Scratch That

Craig OuthierAugust 22, 2019
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Every issue of PHOENIX magazine is a learning experience for the hard-working team that labors over its creation – which is to say, we all pick up a few edifying facts and insights while editing, designing, writing and shooting the thing.

My most interesting takeaway from our September issue of PHOENIX: A motivated hairstylist in Los Angeles can pull down $200,000 a year.

“I know. Insane, right?” my stylist friend, let’s call her Abbie, says. She’s worked in both the Phoenix and Los Angeles markets, and knows firsthand what a skilled coiffeur can pry from clients.

“But everything is more expensive in Los Angeles,” she continues. “In Phoenix, it’s a little different, but if you’re in demand, and can fill up your schedule, and you’re keeping your sales, you can get to six figures.”

Photo by Carrie Evans

I don’t ordinarily go around interrogating my friends about their salaries, but the money-focused editorial package you’re about to dive into is no ordinary cover story. Without getting into specific investment and financial-planning advice – matters best left to professionals and, let’s face it, about as exciting as reading home appliance warranties – this is our attempt to give you a thorough and commanding perspective of wealth in Greater Phoenix. Indefatigable freelance writer Jessica Dunham, who also compiles and pens our 52 Weekend Adventures travel monster in February, scoured the Valley for money-minded info both practical (restaurant and resort recs by budget, bargain neighborhoods, etc.) to shamelessly nosey (mansion pictorials, salary reveals, etc.).

She also penned a nifty little side-hustle guide, debates the merits of new vs. used and meditates a bit on the virtues of buying local. It shows you a side of the Valley we don’t typically cover, and you can find it all in Money, Money, Money.

While I have your ear (or eyes, rather), I’d also like to share some details of PHOENIX magazine’s first-ever Best of the Valley party, slated for October 23 at Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Actually, “party” doesn’t do it credit – it will be more like a multimedia festival, featuring live drama and music, plus a plethora of local consumables (beer, cocktails, food) and other products. It will basically be last month’s Best of the Valley issue reanimated in three dimensions, and staged outdoors (half of it, anyway) after the weather turns nice. Go to for details.

And now we’re on to next month’s Arizona wine issue. Excuse me while I tend to that – and kick myself for not going to beauty college.


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.