In a street of relatively drab Surry Hills terrace houses, Ruggeri stands proudly on a corner position; the frosted glass door aids privacy and the rest is privy only to the salon’s clientele, owner Greg Ruggeri and his partner Craig Longhurst.
Radiating with luxury, intimacy and flair, the Ruggeri oasis caters for only three clients at any one time, ensuring exceptional one-on-one service.
The interior was designed by Longhurst; the collaboration of these two creative souls is reflected in the small details from the matching cups and saucers to the citrus Louis sofa and the eclectic art collection
“When Craig and I created the salon, we wanted to provide a very private haven for people with busy lives. We didn’t want the pumping music typical of large inner-city salons or the constant chatter of hairstylists,” said Greg.
Three years of operation has refined the Ruggeri narrative while experience in a number of salons has led to its creative bent. Greg worked for Muse Hair in the 1990s and Joh Bailey for several years before taking the leap and purchasing the bold corner position in East Redfern’s Boronia Street. It was a very personal purchase that had to provide a home as well as an inviting business.
Lifestyle is of principal importance to Greg and Craig – most mornings involve walking the dogs while the luxury of flexible working hours is juxtaposed with demands from clients wanting services at all times of the day.
“Even though it’s just me in here doing hair I have another gent in here (Glenn O’Rielly) who used to work at Synergy hair – he also started the successful site www.myhairdressersearch.com. I also have Sandra who is studying beauty therapy who fills the gaps and creates more of a ‘hair spa’ environment and provides express make up services,” said Greg.
While the ‘out of the ordinary’ atmosphere may give the impression that the prices would also be the same, they are fair when considering the prices of many leading Sydney salons. Colour services range from around $100 with haircuts coming in at approximately $150.
Aiding the salon’s point of difference is the La Biosthetique product lines, “After being here for four years it was time to do something a little different by bringing in a brand with a new dimension – its European heritage suits our style of salon too. Anja from La Biosthetique dropped by the salon back in Febuary/March and I wasn’t interested in changing at the time but the products are great and there’s not as much scalp sensitivity when using their colour, unlike some brands,” said Greg.
Fashion designers, actors, house wives, models, agents, executives – Ruggeri attracts savvy clientele from all walks of life similar to those from Greg’s days at fashion-focussed salon, Helmut Hair, back in the 90s.
“My style is more elegant, natural looking hair whereas previous salons I have worked at were very much hairdresser hair,” said Greg.
Design guru Craig has an equally dynamic schedule – jobs working on residential interiors and design projects also come more often than not via word-of-mouth. His fervour for monochromatic palettes using quality fabrics and furniture is splashed with colour and detail – and every time a client comes back they will notice something different in salon that wasn’t there before, whether it is a vase or a new rug.
Craig’s forte lies with colour; most of his colour work is highlights – beautiful tone on tone blondes and tone on tone brunettes allow for a highly bespoke experience.
“I wouldn’t say I have a specific style – I adjust it to suit the client, we are all about lifestyle,” said Greg. He also feels having a website would take away from the salon’s personal feel – this is a luxury few salons can now afford.
Ruggeri is undoubtedly in a class of its own.
54 Boronia street
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