December 22 – Leslea Hipp, named ‘Best Local Artist’ in Dayton, and Sabrina Cox, a leading designer, entrepreneur and fashionista in the downtown community, have teamed up to open a new, hard-to-miss studio concept .
Haus of Sequins and Haus of Sable is a brand new joint retail art and fashion studio located inside the 300 Front Street building at 2220 E. 2nd Street in Dayton.
“It was love at first sight,” Cox said of his friendship with Hipp, which has grown for over six years.
During one of their first dates, Cox tried to be helpful and cut Hipp’s pinky finger with a dog nail clipper and accidentally cut off the tip of Hipp’s pinky finger. Even so, the two call themselves “Platonic soul mates” and believe their differences are what make them the perfect life and artistic partners.
Haus of Sequins, owned by Cox, is an eye-catching vintage pink-soaked floor-to-ceiling fashion studio with touches of Dolly Parton – Cox’s inspiration – in every corner. Over the years, two rooms in Cox’s house have been transformed into closets to store his fashion finds from thrift adventures, real estate sales and online hunts.
“I think when people come in I want them to try things that they wouldn’t normally try, I want them to come out of their comfort zone,” Cox said. “That’s why I also put up the photo wall here. So not only do you look at clothes, you can come in and take funny photos and see yourself in it and have a good time in whatever you’re wearing.”
Cox discovered that she has a secret talent for putting together fashion pieces that don’t usually go together well. With Cox’s touch, the pieces become a campy wardrobe worthy of the vintage parade.
Even if a customer walks in and can’t find something to buy, Cox said she was just as happy that they came in and let her outfit them with something they wouldn’t otherwise choose.
Additionally, Cox and Hipp have only been pursuing their respective artistic endeavors for a few years. Cox is also the Managing Director of Tender Mercy, the upscale underground lounge bar in the city center. Over the past year, Hipp has been a guest artist at the show on several occasions and has painted members of the Gem City Burlesque live.
“I turned 30 and had this revelation that if what I was doing wasn’t making me happy, I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Cox said. “And seeing Leslea start speaking made me want to do it too.”
Hipp is a longtime bartender in the Oregon District. Since picking up her painting tools a few years ago, pieces of her work have become artistic focal points at a number of bars and businesses in Dayton.
Haus of Sable is a celebration of darkness. Hipp’s personality and creative style is expressed in every ounce of the room – from the deer hoof lamp to the death trap wall decor and the displayed taxidermy. It is a space where visitors come to discover his work.
There’s also a mid-1800s faded sofa that’s an open invitation to friends and visitors to Hipp to relax, read a book, or listen to a podcast while she works on her next track.
Hipp’s studio will feature current prints for sale and serve as a meeting space for clients to meet and discuss commissioned work.
The dark, brooding Haus of Sable and the boisterous, overly accessorized Haus of Sequins couldn’t be more opposites. However, the Yin and Yang of the two studios are almost pleasing to the eye and complementary, Hipp and Cox agreed. The two studios saw cross-traffic of clients who originally came to visit one, then were drawn to the other and vice versa.
“Anyone who comes in here just needs to open up and let her put something on it because it works every time,” Hipp said.
Both studios will have websites after January, but for now, stay tuned for special schedules and make an appointment by following their Instagram pages on instagram.com/hausofsequins and instagram.com/hausofsable/. Both studios will have opening hours every first Friday and third Sunday at Front Street, and also by appointment.