With a career that spans over 40 years, Randy Currie is used to celebrating successes. Over the years, the veteran stylist and owner of Currie Hair Skin And Nails has opened multiple salon locations across Pennsylvania and Delaware. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that’s shaken the salon industry over the past year, he’s seemingly done the impossible by opening up a brand new location at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Delaware.
We spoke to Currie to learn more about his career, how he built his five-salon franchise, and what it’s really like to open a new salon during a pandemic. We even share details on how you can get an appointment at the newest Currie Hair Skin And Nails location.
Back in the 1970s, Currie was just graduating from beauty school. At 22 years old, he says he didn’t know much, but he did know one thing: He was passionate about doing hair. In 1978, Currie opened up his first salon named Razzle Dazzle. His partnership with L'Oréal started right from the beginning. He even remembers being introduced to hair mousse for the first time, courtesy of the brand.
“I remember bringing on Redken color, but in those days, your color section was about eight bottles,” Currie says. “I was fortunate enough to know the president of Redken, Pat Parenty, who went on to be the president of L'Oréal professional products.”
The salon began to grow when Currie renamed Razzle Dazzle to Curries in 1990—but his salon franchise really took off when pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca approached him in 2003 with an idea to open up a spa for their employees.
“They opened up a small location, and they wanted employees to be able to use the spa anytime...we provided haircutting, facials, massage nails, everything,” Currie says.
In 2009, Currie opened up two more salons. By 2013, Currie was the owner of five salon locations throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Two years ago, Currie was approached by developers interested in opening a salon at Hotel Dupont, a luxurious hotel originally opened in 1913. In creating a brand new salon in this historic space, Currie was inspired to keep the early 1900s style of the building—with a modern twist.
“It’s a really unique design...When L'Oréal got involved, they introduced me to Italian architect Guido Manta,” Currie explains. “He had designed European salons and spas for L'Oréal and was involved with the school. I met with him, and he loved the space.”
Matta transformed the space, which was once a bank, into an enhanced space where guests can enjoy modern salon luxuries based around Salon Emotions. This seven-step program, offered exclusively by L'Oréal Professionnel, is meant to elevate each client’s experience in the salon. This program helps salons provide the best client-centric quality service with state-of-the-art design.
When you step into the salon, guests will be able to enjoy hair services and treatments, spa treatments, and an infrared sauna imported from Italy.
Originally scheduled to open in June 2020, Currie faced a seven-month delay due to pandemic-related setbacks. While salons closed their doors for four months, Currie was managing plans for a new salon opening while trying to keep 180 people employed.
“When this all first started back in March , I didn’t know what to think...I was thinking this new salon was going to be opened after COVID, and that it would be masks off and back to regular life,” Currie says. “We soon realized that wasn’t what was going to happen.”
After months of delays, the Hotel Dupont location officially opened its doors on January 9. While focusing on this new salon opening, however, Currie turned his attention to how the clients would feel in the ‘new normal’.”
“I was very focused on the business side of things my whole career, but this situation has really made me pay attention to the human aspect of the business,” Currie says.
To protect clients (and employees), plexiglass was added in front of the reception desk, as well as between each of the hair stations, manicure tables, and shampoo bowls. They also hired a company to come in and clean the salons with Permasafe regularly, a disinfecting product that kills 99.9 percent of germs. All staff and guests are also required to wear masks for the duration of their time at the salon.
Currie has made many changes to his business over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the products he swears by. The location at Hotel Dupont, as well as the four other locations, carry a variety of brands from the L'Oréal portfolio, including Redken, Pureology, Kérastase, Mizani, and Shu Uemura Art Of Hair.
The new Currie Hair, Skin And Nails Salon And Spa is located at the Hotel Dupont, 111 West 10th Street, Wilmington, Delaware. To book an appointment, call 302-442-6568 or book online at curiedayspa.com. Follow the salons on Instagram @curriehair.