This week we’re chatting with Bari Flatley, who you’ll most certainly recognize from Studio Bari! We were so happy to get to know her better (and visit her new location and venture, Studio Elements). Read on to find out what brought her north from New Jersey, what inspired her to start her own business, and how she likes to spend her days off!
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Bari! Yes it’s my full name, not short for anything :)
I live in town with my boyfriend Zack and my kitty cat Olive! I own two businesses here in Glens Falls, which keep me very busy. My first was Studio Bari (that’s how most people know me: as your local nail girl) and I just opened Studio Elements LLC, which is where I operate Studio Bari out of, alongside a few other girls running their own little beauty businesses.
I spent my younger years growing up in New Jersey with my mom, dad, sister and brother and we vacationed most of our summers in Lake George. In 2003, my dad surprised my family and moved us up here to Queensbury and I graduated from Lake George High School in 2008.
After high school, I was one of those lost souls who didn’t know what to do next in life. I worked at a few pizza shops and then at a bank for a couple years. Fashion and beauty was something I was always interested in and after working at the bank for so long, I started getting bored. I went to cosmetology school in 2011 thinking I wanted to learn to do hair, but quickly realized that was not my passion. I worked on getting my own nails strong and healthy and as it turned out I was pretty good at nail art, so classmates started noticing and asking me to do theirs. That’s when I fell in love!
I honestly never thought I would wind up starting my own business. After working at a few other salons I began to realize that I would have so much more freedom creatively and realistically on my own. So I branched off and opened Studio Bari. The more I worked for myself, the more I wanted to give other beauty professionals the same opportunity, so that’s when my dream of Studio Elements started coming to fruition. And now I can genuinely say that TWO of my dreams have come true!
There are so many challenges that come with working for yourself. I’d say my biggest challenge is actually taking time for myself. I know I need a break every once in a while but it’s SO HARD to say no to people when you love what you do! I’ve gotten a lot better about it. Even though there are plenty of challenges that come with self-employment, there are SO many more pros to outweigh it. I genuinely couldn’t be happier with the life I’ve created for myself.
On Life in Glens Falls
In 2016, I moved to an apartment in Glens Falls with my boyfriend (who grew up here) but I still worked up in LG. After leaving my job up there, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Glens Falls community, so I opened my little Studio Bari here in town and I think it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.
The next step in my goal was to expand, so I found the most perfect location over on Lawrence Street. My dad completely renovated the entire building to fit the esthetic I envisioned for Studio Elements LLC. You should go drive by, the before and after is incredible!
I absolutely LOVE living here in Glens Falls, especially so close to work. I got a fantastically colored cruiser bike for my birthday this year and I ride it to work every chance I get!
A Perfect Glens Falls Day
There are so many places I love! In a dream world, I would wake up every day and go get my makeup done by my girl Makeup By Baileigh (@_makeupbybaileigh on Instagram). But let’s face it- this is the real world and I’m lucky if I feel like putting effort into my own makeup. During the work week, Juicin’ Jar is my go-to for an afternoon pick-me-up. I even got my co-workers hooked there. Cristina and I have been friends for a long time so it’s so great to be able to support her. On the weekend, my boyfriend and I love walking or riding our bikes downtown to play darts at Mean Max and order food from The Bullpen. Their pulled pork quesadilla is my favorite! That’s not without stopping at Minky Mink first, though, so I can see if Maura has brought anything new in!
On the Past
My GF memories don’t go back very far since I’ve only lived here in recent years but I know, one day, I will look back and maybe drive by my “old apartment” or “old studio” and be so grateful, just like I am right now in the present.
On the Future
I’m really looking forward to the future of Glens Falls. It’s been incredible to watch it grow and I can’t wait to see more businesses pop up! I would love to see more of the outside events like LARAC, Take-A-Bite and Food Truck Night at The Shirt Factory! Its so fun sitting at work over on Lawrence Street and watching the streets fill up with people heading that way! Sometimes, if the girls and I have time, we run down there to see if we can get our hands on some Darling Doughnuts before she sells out!
P.S. Check out more of our My Glens Falls series here.