We had the good fortune of connecting with Judi Perrotti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Judi, how do you think about risk?
I’m a third-generation hairdresser, so hairdressing is pretty much in my DNA. My father owned a salon in Rhode Island and moved to Texas to work at the Neiman Marcus Salon in Fort Worth. A risk to be sure, moving your family away from what they know and starting over in a new city, a new state. He eventually opened another salon of his own in West Fort Worth called Richard & Co. This is where I took my first leap into working as a hair stylist. The next risk? Starting my own salon: Salon 70. I opened that salon in 2008 when the economy was lower than it had been in decades. I successfully owned and operated that salon all on my own until 2018 when I decided to move my salon into another salon in downtown Fort Worth. It had always been a dream of mine to work in a glamorous salon downtown, and this was my dream coming true. Of course, dreams don’t always turn out to be what you think they will, and two years later I ended up moving back to the west side and finding a home at Legacy Salons. The people are friendly, the location is convenient, and I get to include my own sense of style in the décor, music and general feel of my very own room. Even though every risk I’ve taken hasn’t worked out like I hoped it would, I’ve still ended up exactly where I wanted to be. I can’t wait to see where the next risk will take me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always felt that hairdressing is an art form. The way we color, cut and style a person’s hair becomes a huge part of who they are every day, and what is art if not life-defining. I think my favorite expression of this creativity was in the work I did for Modern Salon magazine. I got to fly to New York City, choose my model at a professional model call then style and pose a photo shoot. I even brought my own dress on the plane; it was a dress I had made previously out of recycled hair product boxes. What a wonderful and educational experience that was, and what an inspiration being surrounded by other such talented hair stylists. It truly showcased how creative our career-path can be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve lived and worked in Fort Worth the majority of my life, so I have quite a few recommendations to make. I love the South Main area: Nickel City, Bearded Lady and the Bodega on South Main just to name a few. For breakfast I love stopping by Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, as well as First Watch on Camp Bowie. When I was working downtown one of my favorite spots to visit and have my lunch was the Water Gardens. I loved the simplicity and peacefulness to be found there. I also love walking the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, at least when it’s cooler out!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout must and will go out to my father: Richard Perrotti Sr. He was a talented hairdresser and a loving and dedicated father. He always taught us to face every day with excitement and eagerness, to be prepared for the challenges we may encounter with an open attitude. He was my inspiration for becoming a hairdresser, so much so that he once found me cutting my and my friend’s hair as a child, complete with cape. At the time I thought we looked fantastic but looking back at the photos today, well, let’s just say I’ve come a long way. In the early 2000s my father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. At the time I was working at another salon, and I wanted to come back to Richard & Co., to help my family. My father refused. He said he would not take me back because he knew that someday I would open my own salon and that this was the path I needed to take to get there. Every once in a while I remember this moment and smile, grateful for his wisdom. With all the struggles that brought me to where I am, I don’t regret a single second of it. I couldn’t be happier with how my life has turned out, and I know in my heart that my dad would be proud.