In the business world, the innovative and creative individuals- the ones that inspire and begin projects- are sometimes few and far between. Today, business is often down to a science that often overlooks such exciting endeavors. Joe Berardi, owner of Scissor Candy, is one of these unique people dedicated to innovation within the hairstying industry. In 2007, he came up with the concept for “Open Chair,” a gallery showcasing stylists and models, an “innovative event for a creative industry.” More than just a workshop or educational event for professionals, “Open Chair” allows hairstylists to network and style while letting loose in a fun, social environment. As these individuals gather to get tips and information, several stylists showcase their talents on stage for all to watch and live video projections display every snip and clip. With this concept, Joe certainly became a leader in the Philadelphia area hairstyling community, which has allowed for the “Open Chair” event to thrive and grow.
Now twenty-seven, Joe Berardi picked up his first pair of scissors at the age of thirteen, which thus began his career as a stylist, first cutting the hair of his friends and family, eventually moving on to genuine clients. In 2007, his idea for the “Open Chair” gallery came about through Berardi and several of his stylist colleague. His father is also involved in the industry as owner of Richard Nicholas Hair Studio in Philadelphia. Berardi remembers being around him and his fathers stories of “what they used to do in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and the 80s….their jam sessions, as they called it.” Berardi was intrigued enough, and subsequently found a niche, seeing as there is nothing like that for the hairstylist community at the time. As a result, the seeds of “Open Gallery” were sewn, creating a “platform for stylists to express themselves as well as grow, collaborate, share ideas, get together, and have fun.”
Starting from a small event of just thirty to forty people in 2008, “Open Chair” began to grow. From a single stylist cutting hair as spectators relax and look on, the show has progressed to having multiple stylists doing everything from haircuts to makeup to updoes, completely immersing itself in hair culture. As Berardi says, “you know that there’s hair being done and the vibe is really kind of fun, so no matter what you’re into or what you like, everything is going on at once.” With a DJ spinning music, announcements of who is next to cut hair on stage, and everyone talking and mingling while haircuts go on in the background, Berardi certainly does have a creative event that gets individuals both within and outside of the industry talking.
With this kind of event, Berardi clearly understands the importance of networking, especially within such a creative community. As he explains, at each event, there is always “people talking about the industy; the struggles that people are having, especially with the young stylists who are new to the industry. But it’s very interesting, and people try to listen, everybody is trying to help one another out and introduce one another. Putting everyone in that room together, the industry just kind of comes to life.” In the next few years, Berardi is looking to continue to build upon sponsorships with other local Philadelphia companies and also working on projecting this unique creation of his to people around the world via live internet broadcast.
As Scissor Candy continues to grow, Berardi still remains focused on its original purpose: a “positive, collaborative environment and stepping stone for young hairdressers so that they can grow and express themselves.” With this innovative concept and his determined attitude, Berardi certainly is a leader in his industry, using collaborative and creative ideals to advance not only himself and Scissor Candy, but, particularly, the hairstylist community as a whole
To find the next event or the latest hairstylist treat, visit www.scissorcandy.com.