The Business & Technology Division, Center for Entrepreneurship, Continuing Education and Busi- ness Solutions at College of DuPage sponsored a visit from globally recognized salon owner Mario Tricoci, on Tuesday. Tricoci shared the details of his journey to success and how he was able to build his brand to what it is today.
The Italian born stylist began as an apprentice at a barbershop in his hometown – Consenza, Italy before taking a visit to Chicago where his career officially started. At 17 years old, Tricoci decided to tag along with his aunt here in Chicago to her hair appointment, where he asked the boss if he could show him what he’s got. The staff of hairstylists were amazed and Tricoci had landed himself a job at one of the city’s most pres- tigious salons.
He went on to represent his work in a variety of competitions, where he soon had a stash of over one hundred awards.
“I was very fortunate. It gave me inspiration to share my knowledge,” said Tricoci.
In 1963, the beauty innovator opened his first salon in Villa Park, Ill. He later moved to Des Plaines, in a larger location. A major highlight in Tricoci’s career is when he opened the first domestic, privately-owned salon in a major shopping mall in 1977. The location in Woodfield Mall thrived, which let Tricoci expand his brand even more.
“The opportunities you get are the opportunities you make. Nothing short of that,” said Tricoci, after dis- cussing how he spent over $50,000 just on construction and interior design for the Woodfield location.
“I took a chance. That’s when entrepreneurship comes in.”
In 1986, Tricoci’s Arlington Heights location became the Midwest’s first day spa. Today, he has 15 salons and spas throughout Chicagoland.
Tricoci then talked about how important it is for his salons to treat clients as guests and not as customers. “Customers are people that walk in and walk out of stores like Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Guests are people who are truly taken care of.”
“I speak very often of the importance of professionalism.”
Tricoci also spoke about what it means to him to be a true entrepreneur.
“I feel that it’s very important as an entrepreneur to know who you are.”
“One of my favorites is when Socrates was asked, ‘do you know who you are?’. His response was, ‘no I don’t know who I am, but I know that I don’t know who I am.’ It’s important that we understand ourselves first.”
Tricoci added that although he makes sure guests know they are most important, it is the stylist that is most important at the end of the day.
“You must feel a great of yourself if you want to do spectacular work.”
Tricoci and his talents in the beauty industry have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Allure, Glamour and Red- book, and has appeared in a number of talk shows such as Oprah Winfrey as well as many popular Chicago radio stations.