Sitting in the salon chair, listening, oh ok, fine, eavesdropping, to the conversations around me, I couldn’t help but feel part of the Cataldo’s family. There was a warm buzz and atmosphere as staff caught up with clients on their news since their last visit.
The business started over 50 years ago in 1965 by Giuseppe Cataldo, as a barber shop, Cataldo’s Hairdressing. It now has two bustling salons – one in Woden run by business partner and 30 year Cataldo’s veteran Karen Spradau and one in Civic run by Giuseppe’s sons Emilio, Angelo and Aldo Cataldo. Once, they were young boys who helped out their father by sweeping the floors or opening doors for clients. Now, under their helm, Cataldo’s is a multi-award winning hair salon which is visionary in its approach and attitude. Its dedication to challenge, technique and design has forged the salon’s reputation internationally through an extensive portfolio of magazine covers and editorials. Cataldo’s has also won national and international awards including ACT Salon of the Year 18 years in a row!
With 50 years behind them, the next 50 look just as exciting! Their Civic salon on Northbourne Avenue is moving to new premises in Ainslie Place, and their focus is the ultimate customer experience. Which, in my opinion, they have already achieved.
“We’ve trained over 350 apprentices and stylists. Our team are very much part of our family. Some of the hairdressers we’ve trained are now educating others around the world,” said Angelo Cataldo. Emilio adds, “Education is very important to us. Not just skill with hair, but life skills, interpersonal skills they can transfer to everyday life. Our father imparted a sense of genuine customer service, which we now impart on our stylists.”
That warmth is felt as soon as you step inside the salon! On my very first visit to the Civic salon, I was greeted immediately and sat down comfortably in my chair with a coffee and a stack of magazines at the ready for me to read. Coincidentally both my colourist and hairdresser on the day were both Cataldo’s (Giuseppe’s grandchildren). Creative Director Claudia Cataldo was super patient with my lack of hair knowledge as we discussed the new season’s looks and how to find my signature style. She pulled out her iPad full of suitable haircuts and once we talked through a colour concept and cut she and colourist Michael went straight to work. As Creative Director her role is to drive the creative direction of the salon. She was also named finalist for Australian New Creative Force 2015. She has an innate sense of style and her knowledge of what works for different face shapes and colourings amazed me!
I left the salon not only with shiny salon fresh hair and a bounce in my step that comes with a great new haircut, but also with a warm, fuzzy feeling because I could just see all the love and care that Cataldo’s treats their customers with. I can’t wait to book my next cut and colour!
15 years ago, Cataldo’s Salon offered their clients free dial up internet and TV screens for entertainment, which helped them win the Australian Best New Salon Design award. Today, the Cataldo’s feel there’s too much digital and not enough genuine human interaction, so I can’t wait to see what the new salon will offer. It will be opening it’s doors in the next few months.
*Sophia enjoyed her haircut and colour as a guest of Cataldo’s Salon and she can’t wait to book in as a regular customer when they open the new salon.