lines. A 2010 bride herself, she also loves styling wedding parties, earning her a place on the 2011 WeddingEventStyle.com (WES) Diamond List of recommended hair stylists in Jacksonville Luxury Living Magazine.
A Puerto Rico native, Ms. Castillo’s family moved to the U.S. when she was a toddler for her father’s medical residency, eventually settling in Jacksonville nearly 21 years ago. Ms. Castillo attended local Assumption Catholic and Bishop Kenny High School before pursuing her stylist certification at Rivers Hairstyling Academy. She admits that she has “too much energy to sit behind a desk” and enjoys “the challenges of keeping up with changing styles and industry trends.” In 2009, she applied and was selected for the Vidal Sassoon Academy for its Master Stylist program in London to further her professional education.
As a new business owner, operating her first salon has been an education, too. “I learn a lesson everyday about running the studio, both good and bad,” she says. “The only truly bad lesson is the one you don’t learn from.” When Castillo’s not working at her craft, she enjoys ballroom dancing with her dance instructor husband, James, or playing with one of their three dogs. To learn more about ACF Studio, stop by 1620 Margaret Street, Suite 204, or visit its website at http://www.ACFHairStudio.com.