Meet Our Team
Owner ~ Stage 4 Stylist
Raika Studio owner and top hairstylist, Kathleen Firth, attracts a clientele that looks to her for fashion-forward haircuts and color. With a few bold strokes, Kathleen can create a signature blonde, a chocolate brunette or a fiery redhead. Color and cuts by Kathleen are always on-trend and customized for the client’s personal style.
Kathleen trained in Dublin under David Marshall and became the top stylist at her family’s salon in Woodlawn, New York. She began working with Paul Mitchell Systems in 2001. Today, as a Senior Educator, she leads seminars and in-salon classes instructing stylists in the four elements of hair—Cutting System, Coloring System, Texture System, and Style System.
Kathleen believes that cutting and coloring are forms of art. Education and development are lifelong challenges requiring commitment, dedication and most importantly, passion. Raika Studio emphasizes a team environment and stylists are encouraged to and rewarded for continuing their education throughout their careers.
Kathleen’s association with Paul Mitchell coincided with her own philosophy on the business and creative aspects of hair styling. Her appreciation of the Paul Mitchell family influenced her decision to open a Paul Mitchell Focus Salon in Manhattan.
Nina has been actively part of the beauty industry for 8 years, and most of her career has been spent in NYC. Her passion runs deep, and it’s evident from the moment you sit in her chair. Her enthusiasm and outgoing personality combined with her talent, creates an experience enjoyable for not only her guests, but her team as well. She loves working with dimensional color, customizing tones and techniques individual to each guest. She also specializes in men’s grooming, as a licensed barber.
Monika ~ Stage 4 Stylist
Monika began her career as a professional hairdresser over 20 years ago. She started her education in Croatia and took advanced courses at The Hairstylist Academy Mona Lisa International in Zagreb, Croatia. She attended many seminars and workshops all over Europe and worked in various fashion shows and public events. She received her masters craftsmanship degree in 2004. She found home in New York since 2010 with a passion of furthering her career. With her extensive knowledge of hair she is always up for a challenge whether you need a different approach to your haircut, color or complete style. Monika prides herself on being a team player and mentor to her fellow stylists and apprentices here at Raika Studio. Her passion for hair is still as strong as it was when she first began her career and that’s what you feel when you sit in her chair!
Stephanie ~ Stage 4 stylist
Stephanie has 18 years experience in the hair industry. She has a skillful approach and innate ability to create color techniques using various color methods. With her keen eye and artistic vision she can customize layers of rich brunette tones to blending the most seductive shades of blonde.
Cutting hair has also been her passion. Her full repertoire of technical skills create the most classic sophisticated haircut to the latest trends. Creating a look for each client that is youthful, vibrant, sexy with a modern edge.
Stephanie is also certified using a variety of different hair extension methods. Her application techniques create full, long locks women dream of.
Stephanie took her talents overseas to further perfect her craft and extensively trained at Vidal Sassoon Academy in London.
She has personal pride in her work and creativity that is ever growing. Her mission is for every client to look and feel their individual best!
Kelsie has been part of the beauty industry for the last 8 years. She has helped the Raika Studio team from the beginning by creating some the core systems that are still in motion today. She has a deeper love for long hairstyling and upstyles, showcasing her work both in and out of the salon. Kelsie has an extreme passion and care for customer service. She provides an exciting experience for her clients unlike any other.
Angela ~ Stage 2 Stylist
Angela Ranieri fell in love with John Paul Mitchell Systems during beauty school; graduating in 2006. Her dream was to move from Syracuse NY to New York City, work at a Paul Mitchell salon and be an educator for the company as well. In 2014 Angela became a National Educator for John Paul Mitchell Systems and in 2015 Angela joined our team. Angela is constantly traveling for hair shows to advance her education. She traveled Europe working at Paul Mitchell salon’s in the UK and Italy. Believing that success unshared is failure; when Angela isn’t in the salon she is traveling all over New York and New Jersey teaching everything from hair cuts, both men and women, up styling and new color techniques in other salons. Her passion for hair and fashion is evident the moment you meet her and you will fall in love with your hair all over again after leaving her chair.
Tatiana has been in the beauty industry for over 3 years and prides herself in her abilities to bring out the utmost confidence in people through their hairstyles. A graduate of the Cactus Academy/Paul Mitchell Partner School in Long Island, NY, she continually strives to become a master of her techniques through further education. Being that Raika Studio is a Paul Mitchell focus salon, she has extensive experience with Paul Mitchell color lines, products, and techniques. Her knowledge spans all hair types and textures, and she possesses particular talents in dimensional color, styling, and cutting.
Tatiana’s commitment to excellence is apparent in her results. She pays close attention to detail and finds satisfaction in making people feel beautiful. When not working her craft, she enjoys attending concerts and festivals, finding new restaurants, spending time with friends and family, and participating in charitable events.
Dominique ~ Stage 1 Stylist
Dominique has been part of the beauty industry doing makeup for 5 years and hair for 2 years. She is very passionate about her artistry and making clients feel beautiful as it shows in her work. She began her journey watching countless makeup tutorials and doing bridal makeup learning to work with different skin tones and types. To further her career, she figured why not conquer hair and makeup. She attended the Cactus Academy/Paul Mitchell Partner School in 2014 and fell in love with the hair world and Paul Mitchell Systems. Dominique has acquired experience in working with all hair types and textures. She continues to strive for excellence by taking classes to further her knowledge and is always on top of the new trends.
Alivia ~ Stage 1 Stylist
Growing up in upstate New York Alivia attended the Paul Mitchell school in Schenectady. There she fell in love with creating classic styles and developed an eye for color. While in school Alivia made it a goal to move to NYC and work at Raika Studio. Now that she is here she prides herself on continuous education and learning new techniques and skills. An active member of the Salvation Army, Alivia has a heart for giving that translates to her passion for customer service at the salon. With a love for the arts as well, Aliva has volunteered by styling hair for multiple events and shows. With her extensive knowledge of the science behind the Paul Mitchell color system and products, Alivia feels confident to help direct her clients find what is best for their hair needs.
Ryan ~ Stage 1 stylist
Ryan’s fascination in the hair industry began during his childhood in Syracuse, New York. Going with his mother to the salon, he became deeply inspired by the shapes, the colors, the scents, and spinning in the hydraulic chairs.
Ryan attended Paul Mitchell The School-Schenectady in 2014. Less than a week after graduating, he packed his bags and fulfilled his lifelong dream of living in NYC. Ryan has an eye for precision, utilizing technicality to suit his client’s best interest, and lifestyle. His craft continuously grows through endless education and the sharing of ideas about hair. Ryan is an advocate for animal rights and refrains from supporting companies that test on animals, which is one of the many reasons he loves Paul Mitchell Systems. When Ryan is not behind the chair, he enjoys attending concerts and singing classical music with the Stonewall Chorale.