When Nick Arrojo, owner and founder of ARROJO, first opened his tiny six-chair, five-stylist salon in New York, little did he know that 14 years later, he would sit at the helm of a three-salon, 100 plus-staff empire with 350 Ambassador salons carrying his eponymous product line.
Besides the Arrojo Studio flagship in SoHo that has served as a hub of styling and education, he has opened a 3,300-square-foot, 32-chair salon in Williamsburg catering to the young, creative and bohemian lifestyle that marks the Brooklyn neighborhood. Moreover, the addition of a 12,500-square-foot facility in TriBeCa that houses a 16-chair salon and retail store as well as an expanded educational center to further the brand’s initiatives “features five tailor-made classrooms, a 70-seat lecture theater, mezzanine stage and auditorium, and a creative space for photo shoots and new media projects, all alongside a 38-chair student clinic floor,” says Arrojo.
The focus and commitment to education has served as a primary cornerstone of his brand’s success and growth. “Not only has it made us better at what we do, it has forged our reputation as a brand committed to elevating the industry through craftsmanship, creativity, excellence, passion, and inspiration. So many brands and manufacturers are great at talking about these things, but not so many live it out. Over the years, people have seen that we live our culture of education, not just talk about it. We are the excellence through education hairdressing company,” he says.
“Our apprentices have class two hours a day five days a week, taught by senior stylists. Thus, every day, our young stylists are learning better skills, our senior stylists are becoming ever more experienced educators and mentors, and the salon looks busy and full of energy from nine in the morning (I’m a big believer in energy attracting energy; if you are going out for dinner and perusing two restaurants, one busy, one empty, you always choose the busy one). Plus, the apprentice’s models pay a model fee; it’s relatively nominal, but it covers the cost of paying the educators to teach class. My actionable advice is take action,” says Arrojo. —Maureen Sheen, Senior Editor