If you ask them, the brothers say that it was their love for music that parachuted them into hairstyling. They have a passion for music, but doing hair is what they know and they are excellent at it. They set up a salon on Bloor Street in downtown Toronto called Guys and Dolls. When asked about that time in their lives, Roy says: "During the 1980s we'd do hair by day, rehearse at the salon and then perform at night."
This lifestyle connected them with the famous bands and musical phenoms of that time. They got to know the rock stars through their involvement in music and through some work that they got from CBC television at the time. When bands like KISS, Bon Jovi, and Aerosmith came to do television interviews or perform at the Juno Awards, they liked the fact that their hairstylist understood them. The brothers knew music and they knew hair. It was a potent combination. This was not as powerful as what was coming next for these brothers — it was film.
Filmmaking was booming in Toronto in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Intersections were being closed and lawn mowers were being shushed on Toronto residential streets so that American looking films could be shot at a percentage of their cost in the USA. It was the heyday for film in Toronto and these three guys were there — scissors at the ready.
They got all kinds of work with all sorts of stars. So much so, that Roy and Georgio can both comment on who's wonderful to work with — Robert DeNiro shakes everyone's hand on the movie set and Whoopi Goldberg's films have daily meals fit for a wedding ceremony. Of course, these guys are gentleman (and they've signed confidentiality agreements), so they won't share many unattractive tales of the stars. Nevertheless, you never know when an afternoon chat while having your hair done by one of these men might reveal some curious fact about some movie star's tresses.
So why have they set up their salon here? "Brooklin is a good family place," says Georgio. He and his wife Teresa, who also works at the salon, moved to Brooklin in 2005. They are proud that they've chosen this place to live for their three children and they are excited to have the salon in the same community. Roy still lives in Toronto, but he does the afternoon commute from his home to Brooklin after making the news anchor at CBC look great every morning.
When you ask the brothers about their vision for the business, they say that they've enjoyed success and they want to use their past experiences to help their clients. When Georgio was in California, he noticed that there were successful salons outside the big city limits and that the bedroom communities held treasures of uncommon delights in the form of salon oases. He always dreamed of setting up his own salon oasis and now he and his brothers have done just that.
Lest you think these men are all glitz and glamour, a look at their relationships with their clients reveals something much deeper. Roy says: "We want to create an escape for people from work and Family pressures and provide a stress release for them here." Georgio adds: "We want to give them timeless hairstyles. My clients are my friends. I give them advice and I tell them what works."
In the salon, a pretty woman sits in one of the immaculate white salon chairs. Her name is Rebecca. She is a client of Georgio. As she waits for her turn, she says that she would never let anyone else touch her hair. When she is asked why, she relates her personal story. Several years ago, she had to have brain surgery. This was a serious operation with some equally sombre head shaving. She felt self conscious and was afraid to do anything about her hair, so she procrastinated for a long time. When she couldn't stand it any longer, she came to Georgio to have her hair done. She smiles as she relates that he did such a great job that no one even knew that she'd had her head shaved for the surgery. Now that's a haircut that works!
MUSICAL ICONS, movie stars, and TV news anchors—what do they have in common? They've all had their hair done by one of the Aywaz brothers —Jean, Georgio and Roy.
Throughout the 1980s and up to today, these brothers have touched the tresses of many famous people. jean handled hair challenges for Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton, and Jaclyn Smith. Georgio helped Gene Simmons de-frizz and sculpted a perfect pompadour for Johnny Cash.
Roy groomed Daniel Baldwin and Jeff Goldblum, and he now has the daily task of hairstyling for CBC morning news anchor Heather Hiscox. That's a lot of famous fussing and grooming, but what does all of this have to do with our own Durham Region? Well, to the delight of Whitby residents, these three gents have decided to set up Georgio's Salon and Spa in the heart of Brooklin, Ontario. This is their story.
The Aywaz family immigrated to Canada in 1971 when the boys were teen and pre-teen age. They brought with them a history of stylists and barbers that go back for many generations, but all three brothers felt that they were destined for something else
Jean got a degree in Art/Film/Photography and Roy pursued Fine Arts. Georgio took Computer Programming and then went to California for five years. While they were getting their education and experience, they were also enjoying themselves on the music scene. Jean was on the keyboard. Georgio played guitar. Roy did vocals for his band called "Rockin' Roy and the Boys". They were all involved in bands at one time or another and it seemed that none of them was going to pursue the family business of hair styling. Yet, somehow, they all ended up there in the end.
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