Profile: Joseph Fusca — It’s all about the client.


Joseph Fusca of Fusca Salon Inc., in a familiar and highly successful setting at his esteemed and intimate Toronto salon.

October 3, 1995.

For millions in North America, it was verdict day in the O.J. Simpson trial. For Joe Fusca, it was the day he stumbled across 221 Avenue Road, which would become home to his eponymous salon.

Skipping out from work early, Fusca and his coworkers headed to the Yorkville haunt, The Pilot, to huddle around the TVs and await the verdict. When Simpson was acquitted, a fuming Fusca hopped into his car, turned on the radio and cruised through the neighbouring streets listening to the pundits weigh in on the verdict.

Caught in traffic, he turned to his right and noticed a “For Rent” sign hanging in the window of 221 and made a note of the contact number. Twenty years later, Fusca Salon still calls the Avenue Road location home.
Free-spirited and interested in the arts, Fusca says academia never suited him. Instead, the Pennsylvania-born, Woodbridge, Ontario-reared Fusca took a job as a shampoo boy at a swanky Yorkville salon for a summer. It was there he discovered his real passion and decided to attend hairdressing school.

Fusca then worked for Denis Bouchard, a Toronto-based artist and one of the country’s top hairstylists. Alongside Bouchard, Fusca worked on fashion editorial shoots and the Festival of Canadian Fashion – Toronto’s fashion week during the 80s – and discovered that styling hair was an art.

Leaving Bouchard’s salon to open his own, Fusca’s venture was short-lived, closing just one year after opening due to a mutual decision to part ways with his business partner. He knew he wanted his own salon, but the next time would be a solo venture – no business partner, no multi-service salon, just a focus on hair.

“I never really saw myself as a manager. I always saw myself as an artist,” he says.

Just steps from Yorkville but a little off the beaten path, the salon’s location in a residential area in the heart of downtown Toronto has been a fertile soil for a solid customer base of repeat clients.

Maintaining personalized service and focusing on client rapport has allowed Fusca to build a solid reputation and win referrals. As he says, “People like meeting people through people.”

His advice for continued success after two decades? Don’t make it about yourself, he says. Make it about the client. Find a common interest and don’t brag.

“I don’t measure success by money. The fact that I’ve been able to keep these doors open for 20 years, and do what I love throughout – that’s success.”

What’s next for Fusca Salon? Keep on, keepin’ on.

About Pasquarelli Management

Alfio Pasquarelli has built industry-leading retail brands through effective expansion and location strategies, on-premise marketing and positioning. With Pasquarelli, retail brands maximize their growth and success.


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