Rose Episode: Wasco Roses, Garden District Flowers, and SKIN: Esthetics

Co-Written by Julie Tortorici

It’s finally here: The Rose Episode! I have been looking forward to this episode since creating Central Beauty. Who doesn’t love flowers? And let’s be honest, roses are the queen of the blooms!

There’s no better place to start than where these spectacular blossoms begin—a rose farm. I head to Wasco, California, home to 40% of the nation’s rose supply. Once there, I pay a visit to the folks at Weeks Roses. They were kind enough to let me do a little exploring of their vast 1200 acres. Established in 1938, Weeks Roses takes advantage of Wasco’s loamy soil. It’s the perfect environment for happy blooms. It was an amazing afternoon surrounded by bountiful rose bushes and the shimmering California sun.

Located in Bakersfield for 30 Years, Garden District Flowers keeps Fresh

After Weeks Roses, I head to Garden District Flowers, where incredible floral arrangements are crafted for individuals, weddings, and events. I’m also treated to a quick lesson on how to create a stunning rose bouquet.Hint: it doesn’t begin with the roses…

Cecilia is most professional and knowledgeable about skin and skincare

Since roses have other benefits than just looking pretty, I decide to spend an afternoon with licensed esthetician, Cecilia, at Salon District. She puts me through a most relaxing facial using illuminating rose oil by Lira Clinical. Ugh, is this job tough or what?

Maybe it’s true after all—everything really is coming up roses.

That’s the beauty in Bakersfield!

Check out the full video on YouTube!

The Nutcracker: Shafter Symphony Orchestra & Civic Dance Center

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

For our December episode of Central Beauty, I wanted to revisit my holiday tradition: seeing “The Nutcraker.” I’ve seen this classic everywhere from New York to Hawaii, but there’s nothing like seeing it in my hometown of Bakersfield at the Mechanics Bank Theater- what made it even better THIS year was the Shafter Symphony Orchestra! 

The Civic Dance Center’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” holds a very special place in my heart because I have been attending since I was a little girl. To see the making of the costumes, stage design, and props was truly magical. I got to interview young and seasoned dancers- check out what they said about their Nutcracker and the town of Bakersfield, CA HERE

Autumn Benton, Dancer

It is rare to find a Nutcracker with a live symphony orchestra, so when I had heard the ballet had been performing without one for a few years, I was heartbroken! What made this year’s performance so special is the Shafter Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble features musicians from all over the Central Valley of California, including Shafter, Bakersfield, Tulare, and Visalia. They are a non-profit organization that is lead by talented Music Director, Stephen Penner. Shafter is a small town known for its abundance of agriculture, so the development of a non-profit orchestra is very beneficial for the area as they share their knowledge of the arts with the children of the community.

Julia Haney, violinist, Shafter Symphony Orchestra

Watching the dancers perform to live music added such a powerful and moving element to the show, and I have my fingers crossed that it’s the first of many joint ventures. Even the Audio Technician (of 15 years) agreed that having a live orchestra brought the magic back. Watch what he says about it HERE!

Shafter Symphony Orchestra lead by Stephen Penner

A tradition that is adored by the community and put together with the community’s support, this Nutcracker is not only a thing of beauty of performing and classic art; it’s the Beauty in Shafter and Bakersfield.

Many thanks for watching and I’ll see you in 2020!


Central Beauty: Kern County Fair, Emporium Western Store

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

Episode 2 of Central Beauty is all about getting ready for The Kern County Fair. I dare you to try to be bored at this festival. It’s impossible! It’s got everything from concerts, to carnival rides, to rodeos, and even livestock events. The Kern County Fair is one of the reasons I was inspired to make Central Beauty, because events like this one should not go unnoticed!

A celebration of generations of agricultural and livestock farming annually at the Kern County Fair!

Before heading to the fair, I pay a visit to the Emporium Western Store. I’ve been excited to visit this family-owned business since creating the show. Founded in 1909, it’s been operated by the same family for three generations. Stepping foot in this store, you can’t help but feel the history and significance of this shop. I like to go in and imagine what it was like back in the early 1900s. Just thinking about the changes and challenges this business had to live through and survive is awe-inspiring.

Store front of the Emporium Western Store! Located at 1031 19th Street in Downtown Bakersfield
Full Video on Shaping the Hat available on IGTV and YouTube!

I met with Stephen Goldwater, one of the current owners of the store, who had a great sense of humor! Rhonda, who has been working at the Emporium for 9 years, also treated me to a tutorial on how to fit a cowboy hat using a steamer machine. Each hat is shaped by hand and is custom made to your liking. How about that for some Old West cred!

That’s the Beauty in Bakersfield!

Click HERE to watch the full video on YouTube!

Episode 1: Split Ends Salon, House of Talula, and Village Fest

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

Anyone who knows anything about Bakersfield knows about the annual Village Fest at the Kern County Museum. 2019 marks the event’s 25thyear and it did not disappoint. 15 bands. 25 wineries. 60 breweries. 30 restaurants. My best advice: arrive hungry and thirsty.

I couldn’t think of a better way to begin the Central Beauty series than with this famous festival. I start my adventure the best way I know how: by getting my hair done! I visit with my old friend, Daniella at Split Ends Hair Salon, so she can give me a voluminous blowout with a soft flip. It’s a great simple style for a long day outside and it has a casual feeling to it.  

Daniella’s featured product available at Split Ends Salon!

Next up, I head to House of Talula for something to wear. I’m thinking a light and airy sundress is the perfect look for the event. A 20-year staple in Bakersfield, House of Talula features everything from clothing, accessories, and even sweet home décor pieces. If you’re the indecisive type like me, make sure to give yourself a lot of time in this brick and mortar gem, there’s a lot to look at. 

House of Talula is located in downtown Bakersfield.

Now that my hair is done, my outfit looks good, and I’m starved, it’s time to head to  the Village Fest. Between bites and sips (ahem, gulps), I chat with some of the vendors about their experience behind the scenes of this annual shindig. But don’t take my word for it, check out the episode and see if for yourself! Click the Youtube Link to Watch!

Click here to watch Episode 1:

Bakersfield, it’s a beautiful thing.