Alice Ezrow

My day job is owner/beauty operator at Midwest Beauty House.

I knew hair was my jam by the age of nine. I was fortunate to have a family friend who was a color specialist and let me shadow her at RZ, a local salon.

I started working at RZ as a receptionist when I was 17 and had the opportunity to apprentice at the salon. Wisconsin is one of the few states where you can still learn how to be a stylist through an apprenticeship, rather than going to school: You have to apprentice for two years and have 4,000 hours of supervised experience. I think it’s a much better way to learn, plus you have a book of business by the end of your apprenticeship.

I worked at a number of other salons in Madison and have been on the east side since 2007. I decided to open my own salon in 2016 and we’re located in a cozy shop that was originally a barbershop and was later used as storage by Flagstad Flowers. It’s great to be in such an old-school neighborhood space and to bring the beauty trade back to this spot.

I love being my own boss and being able to curate what I hope is a wonderful experience for our clients. My business ethos is to take care of people—both my clients and my employees—and I’ve always believed in community over competition. Although there are a lot of salons in the Schenks Corner area, I’m always mindful of wanting to support my colleagues.

In addition to hair, I also do makeup for weddings and other special events.

My most memorable caffeine is hard to pick because I drink a lot of coffee, but the Moka drive-thru on E. Wash gets my business at least once a day. I’m pretty frugal but this is one thing that I’ll spend money on. I love that they know me and know my drink.

My current caffeine of choice is Moka’s latte made with coconut milk and an extra shot.

My favorite place for caffeine is Moka’s. It brings joy to my life to have their coffee every day.

The people I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with are my two grandmothers: Alice and Eleanor. I’m named after them and was fortunate to have had the chance to know both of them. I feel a huge connection to my grandmothers and would love to be able to sit down with them again and get their advice and perspectives.

Alice was my mother’s mom. She was a painter and a gardener. Eleanor, my dad’s mom, was actually a hairdresser when she was young. Because she lived in a time when you didn’t work after you got married, she didn’t do that for long. I feel like I’m carrying things forward by also working in the beauty industry. Stop by my shop and you can see photos of both my grandmas!

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine:  feeding children. I don’t need to make a lot of money; I don’t need a boat as a sign of success. But I would like to give every child access to food and safe water. We can’t solve every problem, but I can’t believe we can’t make sure hungry kids get fed.