Toni Mascolo Interview
mrH was delighted to be asked to interview Toni Mascolo recently.
Salon International is one of the Uk’s largest professional trade fairs for hairdressers. Thousands flock to see whats going on in the world of hair and to see celebrity hairdressers on stage creating gorgeous hair!
Of course there are millions of things going on and it’s difficult to catch up with everything, but if you are lucky, really lucky, you get to see things that only a select few people witness.
This was the case for mrH as I had been given a ‘press pass’ which allowed access to the hallowed ground where interviews took place with some of the industries finest folk!
Of course, if you follow this site you will have already caught up on interviews with Akin Konizi and Errol Douglas, but this interview was different because mrH actually did the interview in front of the press!
It was daunting and just a tad odd as there were press from all over the globe meandering in and out of the ‘press office’, but nonetheless I was armed with my questions and excited at the opportunity.
As a sub note, i’ve worked with (and for) various member of The Mascolo Family but have never come into contact with Toni…. Here was a true legend of our time and now I was going to be interviewing him! So with the nerves under control I began!
Here are the questions I asked with a summary after each of the answers given (a summary because I don’t want to five away too much … the book is well worth a read)
mrH: ‘Toni, my story’ is a very personal account of your life from both work and family perspectives. Did you find the experience of writing it enjoyable?
Toni: “It was an enjoyable process, looking back at the beginnings our family life in Italy, moving to London and opening the first salon and onto building the business. Writing brought back lots of memories, some very happy, some not so, but all in all it was a great experience”.
mrH: Was it a given that you would follow in your father’s footsteps?
Toni: “I really wanted to do something much more academic, a lawyer, solicitor, maybe a teacher, just something that was not hairdressing. I fell into it by working for my father and learning that I actually enjoyed the experience. So the answer is no, it wasn’t a given, more a natural occurrence”
mrH: In your book, you and your brothers are referred to as ‘The Beatles of Hairdressing’. Which Beatle are you?
Toni: “For me it was more about a specific time in the [Mascolo] brothers story, we were becoming more popular across the globe and were having a great time doing shows and seminars, our books were selling out as soon as they were released and our salons and academic operations were hugely successful, that’s why [the chapter in the book] is called ‘the beatles of hairdressing’. Which one am I? well I like to think we were all a mix of each of them, but if I had to make a choice I would be George Harrison”.
mrH: In a career full of amazing achievements, what do you consider your personal highlight?
Toni: “There are too many highlights for me to be able to pinpoint one. Of course family comes first so thats my biggest achievement, but also the ‘business’ family we have created is another major highlight. Personally receiving the OBE and a Papal knighthood from The Pope are without doubt, major events in my life”.
mrH: What do you believe it is that makes the Mascolo family ‘en masse’ so driven and focussed?
Toni: “I believe we were all focussed and determined to make a difference which showed in our dedication to the hairdressing industry and education. I also believe that that’s still the case today, that we are still striving to achieve better things constantly”.
mrH: Looking back over the phenomenal growth of all the family businesses, and, aside from the demerger, is there anything else you would change?
Toni: “I would rather the demerger had not happened but I always listen to the family when it comes to decisions about the business. Aside from that there is very little I would change about the journey we have all been on”.
mrH: Being part of such an iconic hairdressing dynasty, with so many ‘creatives’ in it, is there anyone outside of your family that you admire in today’s hairdressing world?
Toni: “There are lots of inspirational people in the hairdressing industry and I can be as inspired by an assistant who shows determination and commitment as I can by a hairdresser who has achieved incredible successes in their life. However I must say that my daughter Sacha has been a true inspiration to me. She has shown a talent that never fails to surprise and delight me. After the demerger she took the reigns creatively and her work has proven itself time and time again”.
mrH: What are the next steps for Toni & Guy?
Toni: “We have only just begun this journey, there are so many things to come in the future. One of my main goals is to make Toni & Guy and Label M products the best available in the marketplace. We will leave colour to the big colour companies, they have their history and heritage that make them so excellent, but we believe our product ranges have something unique to offer hairdressers and their clients”.
mrH: Is retiring an option for Toni Mascolo?
Toni: “If you mean do I want to give up what I do, but lots of expensive cars and yachts and sit around not working then the answer is definitely NO. Will I do more of what I enjoy, of course, but the thing that I really enjoy is what I actually do, so retirement is not on the cards, and, I still work one day a week in one of our salons”.
mrH: Where can I buy your ‘tomato sauce’??
Toni: “Ah, the sauce, so you did read the book right through! It’s not available yet but it’s made and ready to go. It is produced in Scafati, the town where I was born and grew up. This sauce is a family recipe, it uses tomatoes from San Marzano and i’m really excited to be able to launch it. see what I mean about retirement, I don’t have the time to do that”.
And that was it, interview over and done with. Toni was a gregarious and entertaining man who showed both his business acumen and his humble approach to life in a genuine, open and honest interview.
mrH can’t wait for his sauce to arrive… and just in case Toni reads this himself, Wednesday night is always pasta night in my home!