“My Dad, Tony, came over from Italy in 1957, he trained as a barber and a tailor, there wasn’t much going on in Italy, so he came over here and started working in private houses. He worked for the Astor’s and at Scotney as a butler and doing personal grooming etc. Over the years he decided he would set up his own business and in 1982 he bought The Gallery, which was Barnet Fair back then. Having built up clients over the years from the private houses, he started the business and it was a real old chintzy salon, nothing flash at all.
I grew up with that as our salon and it wasn’t long before I saw Bentley’s and Rolls Royce’s parked outside and they were all coming in to this old fashioned salon, but it was all because of the great service my dad offered. He was very customer focused and I had done some training with him and had also worked in the West End where everything was business focused.
I worked out if you could connect the great customer service with the business element, you would see a good marriage. So, in 1995, I took over Barnet Fair and renamed it The Gallery, then in 2000 I brought the property next door, then in 2005 I brought the property next to that, which gave us complete ownership of the whole site. I worked really hard in creating a good team, many of which are still with me from the start. We saw the niche in creating a good business with strong customer service and in 2014 we entered the hairdressing business awards, Salon of the Year, which we won and then won it in 2015 and 2016 and then went into the hall of fame. It was an amazing thing! An amazing coming together of our vision and our customers were so involved with the process. It was a huge family thing, not just with our own families and staff but with our customers as well. Then in 2017 I bought the final piece of our property, which allowed us to take out staircases, re-organize entrances and complete the final project.
We’re offering a real touch of the West-End in the heart of Kent, when you walk in, you get that wow factor that you don’t get from many places. But above all, it’s not about the chairs that you sit on, or the plushness of the salon, it’s about the welcome and that family feel which makes this place very unique.”
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