My career in this incredible industry started in 1985; infact, my journey started two years earlier when I was privileged enough to be employed by L’Oréal Professional as a sales consultant. After servicing more than 350 salons a month for two years, I knew that I wanted to become a stylist myself. This prompted me to head off to London and Paris to work and train at the prestigious schools and salons of Jingles London, Sanrizz, Toni and Guy, Formulae Paris, L’Oréal London, and L’Oréal Paris. After returning from this life-changing experience, I worked for my stepfather at Hair by Kelly for two years. It was during this time that I knew I had to carve out my own path by opening my first salon, Inter Hair Design.
In 1997, a client told me about ISO 9000, an international standards organization that all big businesses aspired to. With limited capital at the time, I asked her whether there was a salon anywhere in the world that had ISO listing. She confirmed that there wasn’t, so I set out to become the first ISO 9000 salon in the world. In 1999 this dream was realised.
By incorporating processes and systems, I soon realised that there was so much potential in this industry. I started to differentiate our salon experience from the rest by always ensuring that we did things differently.
In 2001, together with L’Oréal, I started training salon professionals in South Africa. In 2008 the hard work and dedication paid off when I was asked to join the L’Oréal world business team. I was one of only 6 salon professionals from around the world to be awarded this accolade. I travelled extensively over the next few years, teaching, motivating and inspiring a change in the perception of the industry and those who work in it. One highlight was helping L’Oréal launch Kerastase into India, a once in a lifetime experience!
The name Inter Hair Design changed to Gary Rom Hairdressing in 2003, when I opened in the Brooklyn Mall. We currently have 13 salons nationally. I have an incredible support team, as well as franchisees who all share the same passion!