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Management Practices

Architects of Design: Civello Salons

Lauren Quick | October 1, 2015 | 8:04 AM
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BELMONT—The three locations—on Belmont, North Ave. and State St. in Chicago—were taken under Civello’s design-savvy wing in the latter part of 2014. Civello says his biggest struggles included cultural integration, training and development, logistics, brand marketing and “hiring leadership that is qualified for the unique scenario.”
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BELMONT—Civello, whose penchant for design extends beyond salons and into home renovation, describes the spaces as clean, modern and eco-friendly. “This is important because it is fresh and sleek, yet it can stand the test of time,” Civello says.
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BELMONT—Brand marketing and PR were challenges for opening the three locations simultaneously, but Civello wasn’t shy about introducing press, beauty bloggers and Chicago salon industry people to his brand at an intimate dinner in late 2014.
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NORTH AVE.—The salons’ daily mix of complimentary beverages make clients feel welcome and warm—even during frigid Chicago winters. “We want to create spaces that inspire feelings of well-being and relaxation while also providing a special environment for guests to feel at home,” Civello says.
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NORTH AVE.—Retrospectively, Civello says he might have worked on the re-branding of the three locations much sooner if he were to change the experience. “Leaning is a constant process,” he says. “That’s what makes it challenging and rewarding at the same time.”
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STATE ST.—Civello notes that design is incredibly important in all the salon locations. The spaces are light and minimalistic in general—nothing reads too heavy or forced—but small, thoughtful touches bring exuberance to various areas, such as the makeup station.
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NORTH AVE.—Looking forward, Civello says he is constantly seeking more opportunities to expand his brand. “Most recently, we looked at an opportunity in California,” he says. “One never says, ‘never.’”
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Beauty is in the Details

Civello Salons
Three locations in Chicago

Owner: Ray Civello
Established: 2014
Square footage: 2,800; 4,100; 4,200
Designer: Ray Civello and Melacor (in-house design team lead by Alicia Garas)
Setup: 10-15 stations and spa at Belmont and North locations
Furniture: Custom Daniel Perez/Perez Furniture, Novvo Etopa, millwork from QF Design
Equipment: Novvo Etopa, Takara Belmont, Kiela, Global Salon and Spa
Retail: Aveda
Overall Style: Modern. Fresh. Sustainable.
Photography: Corrado Caruso

Opening a salon is no small feat—and opening three simultaneously must either be madness or brilliance. Maybe a bit of both?

Aveda Canada President Ray Civello has multiple salons north of the border in the Toronto area. He says he always had an interest in expanding beyond Canada, so when the opportunity arose to re-brand three Aveda salons in Chicago that Civello already had a connection, he took it and boldly began his foray into the Chicago salon scene.

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