A breath of fresh air.
Bay Street Tycoons take note: Tiffani Takac and Andrew Paluzzi are ambitious and energetic self-starters, who have carved out a niche for themselves with The Root of Hair Studio in Woodbridge Ontario. “We are only 25 and 26 years old, but we built and financed this salon ourselves,” says Takac.
Working for years in other salons and eventually as stylists in hair shows, Paluzzi and Takac lived a fast-paced life, saving up for a place where they could share their talents with a devoted clientele. “For us, clients are number one. The minute you forget that, your salon goes downhill.”
At first, the newly engaged couple, had hoped to buy a Victorian home together in Milton and work out of the bottom floor, but the building was not approved for the business permit they needed and the search for a space started again.
On a suggestion from friends, Paluzzi and Takac found a home for the Root of Hair Studio in a new plaza in Woodbridge. “The place was just brick walls and cement,” says Takac. “We designed and built everything from the washrooms, to the electric to the plumbing.”
“The bank told us that salons are high risk and wouldn’t give us money for the renovations. We had to make the decision to do it by ourselves. Andrew and my father did most of it. My father actually took a month off work,’ says Takac.
Opening May 1, 2008, Takac scoured the city for furnishings, “I shopped a lot at Home Sense and Winners. Salon prices were too expensive for us, so we needed to look for something else.” The Root of Hair Studio chairs are actually custom-made, “We welded different tops and bases on to each other.”
For Takac and Paluzzi the most essential element of a salon is a friendly, calming mood. “For us it is all about working with others and creating a team atmosphere. It is important to be open to suggestion…the clients can tell when there is a lot of gossip in a salon.”
The two young entrepreneurs are also committed to creating an environmentally friendly space. They use Farouk CHI ammonia-free colour lines exclusively. “The results are fantastic and my clients are happy with the results without the scalp irritation,” raves Takac. “We also use all high efficiency bulbs, we recycle hair, and we give our clients re-used plastic bags. Our power bills in the salon are actually less than the ones at home!”
The move to become a “green” salon comes from the couple’s own personal philosophy, but also from their discerning clientele. “People are more conscious about what products they will spend their money on. They want to know how every product works,” says Takac.
Walking into the Root of Hair Studio, clients are welcomed by a warm fireplace reception with a product display. The walls are an earthy taupe hue, which offsets the chic walnut strip wood flooring throughout the salon. Light streams in through the large front windows and infuses luscious green plants in the waiting room with life and energy. Admist the plants, a loungey couch and bistro set decorate the waiting area.
Looking past this area you can see the four cutting and three colour stations separated by small shelves topped with rotating rectangular mirrors. Towards the back is a Tiki bar that colourist Takac uses as a mixing station. Behind the Tiki bar is a tiled back area with sinks, a television and a stunning water feature.
What is next for the Dougie Housers of the salon industry? “In five years, I would like to open another location,” says Takac. But first, Paluzzi and Takac will be planning their wedding in October 2010.
The Root of Hair Studio shows eco-business saavy and love really do make a perfect partnership.
Name: The Root of Hair Studio
Address: 8787 Weston Road, Unit 6 Woodbridge, ON L4L 0C3
Owners: Tiffani Takac & Andrew Paluzzi
Opened: May 1, 2008
Number of Staff: 3
Breakdown: 3 colour stations, 4 cutting stations
Size: 1070 sq. ft