Magazine article Black Enterprise

Reaching for the Stars: This Celebrity Stylist Learned the Hard Lessons of Business

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Reaching for the Stars: This Celebrity Stylist Learned the Hard Lessons of Business

Article excerpt

Celebrity hairstylist Gerard Dure doesn't waste time disclosing the secret to his success. "As a man, I know what looks best on a woman," says the weave specialist who dubbed himself "The King of Hair." But despite Dure's claim, it's more than just his Y chromosome that keeps top models and Hollywood A-listers clamoring for his hair services.

In addition to creating versatile weaves and trendsetting styles that have been seen on Tyra Banks, Toni Braxton, and Suzanne de Passe, the owner of the New York City-based Geard Dure Salon created his own line of hair care products, which emphasize both the beauty and health of his clients' hair. Between jet-setting to Australia and Spain tending to the tresses of his cosmopolitan clientele, the Brooklyn-bred hair designer also finds time to design ready-to-wear hairpieces for Revlon's TressAllure line and even pens a monthly column for Do-It-Yourself Hair and Hype Hair magazines. His 10-person Harlem salon generated 2002 revenues of roughly $800,000 and projections of nearly $1.5 million this year.

As with most new businesses, the early days were difficult. With start-up costs of around $200,000 (mainly costs to transform the former warehouse location into a salon), Dure initially lived in his shop to save money. Through a family friend, he negotiated a deal to clean out the warehouse in exchange for six months free rent on the small salon space. He then purchased the few basic supplies he needed to begin his salon--hair dryers, shampoo bowls, hair supplies, decorations, and so on. …

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