“Our job is to read our customers,” explains Gaelle Secretin, “to look at what your wearing, your taste and to listen to you closely. It’s important to understand you and what you like – in order to translate that into a style that suits you, that feels true to who you are.” Such a great quote – it could and perhaps should be included in the MBA program at Harvard and other top-notch business schools. Gaelle doesn’t have an MBA (as far as we know) but she certainly could teach a Master of Business Administration graduate course. She seems to intuitively know how business works and how to treat customers so perfectly that they always come back for more.
Gaelle is an astute businesswoman, no doubt, but she is also an artist with a vision. Growing up in France and Africa she fell in love early on with art in general and painting in particular. Basically, she was enchanted with beauty and immersed herself in artistic expression. Eventually, her sense of aesthetics drew her into the art of styling. Her immense talent brought her to the famous Toni and Guy Academy where she became the youngest style director at that world-renowned institution. After that she worked alongside her mentor, the distinguished entrepreneur and hair designer, Stephane Amaru. Speaking of her years of working and studying in Paris, Gaelle says, “I learned so much and the experience gave me confidence, and that confidence was what pushed me to go explore the world on my own.”
And that’s exactly what she did. She moved to Southern California, worked in salons in Silver Lake and Beverly Hills and then organized a hugely successful crowd-sourcing drive and opened The Hub Factory in Los Angeles’ Downtown Arts District. That area was going through a revitalization at the time and it was being transformed into the city’s “Hub” for the arts world and its creative forces. She found a loft, hired some of the most eclectic and diverse, and of course, extremely gifted, designers and opened The Hub Factory.
The warn brick walls of the former warehouse lend a casual counter point to her business of beauty and design. The antique carpets and hanging tapestries, along with the paintings, knick knacks and books that complete the large space, give it a feel of welcoming comfort to all those smart people who want their hair and personas re-designed or designed for the first time. Gaelle Secretin has a success on her hands and nobody is surprised.
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