Name: Lior Asuline, 30, left, and Luis Pacheco, 31
Occupation: Hair Stylists
Hair On The Avenue —it sounds like a street in Manhattan or a Broadway musical, but it’s actually a swanky new hair salon in Yorkville.
And its stars are hair gurus, Lior Asuline, who’s the master stylist, and Luis Pacheco, who’s the colour director, both of whom are blessed with the locks and jaws of male models.
Asuline and Pacheco opened shop on a whim. “I was having a tough day and was caught in traffic on Avenue Road,” explains Pacheco, 31. “I saw a lease sign for this Victorian house on Dec. 27 (2006) and called Lior and asked him what was happening with his work visa. He told me he just got his landed papers.”
That meant Asuline, 30 wasn’t going back to Israel. His new immigration status also allowed him to start a business, so Pacheco pitched the idea infusing their nine-year friendship and combined 20-plus years as stylists into a business. A house inspection on Jan. 2 followed (the fireplace wowed them), and with the speed of a pair of snipping shears, they cut ahead with their idea.
Fate, it seems, has been behind the effervescent pair, who met years ago in New York whilst working as stylists for a prestigious international salon. Bonding as buddies, the pairfound themselves commuting frequently to the salon’s Toronto outlet.
Both, however, felt unsettled in the Big Apple. Pacheco was at a cross roads on where to live next. Whilst traveling, he stopped in Toronto. The date was Sept. 10.
“My sign to stay in Toronto was 9/11,” says Pacheco, who hails from The Azore Islands.
Sept. 11, meanwhile, closed the doors to immigration for Asuline, who uprooted to Toronto. Thoughts of returning home to Israel where he learned his craft from his grandmother at 13 were sidelined with Pacheco’s entrepreneurial invitation.
From sourcing financing and suppliers to hiring a staff of four to calling upon a loyal upscale client base to having friends and family design the salon’s Art Deco décor, everything sparked seamlessly.
“The salon has a more private feel. It’s stylish, but cozy, low key and down to earth,” says Asuline. Building relationships with clients is in synch with their innovative approach of building a backyard hair station where patrons can relax outdoors and sip green tea whilst adding a splash of colour to their strands in the summer.
Men can get their locks chopped for $50 while ladies can get cut for $100 to $130. Base colour treatments cost $75 and highlights range from $120 to $185. Business is by appointment (tel. 416 922 0112). Hair On The Avenue is located at 112 Avenue Rd.