We had the good fortune of connecting with Evi Vamvlas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Evi, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
There’s a huge, emotional/anxiety-inducing component to this that can make a situation feel unresolvable. We know that we can’t be slaves to instinct and intuition, but at the same time we are emotional creatures. We get attached to information, and compelled by visions. Our stories explicit or implicit, pin us to a version of reality we must live and move through.

There is no leaving that part of us behind, it is our orientation, our propeller. It becomes ever more important to understand that to intelligently include that part of us we must also welcome the struggle to manage it. I don’t believe anyone can know when to give up. Especially in regards to wanting to see something come to life despite the current flow of things. You can only know you don’t want to burn others, or compromise your dignity if you have it. That’s about it.

I find it helpful to ask: Can I give this what it needs? Is this beyond my limits? And the only way I know is if I’ve tried everything.

You are not your dreams. The things you love, are inspired by, want to see exist- they exist apart from you. And that is truly liberating. Someone else will pick it up, feel it and help bear it. That means what you want is real, worthy. I understand wanting that personal connection, the participation. Our personal journeys are grossly overshadowed by whether or not our achievements are legendary in the eyes of the internet. Giving up happens only when you have tried everything within the honor code you chose to operate from and can do no more.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am at the beginning of my business venture, and I came into it without a lot of resources. There’s the long hours, the challenge of preserving your mental health, etc. Having purchased an already existing business, a lot was already set in place. The identity transformation is underway but for me there is no desire to rush it outside of what is necessary. The salon space I operate out of has been a salon for over 50 years in downtown Evanston IL. The energy is palpable. I don’t want to force an identity upon it as much as cooperate with the feel of its tucked away nature. It feels like a space where you can open up and be yourself. A shop feel vs. salon

The industry is changing in so many ways and Salon Soto wants to be at the forefront of that change. Inclusivity and Authenticity are subverting the pull of trends. Beauty Standards have become Beauty Practice. The experience in the shop/salon should encourage an exploration of self, of archetypes and roles in life. Beauty Standards dictate while Beauty Practice introduces intentionality and style, a choice of orientation.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
At this point of the pandemic these are all the places I miss.

Favorite Foods:

Hewn – Organic Flour & Hand forged Bread & Bakery 1733 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

M. Henry – Daytime Cafe/Brunch 5707 N Clark St, Chicago

Russian Tea Room – High Tea, 77 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

Found Kitchen and Social House – Farm to table, 1631 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

Favorite Drinks:

Lost Lake – tropical cocktail bar, 3154 W Diversey Ave, 60647

Green Mill – Poetry Slams & Jazz Cocktail Lounge, 4802 N Broadway, 60640

Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar – 960 W 31st St, 60608

Logan Arcade – 2532 W Fullerton Ave, 60647

Favorite Day Spas:

King Spa- Korean Spa, Civic Center Plaza, 809 Civic Center Dr, Niles, IL 60714

Air Bathe – “Ancient” Baths 800 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60642

Favorite To Do:

National Museum of Mexican Art- 1852 W 19th St, 60608

Epiphany Center for the Arts – 201 S Ashland Ave, 60607

Mitsuwa Marketplace – 100 E Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, 60005

16th Street Murals – Pilsen

Kingston Mines – Live Blues and pub food, 2548 N Halsted St 60614

Garfield Park Conservatory – 300 N Central Park Ave, 60624

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Soweto Bosia of www.nativeinvasion.com

Website: salon-soto.com

Instagram: sotoevanston

Facebook: Salon Soto Evanston

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.