At Salons for Life (SFL), we believe that arts and storytelling are powerful gateways into lived experiences and personal histories. Every salon’s intent is to go on a journey of self-discovery through a focused artistic experience-in-community. At SFL, we believe that a salon has been impactful if you walk away having glimpsed your unique capacity as an agent for compassionate change.
Come as you are. To be seen and heard is a fundamental birth right. In a world polarized by competing agendas and information overload, we have to intentionally and respectfully create spaces where we can unapologetically be ourselves in our diversity and multiplicity, collectively in our similarities and differences.
Meet the Team
Nirupa founded Salons for Life as a learning community for adults in transitional periods of their lives. In 2017, Nirupa quit the corporate world, went on a 180-day sabbatical to redesign a work life, anchored by joy, social and creative purpose. Struck by the loss of agency and disempowerment of the average corporate employee, and inspired by the half-life of traumas from childhood, Nirupa created the salons as shared authority spaces where adults could express their creativity freely and safely.
Salons for Life is now a women-run and women-owned experiential learning community that organizes creative playdates for adults- spaces where adults invest in pedagogies of confidence. These are navigating ambiguity through curiosity and play, somatic awareness and financial demystification. In her past life, Nirupa was a Managing Director at Bank of America, serving as a trusted advisor to fixed income institutional investors.
Nirupa is now an independent investor, who deploys finance with a heart. Nirupa writes non-fiction with a focus on trauma, burnout and post-traumatic growth. Nirupa has lived in Jersey City since 2002. A native of south India, Nirupa feels most at home in the small batch vibe of a historic community called Paulus Hook.
Sybil Ngai is a native New Yorker and a Jersey City resident for over 20 years. After 30+ years of working in project management and information technology servicing financial services and the software industry, Sybil retired to pursue the next chapter of her life. Sybil has a 75 hour certification in Jivamukti Yoga. In 2019,
Sybil came on as founder number 2 for SFL, to direct and design systems and infrastructure. In January 2021, Sybil started volunteering at a local food pantry in Jersey City, managing the community bank food delivery and the bagging for distribution. In March 2022,
Sybil became the treasurer of the local neighbor association. The association was created to compact the over development of the surrounding area.
Kate Szekely is a creative entrepreneur, at heart. An actor, theatrical producer, personal trainer, and yoga teacher, Kate unites her many passions by her love of learning and her commitment to craft. Kate is honored to be a co-founder of Salons for Life, and is dedicated to its core mission of cultivating radical self-love within a community context.
After residing 12 years in NYC/Jersey City, Kate decided to head into the untamed swamps of Central Florida, where she now hikes, paddleboards and practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu daily.