RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- It's been a decade since borough Eric Altomare opened his first salon in Wood-Ridge before launching another in Saddle River four years later and one in Ho-Ho-Kus two years after that. He has no intention of stopping, either, with a new location planned for Ridgewood.
As part of the 10th anniversary celebration, 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," Altamare said. "It will be very high end, our most luxurious and most expensive location."
The passion began at a young age.
"My foundation in hair was from my mother,"Altomare said. "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?' "
Altomare opened Eric Alt Salon in Wood-Ridge in 2005, then a Saddle River location called Eric Alt North in 2009 and the Ho-Ho-Kus location in 2011.
A new location, Eric Alt Untitled, is due to open in Ridgewood in late October. 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.
For information visit ericaltsalon.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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