Over the past decade, Newburgh’s waterfront has been primarily known for its bar and restaurant scene. But over the past few years, other businesses have emerged on Front Street to fill out the energy and experience of one of Newburgh’s finest assets.
One such exemplary business is THE aRT OF HAIR, INC. No, that’s not a typo. The small “a” is just your first introduction to Salon Owner Michelle Iorio’s unique detail-oriented style and savvy. Just this past October, Hudson Valley Magazine described TaOH as “Chic and Edgy”–an apt description that is obvious the minute you open the massive old-timey refrigerated storage door and step into the salon.
But why Newburgh? Iorio thought (and we agree), “I felt the location had the highest level of energy in the area. The Newburgh Waterfront felt alive, I saw the potential for even more success.”
Iorio designed everything. “I wanted to use fun and bright colors that are stimulating and cheerful but not overbearing” to create a “chill and energetic atmosphere,” she explains. And she pulls it off: the space is an old brick industrial storage room that Iorio repurposed with a layout and styling stations that include intermittent splashes of bright orange, lime and electric blue. They’re bold, but not in-your-face; a perfect combination of class, functionality, and modern style.
That artistry is translated into her work product. From a classic men’s professional cut, to a punk-influenced coif, to any number of women’s cuts and styles that this author will never near a competence to describe, Iorio gets it done right. Coming from someone who has had everything from the $10 barber shop buzz to a $60 Center City Philadelphia precision cut–I can attest that attention to detail is the name of the game.
But results, while important, are not everything to Iorio. Regarding her business ethic, Iorio says, “I live by the philosophy to treat people how you would want to be treated. Customer satisfaction is key, without it you can’t have success. THE aRT OF HAIR provides the highest quality in services and we strive to make sure that all of our guests enjoy every visit with us.” From the offer of refreshments on your arrival, professional and pleasant demeanor of the staff and stylists, to the follow-up message you get after your visit, TaOH has consummate client relations. That’s probably why this small business has lasted 10 years–notably through our nation’s epic economic downturn.
The exclamation point on the whole operation is Giuseppe. Iorio’s rescue German Shepherd mix greets you upon your arrival with the same seemingly paradoxical laid-back enthusiasm that Iorio and her staff possess. If you’re not an animal lover like Iorio and this author, he’ll retreat to his own little “house within the salon” to relax for a bit.
THE aRT OF HAIR, INC. is a flagship in the Newburgh revitalization effort. Along with the other trendy spots growing more and more prevalent in the city, Iorio and her crew are pioneers. “I continue to introduce many new and exciting things to my clientele,” she says. And I say she does the same for the City of Newburgh.