Greensburg salon owner tapped as a cut above by Intercoiffure America/Canada
Hair is more than strands on your head.
“Your hair is your No. 1 accessory,” says Jesse Peles, president of Peles Salon with locations in Johnstown and Greensburg. “It truly identifies and defines you.”
His head of thick, expertly coiffed hair is one of the first details you notice when meeting Peles.
He wouldn’t want it any other way. Peles has dedicated his life to perfecting hair.
Peles does what he does because it’s his calling, his passion in life, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was recently inducted into Intercoiffure America/Canada.
Considered the most powerful and influential organization in the industry by leading salon experts, it’s a members- only organization that features a roster of top salon owners, stylists and educators.
Intercoiffure was founded in Paris in 1925 and represents the top 1 percent of salon owners worldwide.
“I can remember reading about the prestige of this organization in salon magazines as a child in my family’s Johnstown salon,” says Peles, whose salon has also been recognized as a Top Global Salon by Hairshow Magazine. “I am beyond humbled and honored to be pinned and stand alongside industry greats such as Ginger Boyle, Edward Tricomi, Nick Arrojo and Beth Minardi.
He says the honor is an unforgettable life moment, and he was proud to hear the words “from Johnstown, Pa.,” being announced to a crowd of salon owners from across the country.
There is an extensive process — an interview portion to criteria based on ownership standards and educational opportunities for salon employees — which encompass being selected to this organization.
Membership chair and a member of Intercoiffure’s board of directors, Candy Shaw, spoke highly of Peles.
“Jesse is a wonderful guy, and he is a passionate hairdresser and business owner,” says Shaw, owner of award- winning third generation Jamison Shaw Hairdressers in Atlanta, with more than four decades of industry experience. “He is ahead of the trends, and is truly a kind guy and the type of guy you want to do business with because he is passionate about his clients.”
Peles says he felt “star struck” being among this group of hairdressers.
“It was such an honor to be on the same stage as them,” he says. “They are like a family who all care about each other; it feels so good to be around like-minded hairdressers. They are not trend followers. They are the people creating the trends — and being around them, I can bring what will be trending to Johnstown and Greensburg to share with clients what is and will be happening in the hair industry.”
Peles’ hair career has taken him all over the world, but he never really forgot the importance of his roots — pun intended. He has lived in Los Angeles — where he studied under Vidal Sassoon — and opened a salon in South Carolina.
But he decided to return to his hometown of Johnstown and then extend the business to the Greensburg salon, which opened in 2015. Both locations sell and use Aveda products, including a full makeup line, which are 100 percent organic.
Peles’ parents, William and Patricia, were stylists, so it’s not surprising that’s the path he’s taken. They were his first teachers in life and in hair. His wife, Jennifer, also is involved in the business. The two have an amazing marriage and working relationship, she says.
“This is our passion,” Jennifer Peles says. “We live, eat and breathe the salon.”
“Cutting hair is about craftsmanship,” Jesse Peles says. “And you learn the most from spending time watching someone who does it well. It’s like working under an accomplished tailor. They show you the details. It’s all in the details.”
Peles certainly is proficient at the details, customers say.
Angela de Palma of Ligonier sees him every four weeks for a cut and color in Greensburg. She says she doesn’t even have to look in the mirror when Peles is working because she trusts him.
“Having my hair done is important to me,” she says. “My hair has never been in better shape. Jesse is an amazing colorist and an even better stylist. I love the vibe in the salon. It is both professional and personal. He is truly an artist. What he has is a gift.”
It truly is, agrees Betsy Himler of Greensburg, who was in search of a new hairdresser when he was recommended by a friend.
“When I initially talked to him, he made me feel comfortable,” Himler says. “I love it here. His work speaks for itself. He has such a passion for hair. He makes it look easy. When you find the one who makes you hair look and feel its best you just know … you just know.”
“You have to believe you are giving your client a hair style that whatever situation they walk into, they will be confident they have the hair that will work in any situation,” Peles says. “Giving someone that confidence is so satisfying, because I always say, your hair is your No. 1 accessory.”
• 5189 Route 30, Greensburg
• 117 Metzler St., Johnstown
Details: 724-834-4300 or 814-252-4242 or pelessalon.com
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected]
or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.