WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. — It's been 10 years since borough native Eric Altomare opened his first salon in town. He's since launched one in Saddle River, another in Ho-Ho-Kus and the most recent this past October that's straddling the Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus border.
Altomare has no intention of stopping, either.
"My foundation in hair was from my mother," said Altomore, who recalled being fascinated with hair as a child.
"She worked in a lot of top boutiques on Fifth Avenue. I would see people come out of the salon there and admire their style."
Altomare pursued his dream going to school for hair and then working for more than a decade in top New York City salons such as Bumble and Bumble.
The commute to and from the city was his breaking point.
"It was snowing and I was on the corner in Wood-Ridge waiting for the bus when I saw someone put a 'For Rent' sign up in the window of a store," he said. "I walked over and rented it on the spot."Then, as I took the bus into the city, I saw two of my clients on the bus traveling to New York just to get their hair done and I thought 'Why are we doing this?' "
As part of the anniversary celebration of his Wood-Ridge salon, Altomare is going to renovate the Ho-Ho-Kus location, changing the entire style to a high-end environment with a new name, Eric Alt Bungalow 15.
"Taking inspiration from a bungalow in California, after this is redone it will look like a private bungalow where we will offer private one-on-one sessions," Altamore said. "It will be very high end, our most luxurious and most expensive location."
Additionally a new location, Eric Alt Untitled, will open in Ridgewood. It will feature barbers, a blow-out bar and more.
"Think of the new salon as the younger sister to the other salons that goes to clubs and drinks and smokes," Altomare said.
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