This Flagler College alumnus is an event planner, designer, and DJ making a name for himself as a pretty creative guy. With business endeavors like Push Push Salon, production company Classic Blends, and his work as DJ HU, Hugh Ward is cued up to meet a lot of amazing people in many different fields. And that’s given him a new mission to make sure you know them too. Enter “Hugh Do You Know” – a new column Hugh will head up every issue to highlight local creatives. But to start off, we figured you might want to get to know the man himself – meet Hugh Ward.
Hustle: Co-owner of Push Push Salon
Talent: A flair for creating and executing relevant events, music, and influence.
Life Goal: Bring more attention to the local creative scene in St. Augustine.
What’s your connection to St. Augustine? I’m originally from DeLand, Florida and we used to come here on field trips when I was a kid so I was always familiar with the area. After high school, my dad was teaching at Flagler so I decided to follow him here. I saw potential in the town post-graduation and decided to stay.
What kind of training do you have? I do a lot of different things so my training is all over the place. I studied classical guitar at Stetson University, played trumpet in middle and high school too, those experience gave me a great understanding and appreciation of music. As far as DJing I started that when I was 16 and am basically self-taught through hours upon hours of practice that drove my parents completely nuts. Drawing & Design was always something that came naturally to me, but I had many amazing teachers. Eventually when it came to Event planning I kind of just combined all my talents to start making small events happen in the area and just kept moving forward.
What’s your favorite part of the job? I really enjoy the whole process. I find it really rewarding to build a DJ mix, a design project or an event, see it come together and people enjoy my creativity.
How long did it take to perfect your craft? A lifetime! It’s not perfect yet but I’m still trying.
Where do you get your ideas? I draw inspiration from a lot of different areas. I love comic books, movies, art, fashion, music, surfing and much more. One of my secrets is every Sunday I get up go to the bookstore and take a random magazine from each section a just read and try to learn new things.
How big is your team? I’ve made some great friends in lots of different fields and businesses so those are my constant collaborators on different projects. I’ve also had some truly amazing interns over the years that have helped put the building blocks in place.
Who are your local favs? Too many to name! If I leave anyone out they’ll kill me! That’s what this column is supposed to do. But… Catch 27, Romeos, With a Twist Food Truck, Casa Maya, and Cellar 6 are some of my go-to’s for food. Favorite guilty pleasure is Hazel’s Hotdogs. I heard Push Push Salon is a cool spot to get a sic haircut (wink wink). Paper Root, The Closet, Magnolia Supply, and Goldfinch are my fashion picks. My favorite natural area would be Washington Oaks Park.
What would you like to see happen in St. Augustine? I’d like to see a better awareness of who’s who’s and who does what. I feel like for a small town STA lacks a real sense of community. I particularly feel like STA’s creatives don’t get a lot of love, so hopefully, this column will help.
Words to live by… “Keep your head up” –Tupac Shakur
To keep up with Hugh, follow him on Instagram at @classicblends.