Boca Raton‘s statistics are fascinating. Boca is number 2 in ranking by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top 10 places in the U.S. to start a new company with an average number of 6.6 million tourists visiting each year. With the boom in business and tourism, there is a real need and competition for good services, and hair styling is at the top of the list. Peter Coppola recognized this years ago and built an empire of hair salons including those in the Boca area. In fact, “Peter’s Place” in the Shoppes of Boca Center on Town Center Circle is his 30th salon.
Born in Manhattan, Peter graduated from Beauty School in 1965 and commented that most of his success has been in New York. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, meeting Paul McGregor, an innovator in the industry and a good mentor” he said. It was in the 1960’s that everything changed in the hair business and Peter saw a vision as to where it was headed. For example, at that time, it was illegal for a man to be a customer in a “beauty parlor.” After winning a lawsuit about this, Peter went forward and opened his first salon in 1967 — a unisex hair cutting salon. In addition, as the Beatles revolutionized hairstyles in the 1960’s, Peter revolutionized a change from small corner beauty shops into spacious, modern, contemporary hair salons. While only in his 20’s, Peter already owned 5 salons starting on Long Island and then on Madison Avenue. He became known as “The Hair Guru,” drawing in throngs of customers by his creativity, for example, cutting hair in the front window of the shops for all passers by to see. “This was a most exciting time in the hair business, “ Peter said.
Adding to his vision and expansion, Peter began selling the products he was using. He was invited to appear in a live 5 minute TV spot on the QVC Channel which he had originally turned down saying he was “too busy.” He was asked to provide 5,000 pieces of hair care products in which he created 4-piece kits and though hesitant, he agreed to try it. At the end of his brief segment, the studio cast applauded wildly. Peter then learned that he had completely sold out all of his products in the rst few minutes of the show. His 5 minutes show then grew into an hour long program that made a million dollars in the rst 5 years. Peter introduced his now-famous a-Keratin-complex hair treatments that revolutionized the industry, growing it into a $60 million business. As Peter explained, “QVC made me famous. We reached 85 million homes so that even the lady in Des Moines, Iowa knew who Peter Coppola was.” His success helped him rise to celebrity status and Peter traveled world wide. By 1984, Peter had opened 8 salons in Boca Raton. Today, he is most proud of his successful flagship salon on Town Center Circle that buzzes with 30 busy stylists. It is now the largest hair salon in South Florida that includes many of his clients from New York years ago.
Boca booms with fashion-conscious clientele and Claudia, the office manager, made it clear that it is “not easy to run a salon.” Peter feels he had paid the price in his early years with long hours. “This job is not for everyone,” Peter explained. “Only those with a superior work ethic and discipline really succeed. And they must understand that they are in a service business.” He clarfiied his belief in the 3 D’s for success: Dedication, Desire and Discipline, modeled after the teachings of Deepak Chopra that have kept him centered and grateful despite his lofty success and celebrity status. Peter said he enjoys helping people and doing the right thing. “I’ve been lucky in life,” Peter said, “and I like to share it.”
PETER’S PLACE SALON 5250 Town Center Circle, #125 Boca Raton, FL 33486 561-510-8100 • petersplacesalon.com