In Style

In 1990 East and West Germany reunited. Nolan Ryan pitched a record sixth no-hitter (at forty-three). McDonald's opened in Moscow. Madonna was “Vogue”-ing and Kevin Costner won an Oscar. “The Rachel” haircut was about to be a hit. In this cultural soup, Rick Garcia Salon opened.

Before going solo, Rick worked in NYC hair salons, freelanced for photo shoots and was style director for Paul Mitchell Superhair Salon. He earned loyal customers, and his own business grew. When he passed away twenty-one years later, his son, Justan, took over the day-to-day operations. He started in the business at eight; later detouring to study at Cambridge School of Art and Design and then film at Emerson College.

As the salon celebrates its silver anniversary, he says, “My dad never wanted me to become a hairstylist but…slowly started to teach me everything he knew about the beauty industry and small business. My father also introduced me to great films and told me bedtime stories that inspired my creativity. He was one of the funniest, most passionate and inspiring people. I’m told now that we have a lot in common. I don’t see it, but my coworkers have never missed an opportunity to point it out.”

Taking the lead, he says, “was equal parts terrifying and educational,” adding that “it truly is fascinating how much you learn about yourself under pressure.”

Now, with some forty salons in town, competition is high. “It’s no longer enough to do great work, which is actually where I’ve always felt we’ve thrived.” Moving forward, he can rely on family wisdom. “My father was never short on advice as a boss, a friend or a father. The best advice from all three perspectives was “pick your battles.” Of course, good manners are always in style. “I’m real big on respect.…I treat people the way I want to be treated.”

Stop by at Playhouse Square, 293 Post Rd. E.;


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