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Management Practices

Personal Compass: Keri Davis-Duffy

Karie Bennett | November 4, 2015 | 12:48 PM
Keri Davis-Duffy (right) with her wife, Laura Davis-Duffy, and their son Shaia.

With three locations in San Diego, California, Gila Rut takes its name from its Owner Keri Davis-Duffy’s Hebrew name. Gila means ‘happiness’ and Rut means ‘freedom or friendship.’

Davis-Duffy, who is considered by many in the industry as an expert in creating an amazing salon culture, takes strength from this freedom, as does her team.
She leads from a desire to bring out the best in her people while delivering amazing customer service. As a result, her salons have been named to the Salon Today 200 six times, and Davis-Duffy captured NAHA’s prestigious Master of Business Award. She also frequently shares her wisdom as one of Aveda Business College’s elite educators.

Those who know Davis-Duffy best describe her as straightforward, quick-thinking, compassionate, energetic, and as her name indicates, a good friend. In this month’s Personal Compass, we decided to find out what keeps her motivated, day in and day out:

What time is your alarm set to wake you up in the morning?
I don’t set an alarm, I usually wake up around 5:15 or 5:30, my back up is my 7-year-old…he has us up by 6 at the latest. Good times!

What’s for breakfast?
My favorite smoothie—kale, banana, blueberries, soaked chia seeds, soaked almonds, cinnamon, turmeric root, a dash of coconut water and water…yummy!

First item you like to cross off of your to-do list?
Kiss my wife and son.

What time do you go in to the salons?
Depends on the day. My visits could range from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

How much time do you spend there?
I spend anywhere between two-four hours in each location on any day at any given time.

What’s for lunch?
I love soup for lunch.

Who do you wish you could have lunch with?
My mom and my wife, and I do!

Daily fitness ritual?
 I love to work out in the morning it is either yoga or running…usually alternating mornings.

What do you do when slacking off IS an option?
Play with my son, tennis and horseback riding.

When do you get your best ideas?
When working with my team. I love asking my staff what they think is the next big idea….They are my inspiration!

Tell me something that would surprise me about you.
I hate flying but I love snakes!

Cat, dog, both, or something else?  
A fish, Georgie, and a horse, Bubba. I love to braid his mane.

Davis-Duffy unwinds by braiding Bubba's mane.



What’s for dinner?
Usually roasted veggies, Tempeh, fish or once in a while chicken….soup is a frequent meal in my house. Did I mention I love soup?

How do you unwind?  
Wine, book, bath, meditation, TV, video games, etc.? I love to veg in front of the TV.

What do you love about your life?
I love that my life is full and balanced with people I love and things I love doing!

What career would you have if you weren't a hairdresser?
I would be a singer/rock star!

What would you tell your 18 year old self?
Love yourself for what you are, who you are and what you look like. You will never look like this again! Don’t worry so much, things have a way of working themselves out. You will have a blessed life, just breathe and put one foot in front of the other and stay committed to doing what you love!

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