Career other than hairdresser: Many—something in the medical field, interior designer, event planner.
My sign: A “true to the bone” Cancer
How I spend my free time: Going for a run, gardening and shopping.
Now Reading: Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson
Now playing on your iPod/in your salon: Jason Mraz, I Won’t Give Up
Professional mentors: Vidal Sassoon, Irvine Rusk, Trevor Sorbie
Committed to Beauty
Gerard Caruso, Rusk Artistic Director knows the importance of continuing education.
Gerard Caruso, Rusk artistic director, has had an exciting career traveling worldwide for 22 years with Rusk hair care. And he has his Nonna to thank for it.
“My parents didn’t want me to get into hair so I told my grandmother what I wanted to do. She said if that’s what you really want to do, then follow your dreams,” says Caruso. “I didn’t have the down payment for beauty college so she said she would loan me the initial deposit provided I did her hair. She was my backbone, my support the whole time.”
A salon owner for 24 years, Caruso knows the importance of continuing education in the life and success of a hairdresser. “Rusk’s education has become stronger than ever before,” says Caruso. “We’re growing in leaps and bounds both in cuts and color and we’re facilitating more in-house education. We provide that for the industry right now—in-store, for distributors and manufacturers.”
Training for the Trainer
Caruso works with 12 Creative Team Members. They release new trends, and technical approaches, and train the Master Artists and Senior Designers. His own ongoing training has to be snuck in on the road.
“There is so much that we, platform artists, can learn from our peers. For color inspiration, I look to a few people including Joe Blackwell, Beth Minardi and Gina Khan. If they’re presenting, I love to sneak into the back of the room and listen. I also visit London for international training, I go on the internet, I take business classes, and listen to motivational speakers. I take what I learn from all of these sources and then break it down to what works for me.”
In 2013, Caruso plans to help grow and develop the Rusk Creative Team. The future includes coaching from, and collaboration with, founder Irvine Rusk and his wife, Louise. “We’ll be working very closely together,” says Caruso. “I have always looked up to Irvine, and Louise has hands of gold when it comes to hair. It’s really uplifting and exciting to have them adding inspiration.”
In choosing beauty, Caruso followed his passion and his Nonna would be proud. Poignantly, she passed away on the day he opened his first salon but her belief in him has convinced Caruso of the importance of living your dreams.
“I’m a strong believer in being the best at whatever you’re doing. If you’re not getting any encouragement to follow your dream then commit to hard work. Give it 100 percent. Don’t settle for a watercolor painting. You want your life to be so much more vibrant.”