Rachel Shrader has been a stand-out performer in the beauty industry for ten years. As a Master Stylist for Ceco Studio in Carytown, an acclaimed Aveda Salon, she became known for her attention to detail. Rachel's unbridled creativity and confidence made her a highly sought-after stylist for brides, in addition to some of Richmond's most fashionable women.
Rachel's work has appeared in major publications and she has been honored by the Aveda Institute and her peers for consistently performing with excellence.
When Natalie and Rachel met to work a three-day Indian wedding in 2009, the two instantly knew it was anything but coincidence. Just days later, over lunch, they decided to team up in an effort to offer the quality of styling one would find in New York or Hollywood right here in Richmond, VA. Just one year after their partnership, business increased by 300%, and Avenue 42 began appearing in publications like Southern Weddings Magazine.
As demand grew, the two were forced to turn away clients as brides began to book nine months to one year in advance.
Natalie Gordon founded Avenue 42 in 2008 while studying law and business as an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2010 from the School of Continuing Studies and credits the evening school's Entrepreneurship course taught by Dr. Tom Myers with giving her the confidence to start a business in the trenches of a recession.
Natalie's talent for makeup artistry surfaced when she became a beauty consultant in her mother's unit for Mary Kay Cosmetics. In an effort to maximize her effectiveness with customers, she signed up for a makeup course with a local school taught by Michelle D. Torres, an esteemed International Makeup Artist. After the first course, Natalie knew she had found her calling and went on to complete over 130 hours of professional training. Recognizing her talent and commitment to excellence, the Virginia Cinema Makeup School hired Ms. Gordon immediately after graduation as an adjunct instructor. Since then, her work has been featured in the following:
Southern Weddings Magazine
National Geographic Channel (documentary)
The Wedding Chicks
The History Channel (documentary)
Wal-Mart (ad campaign)
The Merriment Blog
In 2012, Natalie was selected by Dream Publishing to contribute as an author to the book entitled “The Wedding Planner's Survival Guide: 10 Industry Insiders Tell You What You Really Need to Know.”
At first, this was a good problem to have, but after turning away so many wonderful brides-to-be, it became apparent that their "team" approach to on-location styling was something the community truly needed; thus, they committed to high-level training and recruitment of beauty professionals. In early Spring, 2012, Avenue 42 began operating with multiple teams.
Equally exciting was the formal business partnership the two created in 2012 and the opening of the Avenue 42 Style Studio, located in the heart of Downtown Richmond.
Today, both Natalie and Rachel have stepped powerfully into the roles of artist, mentor, innovator, and entrepreneur. You will find their personal mission woven into the fabric of Avenue 42: Helping people feel good about the way they look gives them the courage to embrace life with more charisma, passion, purpose, & hope than ever before. After all, your life is your greatest show - your featured performance. What statement are you making?