Celebrating 30 years behind the chair
A life changing decision made 30 years ago is set to be celebrated in style at a a Berhampore hair hair salon this month.
It was 1987 when, at just 21, Wellingtonian Ange Gaeta took ownership of the business, known now as Hair by Ange, not knowing it would become a home away from home for the next three decades.
‘‘I wasn’t that keen to buy it because it was very expensive but my father has a great attitude in business and basically said ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ ... and now here I am 30 years later.’’
That family feeling has remained alive and well over the years, with the salon sandwiched between her brother’s karate studio and a tailoring business run by her father and brother.
Gaeta says the family support has, by far, been the key to staying in business so long.
‘‘It’s definitely not easy and I don’t know if I would do it again but I have had so much support from my beautiful parents and my brothers. There is no way I could have done it without them.’’
While Gaeta had juggled other roles over the years, including owning a second salon and working as a trade examiner, she says being able to improve people’s confidence has remained her favourite part of hairdressing.
‘‘Just having someone come in who is not feeling on top of the world and seeing their face and confidence lift from a new cut or colour ... that’s when you go home at the end of the day and think ‘what a buzz’,’’ she says.
‘‘It makes you feel great when you have had fun at work with your colleagues and know you’ve produced some really good work.’’
Gaeta is still is behind the chair a few days a week, with the rest of her time spent taking care of her three children as well as helping out at the karate studio.
‘‘My kids are always my priority. Even in the harder times, I always keep them on top,’’ she says.
‘‘That’s one of the best things about the salon, that family feel. I’ve been lucky enough to have people work for me who are all family-oriented as well.’’
Another highlight for Gaeta has been helping her former staff and friends progress their careers, going so far as to help a couple of them start their own salons.
‘‘I like to see other people succeed, I think it’s really important ... I hate it when I see businesses struggling or having to close down, so if I can help then I will.’’
Gaeta will officially celebrate the anniversary on November 16 with a day-long party at the salon where clients, old and new, are welcome to stop by and reflect on the past few decades.