When Becker Chicaiza left his home in Ecuador to travel to Paris for an apprenticeship under the late Alexander de Paris 15 years ago, he’d only dreamed of opening his own salon someday. After his apprenticeship, he moved to Greenwich, CT, where he was able to showcase the skills he’d learned abroad and open up his namesake salon.
“The salon started as a minimal space,” Chicaiza said. “I was the only working hairstylist and made it my mission to mentor those with the same passion as mine. I worked tirelessly to create a team of hair artists who are not only confident in their abilities, but also confident in themselves.” After eight years of building his business from the ground up, Chicaiza opened a 2,550-square-foot salon on Greenwich Avenue—just around the corner from his salon’s humble beginnings—where he has been for nearly seven years.
Chicaiza describes the space like a clients’ “modern home away from home—a beloved destination you’d vacation to with your BFF over and over again.” While nearly every inch of the salon is stark white, Chicaiza hung portraits of stars like Madonna and Jimi Hendrix to bring in pops of color and energy. Adding to the homey vibe, his teddy-bear puppy named Bechi is ready to greet clients when they arrive.
While this year has certainly been trying for salons, Chicaiza is confident that the familial space he’s created will keep clients coming back for more. “The [salon] is not only beautiful and fun to be in, but it’s a spot you look forward to going to, letting your hair down and being around family,” he says. “Every customer experience is customized. We take the time to sit with our clients and really get to know them, rather than handing them a discovery questionnaire sheet with no real communication.”
Developing a genuine client/stylist relationship is just one of the many keys to success he’s learned in his years as a salon owner. The other? “Be kind,” he says. “Not just to your clients, but to everyone.”