BTC BREAKING NEWS
TONI&GUY's Bruno Mascolo: A BTC Exclusive Interview
By Editorial Director Marianne Dougherty
Bruno, Guy and Anthony Mascolo sold TIGI to Unilever in April for $411.5 million. The deal did not include the TONI&GUY salons or the TONI&GUY brand, the latter of which will remain owned by their brother Toni. Less than a month later Guy died suddenly of a massive heart attack, an event that sent the family into a tailspin. “Guy’s death was a tremendous shock and put me in a spiral for two or three months. I couldn’t focus. Part me of was thinking, I’m 60 years old, I don’t want to do this anymore, but then I had this weird experience,” Bruno says. “All of a sudden I began thinking that maybe death isn’t an ending but a new beginning. After all, we don’t remember where we were before we were born so how do we know what happens after we die? That’s when I began thinking that it doesn’t matter how old I am. I can be reborn. We all need a purpose, a passion to do something that inspires us. That’s what gives life meaning. That’s when I decided to get into TONI&GUY again and reinvent it.”
Bruno is committed to reinstating his company’s culture. The first step is to restructure the salons for quality, not quantity, closing salons that don’t meet the company’s expectations. “We want all of our salons to be in the right demographic areas,” he says. The next step is to invest in expanding the academy business. “Anthony and I both want TONI&GUY to become the number one educational company today, the Harvard of hairdressing.”
While Bruno was busy building TIGI, he relied on a team of people, including Kenny Gibson, President and COO of the Academy Division, Lenore Gibson, Senior Vice President of Marketing/Education, Leslie Elliott, president of TONI&GUY, and Debbie Webster, vice president of the salon division, to maintain the steady growth of salons and schools. Now that he’s focusing solely on TONI&GUY, he wants to make it easier for hairdressers to get advanced education no matter where they live, which is why the company plans to offer advanced education in all of its schools. TONI&GUY has 11 schools now and plans to open seven new schools in 2010. Two of those schools, he says, could be franchises.
Anthony, Zak, Joseph Marzioli, Darian Bishop and Zoe Harte have been charged with developing a really strong advanced education mechanism. “I feel fortunate to have a shot at doing two things in one lifetime,” Bruno says. “We built a successful product company, but now I can give back a little. If we do what we say we’re going to do when it comes to education, we’ll raise the standard for everyone else.”
Bruno plans to rely on Anthony to do what he does best. “Anthony is a hairdressing icon and an accomplished photographer. We just want him to create new looks and provide the kind of images we’re known for, “ Bruno says. “When Guy died, we gave Guy's son Zak his share of the business. We’re still a family business after all. A lot of employees who helped me grow TIGI became rich when we sold the company. We want to help more of them become rich with TONI&GUY. It’s always been our policy to share. I think that was instilled in us by our parents, who taught us that the more you give, the more you get. That’s the way we’ve always done things.”
In November TONI&GUY will celebrate its 25th anniversary in the U.S. “There were four of us. Now there are three,” says Bruno, “but I’m confident that a new TONI&GUY will emerge in the next two or three years. I don’t know what I would have done without my team—Kenny, Lenore, Debbie, Leslie, Gary, Kimber and co-founder Paul Joseph, who came out of retirement to help me. I’m just honored to be working with them.”
WHAT?!?! You're not a BTC member? Sign up now for FREE and start receiving your FREE tip of the day!
Subscribe to behindthechair.com "On Paper" Magazine--5 issues only $19.95 (Save $10)!!