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That’s the case with Canberra business, Cataldo’s Salon, which has been operating in Canberra for more than 55 years. Beginning back in 1965 when Barber Giuseppe Cataldo opened Cataldo’s Hairdressing in Hobart Place in the city centre, his sons Emilio and Angelo then joined the business in the 1970s. And now their children, cousins Claudia and Michael Cataldo, and previously Shona and Lauren Cataldo, are the third generation to run Cataldo’s Salon as a successful hairdressing business.
Both hairdressers by trade, Claudia and Michael have lived their entire lives in this business, with the salon playing a huge part in their growth from children to adults. And the city centre has been their second home for all these years.
“All our family are originally from Canberra. Half the family live in the one suburb. All our siblings and cousins, every one of us has stuck around and we are all very, very close. We joke that it’s like Little Italy here. We like to refer to the salon being on Cataldo’s Corner,” said Michael Cataldo.
After more than 30 years in the previous Cataldo’s Salon in the Melbourne Building, the team reinvented itself with a more spacious and luxurious salon space in Ainslie Place in 2017, but there was no doubt they would remain within Canberra city.
“You have everything at your fingertips in the city. There’s good coffee next door from our cousin Joseph’s coffee shop, where there is always a crowd out the front. There’s great spots for breakfast, the location is so good with parking. We have the flexibility to go out for a drink on a Friday,” Michael said.
“It’s a very easy location for our clients. We have a lot of clients that work in the city that love being able to pop into the salon in their lunch breaks. We love that our clients find it so accessible.
“It’s really nice. You feel part of the city, it’s where you want to be.”
So, what keeps Claudia and Michael going after all these years?
“It’s the people, their energy and the desire to keep our relationships with these people going. We are lucky we have a diverse clientele, and they continue to drive us,” Claudia said.
“We have a pretty awesome job. We make people feel good. Especially right now, when self-care is so important. People haven’t been as social as normally, and the one little thing, of taking care of their hair, can make them feel so good. They look good, they feel good.”
Both Michael and Claudia explained that they had to close when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, but the people and the city were greatly missed.
“What we missed was the familiar faces, the connection that you have with clients, the people you pass on the street, at the coffee shops, the team atmosphere. Without that, it just doesn’t feel right,” Claudia said.
Thankfully Cataldo’s Salon in the city is operating again. They have made some changes during the pandemic closures, including the addition of perspex partitions to help with social distancing, and some changes to hours to offer more flexibility to clients. And they have adjusted hours to create a better work-life balance for their team too, with taking care of family at the heart of everything they do.
“Being surrounded by our family is why we love it. It’s always a lot of fun. And we have such a good connection to our team, they are really more like a big family too,” Michael said.
It’s time to rediscover your city by supporting local family-run businesses like Cataldo’s Salon. You can find Cataldo’s Salon at 28 Ainslie Place Canberra City, open Tuesday to Saturday, and online at www.cataldos.com.au , @cataldos_salon or on Facebook.
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