-- Taken from ALIVE East Bay Magazine, February Issue --
As I was driving through Downtown Danville the other day, my attention focused on a huge, monster truck advertising YOLO Industries. My curiosity had me hooked and I pulled up their web address: www.yoloindustries.com. To my surprise, YOLO- “You Only Live Once”, was not a website hosting extreme sports or adventure travel, but a host to the beauty industry. YOLO names Glo Tanning, Salon Forty Sixty Two, Dabble Cosmetics, Jellyfish Spa and Route 66 Barbershop as its partners and is offering unlimited memberships for $99 a month! I was completely intrigued and decided to dive in a little further to get in contact with YOLO Founder and CEO, Chris Ruggieri. I wanted to meet with him and hear all about this brand new concept.
We met for coffee at the Blackhawk Plaza, where all of his YOLO businesses are located. I expected to see a high powered executive in a business suit, but what walked in was entirely different. Here came a young, “skater-like” dude, wearing a beanie and a track suit! “What’s goin’ on?”, he said in a disturbingly loud voice, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or be scared of whom I was meeting. But after chatting for a few minutes, I realized not only was he professional, but extremely energetic and passionate for his unique vision of YOLO Industries.
“What is YOLO?” Chris replies. “Yolo is a philosophy, a state of mind, a way of life. It’s about having fun and living life in the present, in the moment. It’s about taking care of yourself and taking chances, taking risks. It’s about asking yourself, when I am at the end of my life, would it have made a difference to have spent that extra buck, to have taken that well needed vacation, or to have taken that risk. How does all this apply to the beauty industry, you might ask. YOLO is about feeling good. When you feel good, you are happy. When you are happy, your heart is open. And when your heart is open, the possibilities are endless!”
It is by this mantra that Jellyfish Spa was created.
“I woke up one night to a light going off in my head. I thought....Unlimited services on a membership basis for $99 a month. BAM! Thus, my concept was born! I wanted to bring a totally new concept to the public, where every person could afford and enjoy getting pampered. At Jellyfish Spa, the members can get their nails done, facials and massages as frequently as they want.”
Could this really be true? I pay $90 for a one- time massage alone, I said.
“Yes”, Chris replies, “and now there’s no excuse for taking care of yourself. We are providing luxury on a beer budget for anyone who wants to make a change in their lives. For $99 a month, clients can come utilize Jellyfish Spa, they can get make overs and discounts at Dabble, they can get discounts at Salon Forty Sixty Two, and coming soon, exclusively for men, Route 66 Barbershop memberships for unlimited haircuts and spa treatments! I was tired of the typical spa experience and frankly, bored”, Chris said. “My vision was to energize and excite the client.”
And boy am I excited! The moment you step foot in Jellyfish Spa, you realize you have entered something entirely new. Embellished with all modern elements and architecture and a 600 gallon jellyfish tank, you will be refreshingly amazed. “People always ask me why I would name a spa after a deadly creature”, Chris said. “My response is simple; jellyfish are the only species that metamorphosis from an adult state back to that of an infant, thus making them immortal. And, who doesn’t want to reverse time!?”
By this time, I was completely engrossed by this man and he proceeded to tell me how he got this concept started.
“I started out in the gym industry, managing clubs and getting them off the ground, moving from location to location. Ending up in New York City for a brief time, I fell in love with the modern architecture and one day while tanning, I came up with the concept of Glo Tanning and opened our first location in Walnut Creek.”
Six locations later, Chris received his General Contractor’s License and started Ruggieri Construction, focusing on various modern projects throughout the Bay Area. Soon after, while having many family members and friends in the hair industry, he opened Salon Forty Sixty Two.
“The Salon was a huge challenge for me. Not being a hairstylist myself, I was always intimidated to walk into an upscale salon. They always seemed cold and uninviting. I had a tough audience. Not only the clients, but the team of stylists who had high expectations and a need for constant inspiration.”
And boy, did he inspire. The moment you walk into Salon Forty Sixty Two, you are consumed by its beauty and design, not to mention its bright pink wallpaper! It’s hard to imagine not being inspired.
“Our stylists are like mad scientists”, Chris said, “mixing up their potions to change the way the client perceives themselves. They are expected to know all the latest gossip, trends, give advice on relationships, kids, life and all the while looking dynamic themselves. All that and a great cut! I wanted to create a forum for them to inspire and be inspired and that is how I came up with the idea of having round tables as work stations. Most salons have you cramped in a little cubicle, hiding behind a wall of mirrors. We pride ourselves with having the ‘creme de la creme’ of the industry, and I wanted them to be able to share their wonderful creations with not only fellow stylists, but the other clients as well. Who doesn’t want to show off their happy and proud clients?”
“The owners of the Blackhawk Plaza had been so impressed with the success of Salon Forty Sixty Two, they asked if I would be interested in opening another beauty outlet. Ready to take on any challenge, I agreed, thus Dabble Cosmetics was born. I saw a niche and went for it. With Dabble, again, I wanted to create a space that was exciting, inspiring and beautiful. The idea behind Dabble was what every girl dreams of...One big, luxurious closet! You can’t resist the oozing sex appeal and charm of the space. The hot pink and black damask wallpaper and crystal chandeliers scream glamour! We spent countless nights searching for those hard- to- find product lines that are hip, trendy and mainstream.”
You’ll think you’ve died and gone to boutique heaven walking into Dabble!
“2010 is not going to be any slower of a pace. In fact, hold on to your pants.....Here comes YOLO and watch out, we’re ready to take on the world, city by city. We are launching YOLO Foundation, YOLO Energy Drink, YOLO Reality Show and my man cave project, Route 66 Barbershop”.
To learn more about YOLO Industries memberships and upcoming events, visit:www.yoloindustries.c
“Oh yeah, one last thing.....You Only Live Once, so do it right and have fun! Let’s do this!!! “ -Yolo Industries
-- Taken from ALIVE East Bay Magazine, February Issue --