CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Canadian success

By Anne Marie Iatesta
The Toronto Sun

Marc Anthony, world-champion hairstylist, product developer and trend-setter, is a genuine Canadian success story. At age 36, Anthony has an impressive list of achievements to his credit: a plethora of international awards; owner of two popular Toronto Marc Anthony hair salons -- with plans to open a salon in Manhattan in the works -- and the originator of Marc Anthony True Professional, a range of 33 top-quality hair care products sold in more than 22,000 retailers across North America, one of which is Shopper's Drug Mart.
From his humble beginnings at his parent's salon, Marc Anthony, 36, has become a genuine Canadian success story with an impressive list of achievements to his credit.

I recently had the good fortune of being invited to the ueber-stylish Marc Anthony Salon on Avenue Rd. and was treated to the whole works -- consultation, colour and cut -- by the savvy entrepreneur and his wonderful, friendly staff. I put myself completely in Marc Anthony's and fellow stylist Rocky Vitelli's hands. "Do what you will," I said. After a couple of hours of expert ministrations from these charming fellows -- and liberal treatment with the afore-mentioned hair care products -- the end result was simply stunning. My fine, mousy brown hair was transformed into thick-looking, spiky bright red with blonde (!) and coppery highlights. Who would've thunk?

Anthony fervently believes that to be a great hairstylist, you need to be passionate about the art of designing individual looks that flatter and enhance. "The minute I meet a woman, I'm visualizing what I might, could, should do to make her look better, more confident, comfortable and at ease with herself."

Anthony's grandfather and both parents were hairstylists, so his training began at an early age in his parents' salon: sweeping up hair, shampooing, and he was cutting and colouring his friends' hair by the time he was 12. He attended a top Toronto hair academy and spent a few years training with top European stylists. At age 18, he was selected to compete in Germany for the title of World Champion Hairstylist. "It was there (in Germany) that I learned how much potential there was to succeed in the hair industry, outside of my parents' salon. I knew that as a hairstylist, I could satisfy my entrepreneurial and artistic ambitions," Anthony said.

In the late 1980's Anthony saw that there was a lack of effective hair care products on the market, and began developing high performance hair care products to use in his salon. "I love designing and creating something new.

I find it inspiring when I can restore confidence by helping my clients look their best," he said.

Global brand
Anthony has enjoyed tremendous success in the North American market, but this firebrand isn't stopping there -- he's now developing plans to expand his company into a global brand. All this, plus he's a family man and father of two. "My family is my greatest priority. While work is demanding, I maintain a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise, and my family gives me the energy I need to succeed in my career."

What advice would Marc Anthony impart to young people with similar ambitions?

"Be passionate about what you do. Once you find your true passion, learn everything you can about the industry -- immerse yourself completely. Stay focused and follow your path no matter what comes your way. If you truly love what you do and believe in yourself, you can realize your dreams."

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