By Emily G. Peters
Rockin’ Rollers in Sierra Madre is a music studio and hair salon combined—and it’s coming for the status quo.
With quite possibly the best pun possible as a name for their combo-business, Rockin’ Rollers was the brainchild of musician “Joe Normal” Hutchinson and stylist Gigi Hutchinson. The duo met early in their careers, where Gigi served as a hairdresser and makeup artist on Joe’s band photoshoots. Fast-forward a few decades, one salon and two kids later and their professional paths are still surprisingly well-matched.
“It’s funny because Joe and I have similar ways of thinking and doing business. We’ve always been self-employed, but were looking for a place to do our work together,” said Gigi. “When we started our studio, we wanted to be in this district on Montecito in Sierra Madre: a funky, artsy industrial area just off of main street. I think this area represents an underground where people come to explore and be creative.”
On one side of Rockin’ Rollers is Gigi’s salon, offering a variety of services from cut, color, makeup, waxing and more, using natural and organic products. Next door in a separate room, Joe heads up music lessons in guitar, ukulele, piano, drums, bass and songwriting. The latter is of particular importance to the musician.
“When it comes to our music lessons, we focus on creativity and the songwriting aspect—not just learning to play a Led Zeppelin song,” he explained. “When you’re born, your first instrument is your voice, and that’s why we take an individualized approach to teaching: to help students find their own voice, their own composition, their own message. That’s something that comes from your heart and your soul.”
This approach to uncovering hidden talent has led Rockin’ Rollers to dig deeper into the neighborhood. Their open mic events and songwriters showcases (second Sunday and Wednesday of every month, respectively) at RT Brewing Company have helped lure local creatives out from their foxholes. Gigi is also guiding others into their own spotlight, organizing kids’ fashion shows and mommy makeovers especially for mothers of special needs kids—an area close to the Hutchinsons’ hearts, as their older son is on the autism spectrum. Collectively, these efforts have changed their careers into a conduit to true community.
“We want to bring out the unique side of Sierra Madre. Its people are a little more unique, a little artistic—and we’re one of the businesses representing those people,” said Gigi.
Rockin’ Rollers plans to grow as a one-stop shop for musicians (for production, merch, even filming music videos) and with its styling services. As the Hutchinsons forge more connections, that concept of a local “underground” becomes more of a positive reality.
“Since opening our studio, our view on community and partnering has become larger than ever, especially with special needs families and like-minded businesses,” said Gigi. “We see Rockin’ Rollers as being part of the community and being there for the community. It’s a lifestyle.”
Rockin’ Rollers is located at 38 E. Montecito Ave. #10 in Sierra Madre. Learn more about their music lessons, salon services and upcoming events at rockinrollersusa.com | (626) 355-0101 | RockinRollersUSA@gmail.com and check them out on Facebook @RockinRollersStudio and Instagram @RockinRollersUSA.