Home LifestyleCareer Verona Salon ‘The Room’ Expands in a New Location

Verona Salon ‘The Room’ Expands in a New Location

by Gabriela Lachapel O'Brien
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Only a few weeks ago, The Room in Verona moved to a new location across the street from where the salon had originally opened back in 2016. What most people can’t see, is that the owners added way more than square footage. The Room has an inviting atmosphere, relatable stylists, and conveys a passion for excellence. We chatted with owners Filipe Santos and David Brodsky to hear about their journeys in the hair care industry and listened as they share some of the keys to their success. Read on to learn more about The Room in Verona.

A Meeting of the Minds

The Room verona

^ David + Nicole Brodsky, Darlene + Filipe Santos of Gang Gang Edu

(Photo credit: @nj_native_photo)

The Room was born in 2016 when Filipe Santos got a call from a friend and fellow business owner about space available for rent right next door to his Verona barbershop. Filipe, who already owned the tattoo parlor, Jerzey Ink, was in the market for a salon space and set the wheels in motion with that phone call.

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The name, The Room, was a play on the size of the salon. It was only 600 square feet – just enough space for the two stylists, one of whom was Filipe’s wife, Darlene, and a few styling stations and sinks. Having a women’s salon next to a barbershop created the perfect symbiotic relationship between the businesses. It was a true family affair – women would go to The Room and the men to the barbershop all in the same outing. Growing in popularity, the salon eventually grew to five stylists.The Room verona

(Photo credit: @nj_native_photo)

Meanwhile, a few miles away in Ridgewood, David Brodsky and his wife, Nikki were owners and stylists at Artists & Architects salon, which had opened in 2013. Both were experts with over 15 years of experience and were widely recognized in the area as some of the best educators and trainers in all things hair.

Filipe and David’s paths crossed at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in 2011 as the two were managing their sobriety. It was not until 2019 when they lost a mutual friend and reconnected that they were able to realize how much more they had in common. With a passion for teaching, learning from experts, and creating their own success, the two came together to form David Filipe Systems, DFS for short.

In 2019, the partners opened up the first salon in their joint venture, The Artists Room, in Upper Montclair. Two years later, with The Room, Artists & Architects, and The Artists Room already under the DFS umbrella, the pair now owns Chop in Maplewood, are planning a new Miami salon, and have relocated The Room to a larger storefront across from its original location to incorporate an education and training hub known as Gang Gang EDU.

More than Just The Room

The Room verona

When customers walk into The Room they are immediately greeted by their stylist and are subsequently embraced by the upbeat vibes of the space. The salon is trendy, airy, and filled with light pouring in from the floor-to-ceiling glass storefront, which can be opened to outside. Adding interior design skills to their resumes, David and Filipe took a lot of the lessons learned throughout COVID, like facilitating airflow and mobile styling stations, into consideration when planning said elements of the salon.

One characteristic that makes The Room stand apart is the one-on-one experience each client is given. Each appointment begins with an in-depth consultation, which includes the usual exchange of Pinterest and Instagram photos, but also a strand test where any treatments discussed are tested on a small section of hair to ensure the goal is achievable. There is also a conversation about pricing to ensure customers can get their dream hair without spending next month’s rent. The Room specializes in coloring and extensions, however, all of the stylists are highly skilled and up-to-date on all the recent hair trends. At the end of the session, customers are also given instructions for a home hair care routine.

The Room verona

(Photo credit: @nj_native_photo)

David told us the number one mistake people make is not buying the products used and recommended by stylists. The quality of what is available in a local pharmacy or beauty supply store does not compare to what salons have access to. The treatment and care received at a salon makes up less than five percent of hair care maintenance; it’s the routine followed at home that will deliver the best results. The Room uses and sells the full Davines product line, which is an Italian farm-to-shower brand that is also a Certified B Corporation. Similar to the farm-to-table movement in the hospitality industry, farm-to-shower products are made with sustainable ingredients, produced with renewable energy, and come in environmentally-friendly packaging.

Despite a rapidly growing empire, finding top-tier talent is no issue for The Room or the other salons run by DFS because the staff is fully invested in the outcomes. The stylists have the opportunity to design their schedules and maintain a healthy work/life balance without compromising compensation, can participate in profit-sharing, and can even invest in parts of the business. There is also an abundance of training and education to be taken advantage of, especially since there is an entire space dedicated to this behind the salon.

The Room verona

Gang Gang Edu introduces somewhat of a new concept among salon owners and stylists because instead of competing against each other, visitors with various levels of experience and ownership work collaboratively to learn and grow. Gang Gang Edu is a learning center located in the back of the salon fully equipped with styling stations, sinks, a large TV, and even a conference room. Not only are events hosted by The Room and other DFS salons extended to outside guests, but this educational space is also available to rent to the public.

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We asked Filipe and David what their vision is and it ultimately comes down to working smarter and not harder. The pair also serve as mentors within the NA community, showing others it is possible to not only maintain their sobriety long-term but also own a growing, successful business. They explained there is more to gain in life by sharing, and it seems to us like this has been key to their achievements thus far.

Follow The Room on Instagram to stay in the know and for all the hair envy.

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