Joshua Black is a celebrated wedding photographer and graphic designer. He designed the invitations to Mayor Nutter's inaugural ball and the Ms. Tootsie's Soul Food Cafe menu.
Bridget Cunningham, a skin-care guru and makeup artist who has her own line of makeup, called Canvas, boasts a hip, diverse and professional clientele.
Together, Black and Cunningham are Canvas Soup, a collaborative that's reinvigorating a tired stretch of Germantown Avenue.
The idea is to offer a soup-to-nuts experience for brides and others who want to look stunning for special occasions and have photographs to document the day. A hair salon and day spa are on the premises, and Black's Soho-style photography studio sits conveniently upstairs.
For clients, "it's a one-stop shop, start to finish," Cunningham says. "They come here. They get their hair done. They get their makeup done. Then they go upstairs to get their photos done."
The partners have started to offer full-day pampering parties with catered lunches and candid, paparazzi-style photography in addition to skin-care and spa treatments. A Temple law student had one recently to celebrate passing the bar exam and landing her first job.
Situated in a lofty old industrial building, Canvas Soup feels more like Northern Liberties than Germantown. With a stream of funky stylists and aestheticians dropping in and out, it also feels like the secret clubhouse for mod, young Philadelphia.
Cunningham's free, monthly introductory brow-shaping classes and makeup lessons are an easy initiation for newcomers. They're held the first Thursday and Friday of every month. (Call to sign up for April's sessions.)
Canvas Soup also sells makeup and skin-care products from Canvas and a few other lines. The hair salon has specialists in natural hair, wigs and weaves, and short cuts. *
Canvas Soup, 6143 Germantown Ave., Germantown, 215-991-6009. Open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with later hours on Thursday and Friday by appointment.
- Becky Batcha