“It’s just me right now,” said DiPersio. “But I have my sister come in and help clean up and set up for the next person. She’s a good hand and has been helping me out a lot. I get a lot of help from friends. A lot of my friends are accountants so they tell me, ‘This is what you need to pay and this is what you paid.’”
DiPersio said she also had help from a friend who worked on the plumbing, and then of course from her father Attilio, a local carpenter who helped renovate the new salon from its old vintage look when it used to be called Class Act Hair and Tanning.
The old salon had carpeting and retro-looking baby blue counter tops, but DiPersio’s new establishment, which is located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Ballard Street, features a wide-open feel with dark hardwood floors and six custom made hair cutting stations.
“Luckily my dad helped me build the place,” said DiPersio. “I didn’t want it cluttered. I hate the old style. I wanted more of the Newbury Street feel with everything opened, and nice and neat.”
In the back there are two stainless steel pedicure tubs, which DiPersio said will be up and running once she hires someone to do manicures and pedicures.
“They don’t have the jets,” said DiPersio. “If only you knew how much bacteria collects in the jets. They’re stainless steel so you can wipe them and thoroughly sanitize them before each pedicure. I have a thing about being clean and sanitized.”
So far DiPersio said business has been fairly steady since opening in early January, with the bulk of her customers coming in on the weekends, where she said as many as 20 people come in to have their hair done.
“I can’t complain,” said DiPersio. “I could be busier, but my Fridays and Saturdays are pretty slammed. The biggest challenge is getting people in here. We had been renovating since September so a lot of people said, ‘You’re finally open.’”
DiPersio also coaches Pop Warner Cheerleading in Saugus which also has helped get the word out, she said.
DiPersio is also hoping her low prices will attract new clients as well.
A men’s haircut costs $15, while women’s haircuts start at $20 with highlights starting at $80 and a complimentary blow dry.
DiPersio said she first started doing hair when she was 15 when she took classes at Northeastern Metro Tech.
“I wanted to go to the Voke because I didn’t want to go to Catholic school, and my mom was like, ‘You’re not going to the Voke, you’re not taking cosmetology,’”
After 10 years of cutting hair, DiPersio said she’s happy she stuck with it, even after earning a degree in Environmental, Earth and Ocean Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
“It got me through college and paid all my bills,” said DiPersio. “I can’t get out of it. As much as I say I’m gong to stop doing hair, I’m still doing it. It’s my passion. I look at someone and say, ‘Yep, you need your hair done. Come see me.’”