Working as an electrician, one day Joe Rizza got tired of “just talking to wires” so he announced to his wife Carm, “I’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser.” That was 20 years ago, and as Joe tells the story, while he was telling Carm the news, he picked up her curling iron at the wrong end and burned himself!
Despite this initial start, Carm got on board with the idea. Joe attended hairdressing school, and as they say, “the rest is history.” Their first salon, Hair Dynamix, had been in the beach over 30 years. Joe and Carm became the new owners in 1998 and grew the business to be one of the most successful salons in the east end. Then after 20 successful years on Queen Street, in November 2016, they opened another location on Gerrard, called Salon G Rizza.
The name of the business, G Rizza, is actually Joe’s name. His birth name is Giuseppe, which translates as Joe in English. They are celebrating the one-year anniversary of Salon G this fall.
True partners in business and in life, Carm and Joe were childhood sweethearts. Both were raised in the Upper Beaches in the Main and Danforth area. After living in Sicily for 6 years, Joe’s family had moved in across the street from Carm on Oak Park Avenue. They both attended the same elementary school in Grade 7 at St. Brigid Catholic School. Then in 1992, they were married.
Joe loves the up-and-coming neighbourhood vibe of Gerrard Street East, known for many years as Little India. “It’s a great salon in a great neighbourhood to be in,” he says. He’s also excited that the salon is the first stand-alone salon of its kind in the neighbourhood, very modern and stylish. “We are not just a chair in the back, we’re a full service salon and spa. He describes a typical visit at their new salon by a family. Both parents and kids come in together, dad watches the kids while mom gets her hair done, then its dad’s turn, then the kids—a real family affair.
As a family-run business, Joe quickly refers to the staff at Salon G as family as well. Currently there are three stylists and a fourth about to join, as well as the spa aestheticians. “Our staff works with us, not for us,” he says.
The salon offers all the services of a hairdressing facility, with hair colouring (full, partial, highlighting and just roots) as well as cutting and styling services. It also offers spa services such as facials, eyelash treatments, manicures, pedicures, threading, hair removal, massages, ear piercings, and facials. As a spa specializing in Dermalogica, all skin care is provided through products by the leading skin-care company. As a L’Oreal Professional hair salon, hair products are almost exclusively by L’Oreal.
“We also provide another brand for those who want a fully organic hair colouring,” says Joe.
Another feature at the salon is the Espresso machine so clients can enjoy a latte or cappuccino.
As both a couple and business partners, Carm and Joe see both salons as an extension of their family. Joe does what he loves best, cut and style hair, and Carm oversees business operations. “I’m one of the voices you hear when you call and one of the first persons you will see when you come into the salon,” she says. And Joe adds, “We are here to give you the best hair experience you’ve ever had.”
Salon G Rizza Hair & Spa
1403 Gerrard St. E.