If you ask Jeffrey Dauksevich how his hairdressing career began, he’ll tell you he was simply in the right place at the right time. “In the mid 1980s agencies were forming in New York and representing the brightest creatives from around the world,” Dauksevich says. “My original intention was to be involved with photography, but by pure chance I fell into a hairdresser’s assistant position and found myself working alongside the very best in the industry.” This happenstance provided Daukevich with a skillset and a long list of connections that helped catapult his career.
In 2000, Dauksevich launched his first major project: Umi Salon. For 12 years, he owned and operated the space that earned him international acclaim, but come 2014, he was ready to change up the traditional salon model. “The vision for JSD Studio was to remove all of the expected elements, presenting a modern, open atmosphere designed to properly receive the well-seasoned client who wanted a more one-on-one approach,” Dauksevich says. “There is no front desk, no ringing phones, no stifling hierarchies and no specific brand presence. The studio feels and operates more like a private club.” When clients arrive at JSD Studio, they have an entire team dedicated to their needs—everything from preferred magazines and custom playlists to lunch requests gets arranged before the appointment.
To make each custom appointment a reality, Dauksevich has a small team that truly understands the salon’s service concept and creative direction. “The team is comprised of myself, my wife, who has been my creative partner since the very beginning of my career, our artistic director, our professional makeup artist and our studio coordinator,” Dauksevich says. “Together, we function like a band—small, dynamic, intelligent and committed to pursuing and preserving the salon’s mission.”
In his 19-plus years as a salon owner, Dauksevich can give a laundry list of lessons he learned. “The wonderful thing about our industry is that it can show you as much as you’re willing to give—it’s limitless,” he says. “If I could offer anyone advice, I would say be prepared, do your homework, remain critical and stay loyal to your mentors.”